How Long Can Tea Sit Out?

how long can tea sit out

Tea is a fantastic beverage to provide at parties since it is affordable and because most of your guests will be tea drinkers. When preparing tea for a party, you should take a few precautions.

How Long Can Tea Sit Out?

Letting tea sit out at room temperature for any longer than about 8 hours will increase the risk of bacterial growth, leading to illness. Tea can, however, last up to 2-5 days if covered and refrigerated, depending on the brewing method, quality of leaves, and various other factors. The brewing process, the type of tea, the presence or absence of sugars in the tea, and the temperature of the room where the tea is sitting all play a role in determining how long the tea will last. 

Does Brewed Tea Go Bad?

Yes, brewed tea that has been left out in the open will spoil if the proper precautions are not followed. It should be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated or frozen, and kept away from direct sunlight and heat. Tea may stay up to 2 days; however, tea left out on the counter only lasts around 8 hours.

how long can tea sit out

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should not keep tea in the refrigerator for more than 8 hours, considered a safe period. Your tea should be alright after 8 hours, according to the regulation. On the other hand, some teas may last for extended periods.

How Long Does Brewed Tea Last In The Refrigerator?

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that tea not be kept in the refrigerator for more than 8 hours, some people have probably already discovered that you can keep tea in the fridge for much more extended periods. While tea is best consumed within a day, it can be consumed for up to three or even four days if stored properly.

If there is any sugar or fruit in the tea, the flavor will become strange, and the tea may even begin to ferment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that tea be brewed at temperatures of 195 degrees or higher, which are high enough to kill pathogens. This, on the other hand, causes the tea to lose its flavor more quickly. After all, hot-brewed tea is much more delicate in flavor than its cold-brewed counterpart.

how long can tea sit out

This does not imply that bacteria present in cold-brewed tea are significant problems. In most cases, water is not hot enough to support bacterial growth. The cold water extraction process produces a crispier and more flavorful beverage than the hot water extraction process.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not released any new research on cold water extraction. It has not published any further research on cold water extraction in recent years. Use the brewing method that is most comfortable for you, and remember to use clean, sterilized brewing containers. If the tea becomes thicker or has ropy strands, this is a sign of bacterial buildup.

Can You Freeze Premade Tea?

Yes, it is possible to freeze brewed tea. This, however, causes the tea to steep longer, resulting in the loss of most of its flavor. After thawing, the tea will need to be brewed as soon as possible. Any type of tea, such as green or black tea with only loose leaves added and nothing else, can be stored in the freezer. It should, however, be wholly airtight and contain only a tiny amount of moisture.

You should avoid refreezing a tea tin that has already been opened because the water seeped inside will condense when the container is refrigerated. You should serve dried fruits and herbs added to the tea leaves just a little warm to enhance the flavor of the tea. 

how long can tea sit out

When complex teas, such as those infused with aromas, are frozen, most of their taste is lost, as is most of their scent. Whether it’s a challenging or loose-leaf tea, already brewed tea can be stored in the freezer, though it loses much of its aroma if it’s reheated. Consequently, any temperature variation will impact the flavor and aroma of your tea.

Can Tea Go Bad And Make You Sick?

There is no danger in drinking tea that has been sitting about for a long time, but it will taste horrible. Antioxidants are antioxidants in their own right. These variables have a negative impact on the amount of time it takes for your tea to finish. Let’s take a closer look at our cup of tea.

Does Green Tea Stay Fresher Than Black Tea?

Although green and black tea offers comparable health advantages, their shelf lives are different. Fully fermented black tea has a longer shelf life than green tea since it has undergone more fermentation. Black tea has an 18-month shelf life when kept in bulk, a 24-month shelf life when bagged, and three-year shelf life when stored in aluminum foil bags. 

On the other hand, Green tea is unfermented and has far higher levels of antioxidants. Thus, it has a shelf life of roughly 18 months, after which its flavor starts to diminish. If it is not exposed to light, heat, or moisture, it may persist for three years.

Is My Tea Bad If It Is Cloudy?

Even though cloudy tea looks unsightly, it is perfectly safe to consume. A variety of factors may cause cloudiness. This may involve putting it in the refrigerator too soon (in this case, just pour in one cup of boiling water per quart of iced tea to clear the tea). It is also possible that cloudiness is produced by hard water, heat shock, or convection. Tea’s molecules (caffeine and tannins) rise and constantly fall during convection, separating them apart and giving the tea its grey color.

Is Sun Tea Safe To Make?

Studies have shown that sun tea does constitute a health hazard. When you brew tea in the sun, you produce a warm atmosphere beneficial to bacteria growth. You should avoid drinking sun tea if you find it has become thick or syrupy since this suggests the presence of Alcaligenes viscoelastic, a stringy rope-like bacteria.

How To Make Tea Last Longer

how long can tea sit out

Are you attempting to get the most flavor from your brewing technique while keeping the shelf life of your tea as long as possible? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Store your tea in an airtight container before putting it in the refrigerator—this aids in the preservation of the taste.
  • You should not use sugar in the brewing process. Sugar can speed the fermentation process, causing your tea to go bad much more quickly than usual. Instead of sugar, use honey, syrups, or maple dust to sweeten your tea.
  • Make use of high-quality tea leaves. Higher-quality tea leaves will retain their flavor for a more extended period, whereas lower-quality tea leaves will fade more quickly.
  • Instead of diluting your tea with water, add a few ice cubes to your drink. This will enhance the flavor of the dish.
  • Experiment with different recipes.

Related Questions 

Can Tea Go Bad And Make You Sick?

Yes, tea can go bad and make you sick. According to the health department, lousy tea contains coliform bacteria. This bacteria can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Salmonella and intestinal viruses are also likely to be found in the presence of coliform bacteria.

Is It Safe To Drink Tea Left Out Overnight?

No, it is not safe for tea to sit out overnight. The health department advises against drinking brewed tea left at room temperature for more than 8 hours. You should discard such tea, and it’s not worth the risk.

Can Tea Give You Food Poisoning?

Yes, tea that has sat out for some time can give you food poisoning. Tea that is not brewed with hot water can pose a health issue. Foodborne bacteria can survive in such tea. A health issue also arises for tea stored in dirty vessels which were not disinfected before use.

Is Leaving Tea In The Refrigerator Overnight Bad For My Health?

Yes, leaving tea in your refrigerator overnight can be bad for your health. Refrigerating tea for too long will cause it to lose most of its vitamins. The tea polyphenol will also oxidize, causing the tea to lose most of its health benefits. Remember not to drink murky or moldy tea.

Does Brewed Tea Go Bad in the Fridge?

Yes, brewed tea does go bad in the refrigerator. In the fridge, brewed tea can keep for two to five days. Ensure the brewed tea is stored in an airtight container before drinking it. It’s not enough to cover a container with plastic wrap. Keeping your tea in an airtight container prevents the odors from escaping and contaminating your tea with other stronger-smelling things in your fridge, like onions.

Can You Drink Day Old Tea?

No, you should not drink a day-old cup of tea. Overnight tea is another term for tea that has been hanging about for far too long. When tea is left unattended for an extended period, it begins to oxidize and become black due to the presence of TP (tea polyphenol).


Denzel and Beryl are a food scientist powerhouse couple. They met while attending culinary school, and have been cooking and baking together ever since. They love to watch football, movies, and reality shows in their free time. They have even participated in several cooking and baking competitions globally!

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