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Do I really need to put bottle in the sun for "sun tea," or can it just steep overnight in the fridge?

asked by @EricMueller over 4 years ago
6 answers 3815 views

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

You can cold steep it, but it'll take longer. The sun really does heat up the water quite a bit, speeding the process.

added over 4 years ago

I will refer to my Okie heritage as my creds to answer this: No. You can brew the tea in the fridge, closet, backseat of a car, etc. Putting it in the sun brings out the tannic acids (a more bitter tea "bite") than doing it in a cool environment. The fridge brewed tea will not be as dark as sun brewed (or boiling water for that matter), so consider how you'll drink it; if it will be diluted with other flavors (sprig of mint, slice of orange, etc.) you may find the fridge brewed tea flavor too mild.
Bonus info: I put a single tea bag into one of those little bottles of water the night before a outing and leave it in the fridge. The next day, I leave the bag in and sip the tea - which also makes it easy for me to figure out which bottle is mine among the rest of the happy campers.

added over 4 years ago

IrisisIris, why did I not think of that teabag trick? I love it.

I cold brew (meaning, tea and tap water) on the kitchen counter all the time.

added over 4 years ago

Yes you can, but then it isn't sun tea it is refrigerator tea. What there is to love about sun tea is watching it turn colors!


Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

IrisIsIris is right about the bitterness. But my Oklahoma grandmother would put a pinch of baking soda in it to mellow it out.

added over 4 years ago

It will still produce flavor and color, but it will take longer. I prefer to make sun tea in the sun because of how pretty it looks :-)