Published: Feb 18, 2019 · Modified: Apr 29, 2021 by · This post may contain affiliate links ·

Have your ever made a big batch of tea and somehow had lots of it left at the end of the day ? You"ve probably wondered if you can drink it the next day. I know I have, and I know I"ve tried.

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The thing is, there is no fixed answer to this, because tea can be kept in many ways over several periods of time. Let me explain.


Keeping your tea uncovered is not wise

Another thing to think of is whether you"ve covered your tea or not. When you store your tea, whether it"s on the counter, in the fridge, you should always cover it. Even if you"re going to drink it in the next hour.

Aside from the obvious bugs or bits of stray dust or even stray hairs that can somehow float their way into your nice pot of tea, there are 3 other things that can ruin the tea.

First, your tea can get spoiled by the bacteria we"ve just discussed. That means the warm jasmine tea you"ve just made can get contaminated (even if it doesn"t immediately taste bad) is you leave it uncovered at all.

It depends on where your keep it of course, but bacteria is airborne too, so even if it"s in another room it can still get contaminated.

What you cover your tea pot with is also important, because there will be condensation. That means the little droplets of evaporated water that form under your cover will bring with the all the bacteria they can muster, all the way into your tea.

So make sure whatever you use for cover is absolutely clean and sterilized.

Second. The flavor and nutrients can go off, simply because part of them can evaporate into the air, and part of them can and will react to the air they"re exposed to. Basically go stale.

If you leave your tea on the counter uncovered from morning til afternoon, then it will be pretty much undrinkable, especially if it"s a warm summer day.

This does depend on your individual taste. I have a sensitive nose and taste, so maybe I"m overly sensitive to that. But in my experience that"s when the tea goes too far for me.

Sugar and fruits will make the tea go bad faster

Now, about sugars and fruits. Does this mean you shouldn"t ever add sweeteners or fruits to your tea ? Well, that"s a matter of taste, but also of chemistry.

I for one add both sugar and fruits whenever the mood strikes me. But I always drink my tea on the spot. The thing about adding sugar is that it breaks down the nutrients in the tea much faster over time.

If you make a cup of tea right now, add sugar, and drink it right away the damage is not much since they didn"t have a lot of time to interact.

Fruits have their own sugars which will interact with the tea just like cane sugar. Of course it depends on what kind of fruits you put in. For example berries are less sweet than mango or pineapple for example. Some teas will take fruits, some won"t.

But the sugars in the fruits, as well as their tart nature will break down the tea more quickly. If you"re making a big pitcher of tea for a party and intend to serve within a few hours of brewing, fruits and sugar are no real problem.

Leaving them in for more than a few hours, like 24 hours for example will alter the tea much more. Citrus fruits are different here, since the oils in the rind will give the tea a nice taste, regardless of what the sugar or fruits have done to it.

Still, it"s never a good idea to keep fruit in the tea for more than 24 hours.

Final thoughts

In the end, your tea is your tea. You drink it how you like it. Just be aware that:

Fruits and sugars can make the tea go bad faster.Never leave your tea uncovered.Always store the tea in a very cold place.Understand that room-temperature tea should not be kept for more than 8 hours. It should still be covered.

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And as always, whatever you brew your tea in should be perfectly clean before you start. And whatever you store the brewed tea in should be perfectly clean beforehand as well. If you"re using a teapot, make sure the spigot is cleaned thoroughly after each use.

I hope you"ll enjoy your tea, iced or not.If you want to know more about coffee or tea, feel free to check the related articles below. Who knows what else you might find ?