Once you’ve brewed iced tea, in order to maintain ideal taste, quality, and freshness, it’s important that it’s stored properly. If you’ve made iced tea for a crowd and find you have leftovers it can be saved to enjoy later.
While it’s nice to have a cold, refreshing glass of iced tea readily available, especially on a hot summer day, it’s best not to make more tea than you can consume in a reasonable amount of time. Stored properly, iced tea should remain good in the refrigerator for at least two days and up to a week, at most. Discard any tea that has turned cloudy or has an off taste or smell as it has likely begun to ferment.
Fresh Iced Tea Is Best
Let’s face it, fresh brewed iced tea is an all natural product. That’s why we love it. It’s free of the artificial preservatives that make processed, commercial, and chemical products keep for a long time. Part of enjoying iced tea is respecting that it has a short shelf life. Fresh is best.
Iced Tea Preparation Counts
If cold brewing was the preparation method, the iced tea will already be in the refrigerator. If traditional hot water steeping methods were used, allow the finished hot tea to cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator to chill. This prevents the brewed tea from clouding and serves up a clean glass of iced tea. It is not recommended to leave brewed tea at room temperature longer than eight hours.
Iced Tea Lasts Longer with the Right Container
No matter by which method the tea is brewed, make sure that a clean dispenser or pitcher is used. When storing iced tea, a glass vessel is preferable to preserve optimal taste. Many types of plastic can absorb and transfer flavors. Ideally, use a container with a tight fitting lid to reduce the amount of oxygen the tea is exposed to. Exposed teas can oxidize resulting in flavor changes and reduced freshness.
Before Iced Tea Turns, Re-purpose
If you’ve honestly made more tea than you can truly drink, don’t let it go to waste. Simply pour it into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Once the cubes are frozen solid, they can be removed from the ice cube trays and placed in freezer bags. These frozen tea cubes are perfect for adding to a smoothie in place of plain ice.