How Long Does Sweet Tea Last In The Fridge?

How Long Does Sweet Tea Last In The Fridge?

If there is one thing we love about summer, it’s that there are some drinks we particularly enjoy during this time of the year. With the raging heat, we must take drinks that help us beat the heat from time to time. Sweet tea is one of our favorite summer drinks; you can attest that this delicious beverage is the favorite of many other people.

Sweet tea is a drink that is the combination of brewed tea leaves, sugar, and water. You can attribute the sweet taste of the tea to the high content of the sugar and tea present there. It is not uncommon to find a variation of the basic sweet tea, such as an added combination of lemon, orange juice lime, etc.

We know a lot of you are aware of what sweet tea is and how it is made, however, have you ever wondered just how long your favorite sweet tea can last in the fridge? We’ve wondered too, and we did some research. Here is what we found out.

Sweet tea can last for about 8 hours open in the fridge, however, it can last for up to 5 days in the fridge when it is properly closed. It can also last in the freezer for up to 6 months, as long as it is kept frozen. 

Why Does Sweet Tea Go Bad?

As earlier stated, sweet tea is made when you combine brewed tea, water, and sugar.

We can say the high level of sugar in the tea is what makes it sweet, it is also what makes it go bad earlier than usual or when compared to other tea or cold beverages.

The presence of sugar attracts bacteria into the tea and they make the sweet taste sour. If your sweet tea contains fruit juice, the juice (fruit) present in it also contributes to why your sweet tea will go bad easily.

How To Know If Sweet Tea Is Expired?

If you saved your sweet tea for a later time and now that you’re ready to take it, you are unsure of the state of your sweet tea, here is how to identify your expired sweet tea.

  1. The first thing you should do is pour the drink into another container and look through it in bright light. if you notice cloudiness or some particles at the bottom, then your sweet tea is probably bad and should not be consumed.
  1. Another way to spot expired sweet tea is to perceive it. if your sweet tea suddenly becomes odorless and does not give any fizzing sound, then we suggest you dispose of it and it is no longer safe for your consumption.
  1. We also advise that to determine if your sweet tea is expired, you give yourself a tiny sip. If your sweet tea is bitter or sour, then it is surely expired and should be discarded. The presence of too much acidity signifies spoilage.
  1. Other signs of expired sweet tea include a change in color and texture, mold growth, etc.
Delicious sweet tea and iced tea in a rustic Atlanta cafe
Image: Envato Elements

How Long Does It Take For Sweet Tea To Go Bad?

Unopened sweet tea has a better chance of staying good for a long time, than your opened sweet tea.

On average, if you keep your unopened and sealed sweet tea at room temperature, it can last for up to 18 to 24 months. Commonly, the taste of your sweet tea begins to change between the 18th and 24th months, if it is left at room temperature.

However, if your sweet tea is opened, it has a limited chance of surviving without bacteria. It is advised that you consume your sweet tea within either hour of its opening.

Does Sweet Tea Go Bad When Not Refrigerated?

Most times, sweet tea is rather kept in the refrigerator, than at room temperature. This is because sweet tea is a beverage that is best taken cold due to the time of the year.

However, this does not negate the probability that it can be left at room temperature. Sweet tea can last at room temperature for less than 8 hours alone.

Leaving it beyond 8 hours will give room for bacteria to come live in it and it will get spoilt.

The Best Way To Store Sweet Tea

The best way to store sweet tea is to have them in the refrigerator, this will help preserve and keep them cold for a long time. if you do not intend to consume your sweet tea for 2 weeks or more, it is recommended that you keep it in the freezer.

If you are not at home and do not have access to a fridge, we advise that you pour your sweet tea into a pre-chilled thermos.

Ensure your thermos has been chilled with ice water for about an hour before you turn your sweet tea in.

Whatever you do, ensure you do not expose your sweet tea to the sun or place it in a hot place for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Drinking Expired Sweet Tea Make You Sick?

Yes, expired tea can make you sick. If you consume expired sweet tea, you may experience stomach pain and other problems. The bacteria in expired sweet tea will grow and become coliform bacteria, this can lead to you experiencing diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Why Is My Sweet Tea Slimy?

Slimy sweet tea may not be a cause for alarm, however, it should serve as a warning sign to you that your sweet tea is on its way to becoming worse. However, if it becomes slimy, then the bacteria is growing very fast, hence it is advised that you do not consume the sweet tea. Often time, being slimy comes with a sour taste and when that is noticed, the tea should be disposed of.

Why Is My Sweet Tea Cloudy?

If your sweet tea is cloudy, there is no need for you to fear. This is often a result of the reaction between the caffeine and tannins in the tea; it is a normal occurrence when your tea is stored in the fridge. Your tea is fine if it is less than 8 hours after you stored it in the fridge.

Final Thoughts

Sweet tea can be kept in the fridge for as long as 8 hours, when not covered, and 5 days when properly covered. Your sweet tea will get expired on time, due to what is in the tea i.e., sugar, fruits, etc.

It is important that if you do not intend to consume your tea anytime soon, you keep it in the freezer and this can preserve it for a longer time.

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