Remembering the Sun Tea Craze

Nestled in the memories of many a child of the 1970's is the memory of tea brewing in a glass container out in the open sunshine. This delightful brew was known far and wide as sun tea. Many of us delighted in being the ones who would prepare the tea jug and then search for the perfect spot in the back yard, where the tea would receive direct sunlight and slowly brew into a delightful concoction that we would enjoy with our lunch and dinner that day.

There was no grand secret to making sunshine tea. All one required were tea bags, a gallon sized clear glass container with a secure lid, a half cup to a cup of sugar, and water. Water and sugar went into the glass container first, with the tea bags added last. The strings on the tea bags were allowed to dangle over the lip of the container and were used to hold the bags in place after the lid was screwed into place. From that point, it was just a matter of finding the right spot for the tea to brew. You wanted direct sunlight for a couple of hours, so that meant making sure the container would be in the open for that length of time and remain upright during the brewing process.

For those of us who were into herbs and holistic health remedies, we would make our sun tea using specialized tea offerings such as cranberry and lemon blends, or sassafras tea bags. The fact that we were using natural sunlight to brew these natural elements just made the experience all the more life affirming.

Often the temptation to check on the sun tea during the brewing process was irresistible. We would watch as the color began to permeate the liquid, first just around the tea bags and then throughout the container. With awe we watched as the color became a beautiful shade of amber, deepening into what we knew would be the best looking tea ever made, as well as the best tasting. Often, we would run to our parents and let them know the tea was done, just so we could have that first sip. Somehow, knowing we had brewed the beverage in the sun made it superior in every way to other teas.

Some of us still have those old sun tea containers. Every once in a while, they appear in the spring and early summer, getting one more round of use before the novelty wears out and we pack them up again. But for a short time, we recapture a moment of our childhood and remember when something as simple as brewing tea in the sun would make our day.

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About The Author, Mayoor Patel
Mayoor Patel is the writer for the website Please visit for information on all things concerned with Sun Tea