Does Brewed Tea Go Bad? How to Tell if Tea is Spoiled

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Does Brewed Tea Go Bad?

Brewed tea goes bad more quickly than unbrewed tea leaves, but both can last a long time if stored properly. Today we’ll be talking about brewed tea, how to make ice tea, how long it stays fresh, and how to know if brewed tea has gone bad.

Does Brewed Tea Go Bad

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What Is Brewed Tea?

Brewed tea is defined as tea that has been steeped in hot water and then cooled. This can happen either on the stovetop or in a teapot, and the tea is usually enjoyed hot or over ice.

Hot Tea

Hot brewed tea comes in a number of varieties. The most common are black, green, white, and oolong tea, which is all made from the same plant (Camellia Sinensis).

There are also herbal teas, which are brewed using a variety of different herbs and spices.

Cold Tea

Cold tea, also known as iced tea, is brewed using the same method as hot tea, but it’s served cold or over ice. Iced tea can be made with either fresh or brewed tea leaves, and it’s a popular summertime drink.

What Does Ice Tea Taste Like?

Most people say that ice tea tastes like diluted lemonade. This is because when you make brewed tea, you start with a higher ratio of leaves to water.

When you add ice to the tea, it melts and dilutes the flavor. Making iced tea with lower-quality leaves will result in a more diluted and less flavorful drink. Be sure to use good quality tea leaves so you don’t lose flavor.

Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is a type of iced tea that’s popular in the southern United States. It’s made by brewing hot tea and adding sugar or simple syrup while the tea is still hot. This allows the sweetener to dissolve completely.

Sweet tea is typically made with black tea, but you can use green or white tea as well. Sweet tea is best kept in a glass container or pitcher in the fridge.

Health Benefits of Iced Tea

Iced tea is a great way to stay hydrated during the summer months. It’s also a refreshing alternative to sugary drinks like soda.

Some research even suggests that iced tea may help improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke.

Cold brew tea can taste delicious and if kept in the fridge, brewed tea can last for some time.

How To Choose The Right Tea Bags?

When it comes to tea bags, there are two main types: pyramid and flat.

Pyramid Tea Bags

Pyramid-shaped tea bags give the leaves more room to expand, which results in a fuller flavor.

Flat Tea Bags

Flat tea bags are better for iced tea because they tend to dissolve more quickly.

How Long Does Brewed Tea Last?

Wondering how long brewed tea lasts?

Brewed tea generally has a shelf life of 3-5 days, but this will vary depending on the type of tea, how it was brewed, and how it is stored.

If you want your hot brewed tea to last as long as possible, follow these guidelines:

  • Only brew as much tea as you plan to drink within a day or two.
  • Store brewed tea in a clean, airtight container in the fridge.
  • Reheat tea before drinking, rather than drinking it cold.

Best Time For A Hot Brew

The best time for hot brewed tea is during the winter months. This is because it can help keep you warm and cozy. Iced tea is more popular during the summer months, but hot brewed tea can be enjoyed year-round.

Some tea drinkers enjoy a cup of tea first thing in the morning with their breakfast, whilst others prefer to have a cup of hot brew tea in the evening as a way to wind down before bed.

medium shot woman with blanket tea

Can I Store Cold Brewed Tea?

Cold brewed tea can last up to two weeks if it is stored properly. To make a good cold brew, follow these guidelines:

  • Use double the amount of tea leaves that you would use for hot tea.
  • Steep tea in room temperature water for 12-24 hours.
  • Store cold brewed tea in a clean, airtight container in the fridge.
Brewed tea in a cup with dried herbs and fruits high angle view on a white background

How to Tell if Tea is Spoiled

Whether making loose leaf tea, black tea, or green tea, here are some signs that your tea has gone bad:

Color Of Tea

If the color of the tea has changed, it is probably spoiled. For example, black tea that has turned greenish-brown is no longer good.

