How Long Does Brewed Tea Last? Answer Explained


You may have brewed the most delicious tea but have you wondered how long does brewed tea last

Keeping brewed tea out for too long may cause a list of health problems. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In general, tea that’s brewed stays fresh for a day when you keep it at room temperature and about 4 days when you refrigerate it. This quite depends on if you are having a cold-brewed or hot brewed tea. Moreover, unbrewed tea doesn’t expire but only loses its flavor and aroma as time goes by. 

If that interested you, we’ve a whole arsenal of tips in store for you. Let’s get going-

For How Long You Can Store Brewed Tea? 

Made a few extra cups of tea for your guests only for them to cancel without notice? 

It happens! Also Many of us make tea only to forget about it or leave it in the pot.  

Now if you’ve ever left a cup of tea outside for too long and tried drinking it later, you have an idea that tea gets bad pretty fast. So does that mean you need to throw it away altogether? 

Absolutely not! Doing certain things will definitely keep your tea fresh for long. Let’s look at what makes a difference in the longevity of tea.

Factors that affect durability of your tea

There are two things that really make a difference when it comes to how long your tea remains fresh. These are as follows:


If you love drinking your tea with loads of added milk and sugar, bad news! Such kind of tea preparations are more likely to lose it’s taste and flavor.  

For those of you who love plain black tea, this kind stays fresh the longest. Any additives such as fruit juice, sugar, and cream don’t stay fresh for too long as bacteria feed on them.


Now, this one’s pretty basic. If you leave your tea in a warm humid climate, it’s bound to get spoiled. A warm temperature helps in the breakdown of the complex sugars in tea. 

So store leftover tea in the fridge and it’ll stay fresh for at least 4-5 days.  

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try popping some directly into the freezer. This will stay edible for months. 

Now let’s look at some common queries that may come to your mind.

Making Brewed Tea Last Longer

How Long Does Fresh Brewed Iced Tea Last?

Now if you whipped up some delicious ice tea, you may have a doubt on how long it will stay fresh. 

Since it’s not a hot drink, it’s generally a bit more forgiving. So keep it on your table for half a day. However, do cover it with a lid so that no dirt falls in. 

If you want to pop it in the fridge, you can store it for around 3-4 days before the sugar starts breaking down.

How long does cold-brewed tea stay fresh? 

Tea that’s cold brewed is a trend that took the tea world by storm! Traditionally. Ice tea used to be made by just chilling normal tea. 

But this often gives a strong bitter flavor. Instead, using cold water to brew the tea gives ice tea a lovely fresh taste. 

Cold-brewed tea stays fresh for about two weeks if you refrigerate it properly. Ensure to cover the container with a plastic sheet so that it doesn’t smell of the chicken you cooked.

How Long Does Unbrewed Loose Leaf Tea Last?

It’s surprising that they don’t expire!

Only the flavor of the tea diminishes with time. Now the maximum time that tea stays fresh quite relies on which kind of tea you’re taking. 

Black loose leaf tea can be stored for about a couple of years till it starts giving away it’s freshness. With green leaf tea, this time is cut by half.

How long does brewed green tea last?

Just like green tea has a lower shelf life than black, the same goes for the brewed versions.

If you have leftover brewed green tea, it’s best that you don’t refrigerate it for more than 2-3 days. Also, the properties of tea decrease the longer you keep it.

So just enjoy it fresh.

Making Brewed Tea Last Longer

Did you know that the Chinese would call leftover tea equivalent to “poison”? Although that’s pretty intense, you can keep brewed tea fresh with modern technology. 

After all, there’s no shame in being lazy once a while. So enjoy these tips that we’ve collected.

Now you’ll be able to save your golden liquid a little while longer without worrying that it’ll go bad. 

Option 1: Prolonging Brewed Tea Lifespan With Refrigerator

As we previously mentioned, one of the most obvious ways you can store your brewed tea is to refrigerate it.

The cool temperature slows down the rotting process and you can enjoy drinking a yummy cup of tea, without the hassle of making a fresh batch. 

If you ever find yourself questioning how long you can keep tea, we have the answer below.

How Long Does Brewed Tea Last In The Fridge?

Now there are many variations of tea out there. Just like these teas taste different, they also have a different shelf life before they go bad.  

As a rule of thumb, it’s best that you don’t store any tea for more than a week in the refrigerator. Even if it’s drinkable, you won’t be reaping any benefits from it. 

Moreover, starting a new day with old tea just doesn’t seem right.

Option 2: Prolonging Brewed Tea Lifespan Without Refrigerator

If popping the pot in the fridge just isn’t your thing, we have some alternative options for you.

Whether you don’t have a fridge, or just don’t believe in artificial life, we have a solution. 

Although tea spoils fast unless you cool it, it’s always advised to store it at ambient temperature. Just ensure that the cup is airtight. This won’t allow air to breakdown the enzymes present. 

