How to Make Sun Tea and Cold Brew Iced Tea

There is no substitute for a tall glass of freshly brewed, made-from-scratch iced tea on a hot summer day – but the catch is you have to heat up the kitchen to make it. Or do you? Actually, there are a couple of non-traditional ways of brewing tea you can use to make delicious, fresh iced tea from scratch without even turning on the stove! Next time the summer heat hits hard, try these 2 methods and stay cool while brewing fresh tea.

How to Make Sun Tea

This brewing method is as simple as it sounds – you’re merely using the heat of the sun to slowly brew tea bags in a clear container of fresh water. Sun tea is a fun summer project for kids, too. Have them help you get it started during the early morning sunshine so they can marvel at the brewing process all morning and then drink it at lunch!

What you’ll need:

  • 4 Luzianne® Family Size Iced Tea bags
  • 1 gallon of spring water or filtered water
  • 1 clear glass gallon container with cover or cap
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar, or to taste (optional)
  • Optional garnishes: sprig of mint or thyme, lemon or orange wedge

What to do:

  1. Place tea bags in gallon jar and fill with water; place cover or cap loosely on jar
  2. Place jar in direct sunshine
  3. Steep tea for 3 to 4 hours (do not exceed 4 hours)
  4. Remove tea bags
  5. Sweeten warm tea, if desired (do not add sweetener until steeping is finished)
  6. To serve, pour into glasses packed with ice and serve with sugar, lemon, lime or mint
  7. Refrigerate tea in an airtight container within 1 hour of brewing
  8. Discard leftover tea after 24 hours

How to Make Cold Brew Tea

Heat-based brewing methods bring out the tannic acids in tea, which can give even top-quality tea a bitter taste if you’re not careful about brewing times. Not so with the cold brew method, which results in the smoothest tasting tea ever. Plus, it couldn’t get any easier.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 Luzianne® Family Size Iced Tea bags
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) spring water or filtered water
  • 1 large pitcher with cover
  • Optional: Simple syrup* for sweetening after brewing is complete
  • Optional: Your choice of fruit and herb flavorings, like a handful of muddled raspberries and crushed mint leaves

What to do:

  1. Place tea bags in pitcher
  2. Cover with water
  3. Add optional flavorings (but not the simple syrup)
  4. Chill in refrigerator for 6-12 hours (or just 3-5 minutes for the Cold Brew bags)
  5. After brewing, sweeten to taste with simple syrup, if desired

*To make 1 cup of simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepot over high heat. Stir. Bring mixture to a boil; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 90 seconds. Place in refrigerator to cool. Pour into a squeeze bottle or jar for use.