How to Make Garden Fresh Sun Tea

How to Make Garden Fresh Sun Tea

Support your body through the summer heat and cool down with this hydrating, refreshing beverage made by steeping the herbs in a jar of water left in the sun. Sun tea can be made with dried or fresh herbs, but I’m using the fresh today that are at their peak from the garden.

Making sun tea is fast and easy - just gather some dry or fresh plant material, place it in a jar, cover, and put it out in the hottest, sunniest part outdoors to infuse for several hours.

It will be a weaker, milder tea as we’re not using the boiling hot water to break the plant cell wall to allow for a maximum extraction. However, the plants will still release their flavour into the water along with their wonderful medicinal benefits. It’ll be tasty, refreshing and pretty to boot!


If you’re choosing to use fresh linden blossoms, they’re quite easy to find. Just follow your nose in early summer and linden’s light, floral, honey-like aroma will lead you right to the stately tree. Linden blossoms are cooling, relaxing, moistening, and uplifting, making them a a perfect candidate for helping the body get rid of excessive heat. The smell of linden flowers is one of my favourite scents, evoking memories of childhood, and remembering my mother prepare tea made of the tree’s dried flowers in winter when we came down with a cold.


Both mint and lemon balm, that also comes from the mint family, are cooling, relaxing and highly aromatic.  In addition to their thirst quenching qualities, they are renowned for their ability to soothe an upset stomach and help settle restlessness and irritability.


I’m adding nettle leaf here and although it’s heating and drying energetically, it’s often being referred to as the nature’s multivitamin. Blending it with 3 other cooling herbs will help offset some of its dryness and provide with its nutritive gifts instead.




Rose petals are also cooling, gently astringent, relaxing and aromatic. never use rose petals from the florist - these are highly sprayed.

These 5 herbs are abundant in my garden now, but they’re mere guidelines to start out with whatever is available in you region. You can use thyme, rosemary, oregano, elderflowers, red clover, chamomile, hibiscus, marshmallow root to come up with your own blend. Add a few slices of lemon in the last hour or so - adding it at the beginning will make it a bit bitter from the white pith.


Early Summer Sun Tea


A healthy, cooling summer beverage made the slow, natural way. Instead of using boiling water to infuse the herbs, we’re enlisting the help of the sun!


If using dried herbs, decrease the amount of herbs by half.




3 cups room-temperature water

fresh rose petals, a small handful (garden-grown or wild,  never use store-bought roses)

linden blossoms,  a small handful

fresh mint, 2 3-4 inch sprigs

fresh lemon balm, 2 3-4 inch sprigs

fresh fresh nettles, 2 3-4 inch sprigs

lemon slices




1 Optional: rinse your herbs to remove any stowaway bugs. Place the herbs in a bowl of water and gently swish a few times. Strain.

 2. Place the herbs in a quart jar.

3. Add room-temperature water, covering the herbs and filling the jar to the top.

4. Cap the jar and let it sit in the sun for several hours.

5. Strain herbs through a fine-mesh sieve, layered cheesecloth or nut milk bag —composting the herbs and reserving the liquid in a clean jar.

6. In the last hour add some lemon slices if desired.  Add some ice and enjoy!


Store the extra tea in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

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