Sun Tea

Also known as sun-sweet tea, this is the official drink of the American South. It's meant to be served strong, sweet, and ice cold. Because there are so many variables (the brand of tea, the variety of tea, relative temperature, etc.) this recipe is more of a loose guide — you'll have to experiment and taste it to find out what works for you. Yields enough for 6-8 servings, less if you're serving tea in August.


  • Per approx. 60 ounces of water, you'll need 10-12 tea bags.


  1. If you're using regular orange pekoe tea bags, you will need to boil the water first in order to extract maximum flavor. If using loose-leaf tea or highly fragrant tea like Earl Grey, you can add the leaves straight to room-temperature water.
  2. Let the tea steep, covered, for at least 3 days in a warm, sunny spot. Taste for strength and let it go one more day if necessary. Remove the tea bags or strain the tea leaves, and chill thoroughly before serving.
  3. Serve with as much sugar, ice, and lemon as you can stand.