Recipe: Sun Tea

Sun Tea

(This recipe has been featured in the August, 2011 issue of A Healthy You.)

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 24 hours
Yield: 2 liters


  • 3-4 tea bags of your choice
  • water


  1. Fill an extra-large mason jar with water, add 3 or 4 of your favorite tea bags and cover with lid.
  2. Place in sun for one full day and let the shining rays pour in heat and energy, bringing out the wonderful tea flavors.
  3. Sweeten if so desired with natural sweetener and serve at room temperature or cold over ice.

Note: Garnish with mint leaves or lemon wedge.

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  1. BTW– just now saw that you have a blog!! love that you post things here from your newsletter– it will make it easier for me to find your recipes and such that i forget to file!!! (O:)

    1. Actually, you inspired me to do so when you asked me about one of my previously published recipes. That’s why I developed the newsletter content page. So, I owe you a big THANK YOU!

      I try to post them on the blog when the new issue of A Healthy You is being published.


  2. hey ruthie!

    we used to do this all the time and loved drinking the tea, but stopped because we heard that the process encourages bacteria growth. THe water doesn’t get hot enough to kill bacteria but it is warm enough to encourage the growth of bacteria. What do you think? Have you heard this before?

    1. No, I have not heard this before. But, I will do some research on it and let you know what I find out. I’ve never had a problem with it. 🙂

    2. Charlotte, take a look at the following website:

      I somehow stumbled upon a pdf of a 1996 memo that the CDC sent to State and Territorial Epidemiologists. I tried to find official CDC information but could not (FAIL!)

      According to another article that I read, the following information is attributed to Stith, Barbara. “If You Must Make Sun Tea, Follow These Safety Steps.”The [Syracuse] Post-Standard. 28 June 2000 (p. C8):
      The following rules have been recommended for those who brew sun tea:

      1. Use a container that has been scrubbed in warm, soapy water. As an additional precaution, dip the container in a bleach solution made with 1-1/2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
      2. If the container has a spigot, clean it carefully after each use, preferably by taking it apart. If you can’t clean inside the spigot, don’t brew sun tea in that vessel — find yourself something else to use.
      3. Do not leave tea to brew in the sunlight for more than three to four hours.
      4. Do not prepare more tea than you plan to use that day.
      5. Refrigerate the drink as soon as it is ready and keep it refrigerated.
      6. Discard tea if it appears thick or syrupy. Those ropy strands are bacteria.

      A safer alternative to “sun tea” is “refrigerator tea.” To make it, fill a pitcher with a quart of cold water, add four to six tea bags, and refrigerate it at least six hours or overnight. Squeeze and remove the tea bags, and serve the tea over ice.

      My “Common Sense” guidance system tells me that contamination is usually the result of improperly washed utensils, pitchers, spigots, hands, etc…

      I also believe that if it was such a huge problem, there would be more information readily available on the CDC website. I did a search on their website and found NOTHING relevant.

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