How Long can you store brewed tea at room temperature?

Now although we’d like to give you a universal answer for this, it’s not that easy. 

You see, a person residing in a warm humid climate might observe their tea getting bad in a few hours. But, a person residing in a cold country will be able to store it for more than 48 hours. 

Brewed tea lasts at regular room temperature for a day at max. Try pushing this limit and you’ll risk drinking some bad stuff that may give you a tummy ache. 

So maximum keep it in the fridge for 24 hours after making it airtight. Or else, you may risk it spoiling even faster. 

Storing Brewed Tea in The Right Ways for Better Durability?

Now whether you store the drink in the refrigerator or in your room, there are some factors that will elevate your tea game to a new level. 

With the help of these tips, you’ll be able to amp up the quality and taste of your tea! Simple tricks like the container or keeping it airtight actually goes a long way.

Tea Bag storage container

Tea Bag storage container 

It’s best that you store tea bags in steel airtight containers. Ensure to store it in a shady and cold place.

You see, tea leaves like a consistent temperature. So if you keep them near your stove where it gets too hot, you’ll compromise on the shelf life of the tea.  

Moreover, make sure that you store the tea away from moisture. This could also make your tea bags smell moldy.

Dealing with Brewed Tea That Has Gone Bad

Now no matter how careful you are, you’re bound to come across some bad tea. 

Whether you forgot to pop it in the fridge or you simply left it out for too long, life happens. 

But before you throw it out, are you sure that it has gone bad? If not, we’re here to help.

Understanding If Brewed Tea Has Gone Bad or Not

You’ll know when your tea has gone bad just by the smell and taste of it. 

So knowing when your tea has gone bad, and when it just tastes a little bland is quite important. 

After all, you don’t want to end up with diarrhea, just because you didn’t want to make a fresh cup of tea.

What are the signs of rotten tea? 

You’ll clearly notice that your tea is rotten. The first telltale sign is a formation of mold on the top of your tea. 

Moreover, the consistency of the tea will change. The tea colour will also turn lighter.

The Taste Factor 

The taste of the tea will turn pungent and acidic when it gets spoilt. If you taste this, know that your tea is not safe for drinking!

So don’t force it down, instead throw out the tea and make a fresh cup.

But if your tea tastes fine, then it’s okay even if you stored it for a few days. 

The Presence of Bacteria 

Like any other food, tea going bad means the bacteria started to break it down. If you consume it, this bacteria can have troublesome effects on your health and cause stomach problems.

Moreover, it could also lead to some major and permanent health problems too! 

So don’t take the risk and discard your tea once you know it’s gone bad.

Do tea leaves go bad?

Now we know how to identify if your brewed tea has gone bad. But what about tea leaves? 

Do they rot too? What are some telltale signs that your tea leaves have rotten?

No, tea leaves don’t really have an expiration date. Instead, they have a shelf life of 1-2 years. If you drink it within this time, you’ll enjoy the best taste and aroma.

After this, the tea leaves lose their fragrance and turn really bland. Moreover, it’s health benefits are also compromised.


Question: How harmful is it to make tea out of expired tea bags? 

Answer: It’s not harmful at all. Tea leaves don’t expire. Instead, the tea will just taste bland and have no fragrance. Moreover, you won’t enjoy any health benefits from drinking this tea. So it’s best you don’t store it for too long.

Question: Does herbal tea expire? Why or why not? 

Answer: No. Just like regular teas, herbal teas don’t have an expiration date. If you store them for more than 1-2 years, they will slowly lose their flavor and scent. However, some types of tea like white tea actually get better with age.

Question: Is it safe to leave tea out to steep all night long?

Answer: If you want to cold brew your tea overnight, it’s completely safe and will save you some time. But, if you let hot tea steep all night, you may end up with a bitter-tasting final result.

Question: Can expired tea make you sick?

Answer: If it’s the tea leaves that have expired, it won’t harm your health at all. In fact, some types of tea will taste better the longer you keep it. But if it’s the tea that has gone spoilt, it may have harmful effects on your body.

Question: Can You Get Food Poisoning From Tea? 

Answer: If you store your tea improperly, it may get infected with bacteria such as coliform. If you drink this tea, you may get food poisoning if you have a sensitive stomach, to begin with.

Question: How to store loose leaf tea?

Answer: Loose leaf tea should be stored in a steel container which is airtight. This should be kept in a cool dry place. Make sure that it’s not humid, or else the tea leaves will get spoiled faster. This way, you can extend the shelf life of your tea leaves and ensure that the flavor remains intact.

Parting Words

That’s about it from us. You might have got a clear picture of how long does brewed tea last

If you have any more lingering doubts or queries, let’s connect in the comment section right below the post. 

Also, if we’ve missed any tip that has helped you, do share your pearls of wisdom with us. Until then, stay happy and drink tea! To read more like this article you follow our blog section


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