Can You Drink Tea That Has Been Sitting Out?
You can absolutely drink tea that has been sitting out but you have to be careful of how long has it been kept out. At room temperature, tea can last for up to eight hours – after which it should be discarded. So you can drink tea that has been sitting out for less than eight hours.
If you chill your tea in the best-sealed container overnight (this is how you brew your cold-brewed tea), then you will be ready to slurp your tea. If you really do leave the tea sitting around at room temperature, be sure to drink within an eight-hour window. The longest time you should be able to leave tea outdoors is about 10-12 hours, and that is for the sake of food safety, not for flavour.
Tea you brewed and stored correctly may keep several hours, but it is important to know the risks of leaving your tea out for too long. If you put your tea in the fridge, covered, it may last 3-5 days, depending on your brewing method, leaf quality, and other factors. Brewn teas can last slightly longer in a fridge, like 2-5 days. Oxidation is faster in the brewed tea than the dried leaves, and can be avoided by keeping the tea in an air-tight container in a fridge.
If tea is stored in containers without a lid and sitting in heat, they are likely both to develop bacteria. If tea bags are left outside for a long time, they will get dried out and lose flavor. The good news is there are a few ways you can keep your tea bags fresh and delicious for months and years.
If you place your tea bags in a freezer-safe bag, they will last much longer, as the freezing keeps water from evaporating out of the tea leaves. When you are not planning on drinking more tea for a week or two, you can freeze leftover brewed tea and store it in a freezer. If you brewed more tea than you could consume within five days, you can store it safely in the freezer for a period of six to eight months. Now that you know how long brewed tea will last in a refrigerator, freezer, and room temperature, as well as how long you can safely store your iced teas in a refrigerator.
|Tea In the Fridge||For 3-5 days|
|Brewn Tea in the Fridge||For 2-5 days|
|At the Room Temperature||For 10-12 hours|
Remember, if you want to make sure that your regular brewed tea can last a little longer, keep it in the refrigerator, where it will stay safely available for consumption up to five days, provided that it is stored in an airtight container. If you are concerned about keeping your tea in the fridge, there are plenty of tips for making sure that it will last longer and still taste good. Tea can be left for up to 8 hours and it is still safe to drink, but this does not mean that it tastes the same as immediately after brewing. By this, I mean tea can be pretty safe for up to 72 hours, as long as it is kept refrigerated and covered, and has no added sugars or fruits.
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Without a sealed container, the brewed tea may still last for 48-72 hours before bacteria and flavors from the refrigerator erode the quality. Putting your loose leaf tea in your refrigerator or freezer is the fastest way to spoil the leaves, because the moisture destroys them before you even reach them.
Too-hot water will cause leaves to burn and have an adverse effect on flavour, and can also ruin some nutrients within your tea. Heat also breaks the chemical bonds of flavours and nutrients faster, so teas brewed in hot water may spoil faster than those that are cold-brewed. Technically, sun brewing is not a super-safe method, since you would need the cool water heated at least to 130degF in order to destroy any bacteria.
If you used boiling water, you would be more likely to get a day-old tea. If regular water simply does not cut it, you can make your tea with iced tea, which is a refreshing beverage that you can drink all day long.
You can even brew cold tea in your coffeemaker, adding ice and cold water during the brewing cycle. Tea can be prepared using hot or cold water, and it can be consumed and enjoyed both hot and cold. You can chill the prepared tea to room temperature by placing it in cold water, and can put in temperature-resistant cans to keep heat from being taken from the tea. You should not store the brewed teas and the chilled teas at room temperature as it can quickly spoil and produce unpleasant flavors.
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Both brewed and iced teas begin to lose their flavors after being frozen for over two months. There are certain flavors that may become delicious if served chilled (such as the Green Tea variety) but will lose their zing if left too long (also Green Tea).
Just like how teas with a higher amount of oxidation (black tea) taste different than those with less (green tea), you will notice the difference between the fresh tea and day-old tea that you are drinking.
Whether or not you would rather heat up your day-old tea and have that is up to you depends on how much time has passed since tea was left. If you have tea that is suited to being re-brewed, such as puer, you may want to store it in the fridge so that it stays fresh until you brew again (just be sure to cover it so it does not leak flavors!). A good rule of thumb is not to leave your tea exposed to air for more than eight hours, either on your countertop or in The Refrigerator. If you leave tea uncovered on the counter from the morning until afternoon, then it is basically unusable, especially if it is a hot summers day.
Sun-cured tea does not spoil in just a couple of hours, but the risks are far greater if you leave it out overnight or at room temperature. In very warm weather, or when the tea is exposed to sun, the tea may go bad within even shorter times. Teabags can last for up to 12 hours before becoming unsafe to drink, but it is always best to err on the side of caution and toss any tea that has been sitting too long, or store it refrigerated. We are going to point out what is sitting out in tea, how long teas can stay, what changes teas may experience over time, and how teas can be stored in a variety of conditions.
Can you get food poisoning from old tea?
Tea leaves may contain coliform bacteria contamination. Iced tea may develop coliform bacteria, most frequently Klebsiella and Enterobacter, and less regularly E. coli if it is brewed at low temperatures, in an unclean urn, or if it is kept for an excessive amount of time.
Is it safe to drink tea left out overnight?
If properly packed, tea left out overnight is safe to consume, although it’s not advised. If you enjoy tea, drinking tea that’s been left out overnight won’t satisfy your palate. Additionally, Tea polyphenol, a chemical found in tea, may begin to oxidize if it’s left out for an extended period of time, darkening the tea.
How long can brewed tea last in the fridge?
Brew tea may be stored for a lot longer in the refrigerator. Without an airtight container, it can still be preserved for 2 to 4 days before being contaminated by germs and refrigerator odor. Make sure to check your airtight container to assure that your tea doesn’t get contaminated.