What is more perfect than sitting on a balcony in a cold afternoon and sipping a cup of hot brewed tea? Whether it’s black, green, white or oolong tea, all of these kinds are known as effective medicines in reducing the risk of heart disease, preventing cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
With the abundant antioxidants and nutrients and easy to make, tea is really good for our health if you drink a suitable amount every day. Overusing tea and in improper moments can cause insomnia which negatively affects our health if it happens in a long period of time.
You might enjoy both brewed loose-leaf tea or tea bags but no matter what kind you prefer, you should know about the brewed tea shelf life in different conditions, how to store it correctly to lengthen its life and what will be the spoilage signs so that we can throw the tea away before getting any illness. But don’t panic, you are not alone since we will help you tackle all these questions in this article.
How long does brewed tea last?
“How long does brewed tea last?” must have been a regular question that a lot of people are still finding an answer for it when they accidentally make far more tea than they can ever drink. The shelf life of brewed tea will rely on where you store it.
Your brewed tea can only last within a day at room temperature as it can become stale and the water might be murky, even in a hot climate, the tea can facilitate bacteria to grow. If the tea is kept in the fridge, it can be safe to drink after 3 to 5 days and up to 6 months when being stored in the freezer.
If you are the one who prefers iced tea, remember that this kind of tea will have a shorter life expectancy than plain brewed tea due to the amount of sugar in it. Sugar tends to cause fermentation after the first 24 hours, that’s why it’s recommended to only drink iced tea kept in the fridge within 8 hours.
How to tell if brewed tea goes bad?
Can you drink tea that has been left out overnight? It depends on whether your brewed tea gets stale or not. Obviously, brewed tea that is unrefrigerated is likely to be spoiled rather than the one which is kept in the fridge or freezer.
If your tea has mold or the color of the tea turns darker, you shouldn’t drink it. Improper brewed tea storage in a short time won’t cause any extreme spoilage sign but can make your tea loses its original aroma. Then it’s your choice to add more flavors to your tea or toss it.
As already mentioned, brewed tea with sugar or fruit can be easily fermented so once you realize the tea develops an unpleasant sour smell, it needs to be discarded.
How to store brewed tea?
Loose-leaf tea tends to be spoiled sooner than process tea bags but in fact, the purchased tea bag can carry bacteria too and if you store any kind of tea improperly, the result will be you need to trash them all.
So how to make brewed tea last longer? A cold place will be superb suitable to extend brewed tea life. You should keep your brewed tea in an airtight container and store it in the fridge to prevent bacteria growth or absorbing other odors from the surrounding food and drinks. Your favorite tea pitcher is not a good idea in this case.
Remember to not add sugar in your tea before refrigerating as it will shorten the shelf life of the brewed tea. You can still have your favorite sweet iced tea on hand but better add sugar later on when you remove the tea from the fridge and ready to use.
Freezing brewed tea is also a good choice when you want to maximize the life span of the tea and save for the later uses in the long term.
Can you freeze brewed tea?
Yes, to reiterate, you can freeze brewed tea to make it last up to half of a year.
How to freeze brewed tea?
Now you are going to learn how to freeze brewed tea properly in just some simple steps.
Tips to freeze brewed tea
- Never freeze tea with fruits or sugar as the texture and flavor can be destroyed after thawing. As mentioned above, all these additional ingredients should be added when the tea is on your hand and ready to use immediately
- It’s recommended to freeze brewed tea in an ice cube tray so it will be more convenient when you defrost as you don’t have to thaw the whole container of tea, just take out several cubes that you intend to drink
- You shouldn’t expect the flavor of brewed tea will be the same as initial because more ore less, the aroma will be changed after freezing and thawing
Things you’ll need to freeze brewed tea
- A freezer-safe bag/ An airtight container or an ice cube tray
How to freeze brewed tea in a container
- Place your brewed tea in an airtight container
- Label the container with the name and storage date then stick in the freezer
How to freeze brewed tea in an ice cube tray
- Pour your tea into an ice cube tray
- Place the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours until the tea cubes are frozen
- Transfer the tea cubes in a freezer-safe bag or container
- Label the bag or container with name and storage date then put it back in the freezer
How to defrost/ thaw brewed tea?
To defrost your frozen brew tea, just transfer it to the fridge for a few hours or let it sit at room temperature then the tea will be gradually thawed. Actually, you should not reheat the tea since it can lose almost the original flavor so after thawing, you can enjoy cold tea, add your favorite ingredients to.
Another way is you can directly pop frozen tea cubes into a cup of hot tea to make warm tea, no need to defrost before.