Tea Taste

The tea tastes sour or bitter. If this is the case, it’s time to throw it out. There is nothing worse than teas that taste stale.

The Smell of Tea

Old tea can have an off odor. If your tea smells rancid, it’s time to toss it out.

When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and throw out tea that may have gone bad.

It’s better to make a fresh batch than risk drinking spoiled tea.

Mold in Tea

If mold is growing on the tea, it’s time to throw it out. Mold can be harmful to your health, so it’s best not to take any chances.

If there is mold then there is probably bacterial growth too.

The short answer is, if you see any of these signs, it’s best to throw out your brewed tea.

herbal tea glass cup saucer camomiles background bamboo napkins

Top Tips To Store Brewed Tea

Here are a few final tips to help your brewed tea stay fresh for as long as possible:

Don’t Add Milk

Don’t add milk or sweeteners until you’re ready to drink the tea.

Only add fruit juice or other flavoring agents if you plan to consume the tea within a day or two.

Avoid Metal Containers

If possible, avoid using metal containers to store brewed tea. Glass containers and even mason jars are a better option.

Avoid Moisture

Make sure the container is clean and dry before adding brewed tea.

Any moisture can cause mold to grow which could cause serious health problems.

Don’t Add Ice Straight Away

If you’re adding ice cubes, wait until you’re ready to drink it.

This will also ensure a cold temperature, which can help slow down bacterial growth.

Store Tea Fresh In The Fridge

If you’re not going to drink your tea right away, transfer it to a clean, airtight container and store it in the fridge. Don’t leave tea covered on the counter overnight.

Drink Within 3-5 Days

Enjoy your tea within 3-5 days for optimal freshness. Both green teas and plain brewed tea can last up to five days in the fridge, whereas black tea and oolong teas will only stay fresh for 3 days.

Don’t Reheat More Than Once

If you’re reheating tea, make sure to consume it in just a few hours. Reheating tea more than once can cause bacteria to grow which could lead to food poisoning. If you’re unsure it’s best to make new tea rather than risk it.

Cold Brew Tea Recipes

Now that you know how to store brewed tea, it’s time to get brewing! Try out one of these delicious cold brew recipes:

Cold Brew Peach Tea

Cold Brew Peach Tea is refreshing and perfect for summer.

Cole Brew Strawberry Tea

Try making Cold Brew Strawberry Tea or Cold Brew Raspberry Tea for a fruity twist.

Cold Brew Hibiscus Tea

Try Cold Brew Hibiscus Tea if you want anthenes without caffeine.

Can I Make Overnight Tea?

Overnight tea is a type of cold brew tea that is made by steeping tea in room temperature water for 12-24 hours. This method results in a more potent and flavorful tea.

To Make Cold Brewing Tea

To make overnight tea, follow these steps:

1) Place the desired amount of tea leaves in a teapot or infuser.

2) Pour room temperature water over the tea leaves.

3) Cover the pot or infuser and allow the tea to steep overnight.

4) In the morning, strain the tea and enjoy it iced or hot.

Large Batch Tea

If you want to make a large batch of cold brew tea, follow these steps:

1) Place the desired amount of tea leaves in a large pitcher or jar.

2) Pour room temperature water over the tea leaves.

3) Cover the pitcher or mason jar and allow the tea to steep overnight.

4) In the morning, strain the tea and enjoy it iced or hot.

You can also make overnight green tea, oolong tea, or herbal tea using these same steps.

tea mug

What To Do With Left Over Brewed Tea?

If you have brewed tea that you’re not going to drink right away, don’t worry! You can still enjoy your tea iced or hot. Just transfer it to a clean, airtight container and store it in the fridge. Brewed tea will last 3-5 days in the fridge and will still taste great.

I hope this article has answered all of your questions about brewed tea. If not, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them. Happy brewing!

You may also find this article useful: Apple Cider Vinegar. Does It Go Bad?

Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and adults. Angela has also taught cooking classes and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Instant Pot Table. Follow her on Pinterest!

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