No Bake Sun Tea




About: Mops from sticks and rags. Cheap!

There are plenty of sun tea recipes around, including a couple on Instructables, but I have a different method that cuts out the middleman.

Buy a plastic half-gallon beverage jug (oh, this is Instructables, so go collect some old plastic bags and make one). Clearish is preferable.

Buy a box of Red Rose black tea. It costs more but tastes better than anything else you can get in the US (unless you like *ugh* flavored ice tea*). The Canadian variety of Red Rose is supposedly even better. And there's a prize in every box.

(*yes, I did grow up in the Deep South, where we drank ice tea, never "iced" tea).

Step 1: Tie One On

Fill your container with fresh tap water.

Take 5 standard size Red Rose tea bags, sort them with the tabs at one end, and tie an overhand knot in the strings.

Place bags in the water filled container and put the lid on. I like to tuck the logo tabs outside the container to keep things neat and make it easy to grab the bags for tossing into my compost bucket.

Step 2: Cook

Put the tea in the frig and let it "cook" for a couple of hours.

You'll recognize when the tea is ready because it'll take on a nice tea color.

The great thing about this method is that you don't have to chill the tea - when it's done it's cold and ready to drink. I keep two jugs going so that when I empty one, I have another brewed and chilled in reserve.

This method works best for unsweetened tea or for those Pinkie users among us (aka, Sweet and Low). If you like Southern style sweet tea, there's probably an Instructable around for dissolving sugar in cold liquids.

Step 3: Salmonella

There is reportedly a slight risk of getting salmonella by not boiling your tea bags. I think the risk is higher from sun tea brewed in the sun as opposed to this cold fusion method. See this link for more.

One home remedy for salmonella is drinking lots of tea. That must be why I've never gotten sick from this method of making ice tea over the last decade. Usual disclaimers.

If you do wind up in hospital, you can take all the Red Rose figurines you've collected with you to play with while you recover.

And since Red Rose periodically changes the figurines, you can look on the box and tell if the grocer is trying to fob old stock on you.



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    11 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Yum! I will use this method for my lemon-flavored tea ;) Now I'm determined to find the red rose tea with the figurines! We buy it monthly and have yet to see any with them [we're in BC, so that may be a reason]. My gran used to collect them, she had hundreds when I was little! :D


    8 years ago on Introduction

    For regular tea, I used a mixture of Brook Bond Red lable, & Lipton Green lable. Gave a fragrant tea with rich color. Now the green lable tea is no longer available. Can the red rose tea be used as regular hot tea too? I ditto xtroublex on his comment on the Lipton yellow label. The Green Label was great. Which of the Lipton did you use? the Green label or Yellow label?

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Plato1,

    I use Red Rose for making black hot tea all the time too. I think it tastes better than Lipton. I haven't seen the Brook Bond brand in my area.

    I know some people like flavored teas but I'm always disappointed when I order ice tea at a restaurant and it comes with a hint of raspberry or something. It's better than that instant Nestle crap though.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanx. I am not big on tea any way. I am a coffee person. My country grows some of the best tea in the world, & I grew up with the best. But now, once I left the country, I have not found the full flavored tea I used to have, so I did what my people did, mix 2 brands, one for its color & the other for its flavor & that's how they beat the cost. I don't like the ice teas sold in the market, not the mixes (yuck!! not for the real tea people) nor the ones in the restaraunt. I,m not going to be modest. I like what I make best. I am sure all of you too, who have fun making the THING yourself will agree.
    Thanx for sharing. I will try the Red Rose brand.
    Have a good one.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I've made this for years and have had no problems with salmonella. I think it's easier than putting a jar outside in the sun and having to keep track of it. great instructable

    5 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    With a user name like that, you must have grown up in the South too (although we'd often slur it to co-cola). Thanks for the comment!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    you could also have the chance of getting a crunchy buzzing surprise in your glass... (outside sun tea method)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I have been making "ice tea" in a iced tea maker. I like this better as we drink so much of it that the keep one going while you drink the other thought is very handy. I tried the "cold brew" tea by Lipton once and it tasted like cardboard was used to stir it. YUCK!