Iced tea is a form of cold tea. People usually serve it in a glass with ice.
You can say iced tea is a form of tea that has been chilled and sweetened with sugar and syrup. People traditionally serve iced tea with lemon slices used as a garnish.
After water, tea is the most frequently consumed beverage in the world. This makes iced tea blend in with any culture seamlessly all around the world.
You can add chopped fruits, sugar cubes, and syrups to any iced tea to give it an extra flavor. Typical flavors are peach, pear, lemon, and mint, according to Wikipedia.
Iced tea is an easy drink to brew to liven up a party or gathering. There are so many varieties of iced tea and can serve each style in different ways.
Research from Healthline also shows that every teaspoon of sugar adds 16 calories to your tea.
Iced tea helps in boosting your antioxidants and keeps you hydrated.
If you want to know how long iced tea lasts, read further below.
How Long Does Iced Tea Last? Does Iced Tea Go Bad?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, you should only keep iced tea in the refrigerator for seven to eight hours. But most of us have brewed a batch, stored it in the fridge, and continued to drink it even a few days after.
However, if you’ve noticed, the iced tea gradually loses its flavor after the first two days. You should discard any form of iced tea after a day or two in the fridge because the sugar starts to lose its flavor in the iced tea.
You should store iced tea for no longer than eight hours.
The dissolved sugar in the tea will slowly begin to ferment after the first day. Plus, if you’ve added any fruit or fruit juice, the process of fermentation will probably start after the first twenty-four hours. If you brew your iced tea without sugar, it’ll last for three to six days, just like regular tea.
However, if you want to make it last longer than a day in the fridge, make sure you store it in an airtight container instead of a glass pitcher.
Just like plain brewed tea, it’ll retain the flavor. So next time you brew one up, you can choose to leave the sugar out.
Making iced tea with sugar can cause bacterial growth and speed up the fermentation process. Making it without sugar is also healthier.
If you think it is mandatory, you could leave it out of the container but add it to your glass afterward.
While tea bags are also a more comfortable option, they are not great for any tea type since they are processed. They also taste bland and lack any sort of standout characteristics.
Consuming bad iced tea can give you diarrhea.
While brewing up iced tea, using high-quality leaves can impact how long it lasts. The better the quality, the longer it’ll last. The quality of the tea will also taste better.
How To Tell If Iced Tea Is Bad?
Even though it’s totally okay to drink iced tea when it is past its date, there are times where the iced tea could turn sour and be unfit for consumption.
Here are a few signs that your iced tea could’ve been spoiled and could make you feel unwell:
- The iced tea has a weird off-smell
When this happens, there is a change in smell. It tends to have an odor that is similar to wine.
This is because all the ingredients, including the tea, are fermenting. So next time you open the container and get a nasty whiff of it, it has probably turned bad.
- Color of the iced tea changes
If the iced tea looks strange, or you did not properly seal the container, the iced tea may how signs of mold growth.
In most cases, you can tell the quality of the iced tea by looking at it. Good iced tea usually shows a dark shade of orange in color and looks bright.
- The flavor changes
If you’ve been drinking iced tea for a good amount of your life, you will know exactly how it tastes.
And if it doesn’t taste right to you, it might have gone bad. If you’ve ever had or tasted spoiled iced tea, you should know that it tastes fermented and bitter.
If you have iced tea that has gone past its expiry date but has been stored correctly in a cool and optimal place, and does not show signs of any weird smell or a change of color, it is probably safe to drink it.
Usually, packaged iced tea sold in stores can last several months, even weeks after their expiry date or recommended sell-date if you keep it in the correct way.
So there’s not much to worry about. You might have to find the right container or pitcher, store it in the refrigerator to let it get cool enough, and sip on that refreshing beverage.