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Quick, does iced tea go bad?


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#1 OhElizabeth

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 03:54 PM

I have this iced tea, wonderful peach stuff, that I made for a party 3 weeks ago, and need to know if it's ok to serve to guests tonight or if that's bad. What do you think? I made it for the party using lipton and peach tea bags and have this whole gallon, untouched, leftover. Would it be ok now?

Ok, I'll fess up. I was just gonna make a new batch, and I only have *2* lipton tea bags, not the requisite 3. So if I can't use this gallon, I need another strategy! Ack!

#2 chanda7

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 03:57 PM

I'm guessing it would be bad, especially if you added sugar to it. Can you cut the recipe to 2/3?

#3 Pamela H in Texas

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:01 PM

It's probably bad. We can't get tea to last 3 days here. If it's not in the fridge, it won't last a full day! Drives me batty as I never remember that being the case before 2 years ago. Maybe we drank tea faster and didn't realize it would go bad so fast before?

#4 Dirtroad

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:01 PM

yes, we are lucky to get 1 week out of a gallon of tea

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:03 PM

I have this iced tea, wonderful peach stuff, that I made for a party 3 weeks ago, and need to know if it's ok to serve to guests tonight or if that's bad. What do you think? I made it for the party using lipton and peach tea bags and have this whole gallon, untouched, leftover. Would it be ok now?

Ok, I'll fess up. I was just gonna make a new batch, and I only have *2* lipton tea bags, not the requisite 3. So if I can't use this gallon, I need another strategy! Ack!


Yes, definitely too risky, even if it was in the fridge. If you have any raspberry tea bags, you could use one with your two peach. Raspberry Peach is my favorite combo. :001_smile:

#6 ereks mom

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:10 PM

:001_huh:

#7 TraceyS/FL

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:13 PM

I can tell a taste difference and it's blah after a day and a half - 2 if i'm drinking slow... i'd rather just dump it out.

SOOO, i'd dump it. Can you just steep the bags longer? I never use as many as they call for....

#8 KidsHappen

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 04:16 PM

Yes, it does and it sounds like yours is about three weeks past expiration date. IMO tea goes bad after about 48 hours, much less if it is not in the fridge.

#9 gardening momma

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 05:24 PM

I agree that it's probably bad. I don't know how long it'll take to go bad in the fridge, but I got soooo sick one summer after drinking tea that was left out. My mom made "sun tea" and never refrigerated it. I never thought about it, since she had always made sun tea when I was a kid and no one had a problem.

#10 mommaduck

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 05:28 PM

You've had tea in the fridge for 3 weeks?! Uhm, yeah, it's soured, bittered, and not to be served. Sorry if I seem a bit surprised; I've never heard of tea being kept for that long.

Life-long Southern Tea Drinker :) I have to make 3 gallons at a time and place 2 of them in the freezer to cool...tea goes that quickly around here. I'm lucky to get a cup a gallon unless I put a "reserve for mama" sign on a pitcher!

#11 rafiki

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 06:08 PM

.

#12 melhouse

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 06:51 PM

Unsweetened tea goes bad nearly as quickly as sweet. I don't like tea that's older than two days - even in the refrigerator.

The peach/raspberry sounds like a good idea.

#13 OhElizabeth

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 08:05 PM

Well dh had it on the table before I even had a chance to check it. He said it was ok, and the guests didn't say anything... But I think next time I'll make it fresh! :(

#14 Guest_Katia_*

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:03 AM

Unsweetened tea goes bad nearly as quickly as sweet. I don't like tea that's older than two days - even in the refrigerator.

The peach/raspberry sounds like a good idea.


Please explain to me why this is so? I just don't understand. Tea is just.....leaves. An herb that is diffused in water. What is there in tea to spoil or go bad? (I'm asking about unsweetened tea here, as I can understand that adding sugar to it would make it go bad)

I set a gallon of water with three tea bags in it outside in the sun to brew for three or four hours. Then we put it in the frig to cool and it can go fast (like two days around here) or it can stay for a week or so. We still drink it.

If we notice the tea congealing on the bottom of the jar, we toss it and make more. But...I've done this since the early 1970's with no problems, so I really don't get how or why tea would be considered bad after 48 hours in the frig and I'd really like to know why.

#15 mommaduck

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:18 AM

It goes stale. Tea can become bitter rather quickly. If you've been doing this for so long, you may have become accustomed to the taste and differences that others may notice.

#16 TraceyS/FL

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 06:24 AM

f we notice the tea congealing on the bottom of the jar, we toss it and make more. But...I've done this since the early 1970's with no problems, so I really don't get how or why tea would be considered bad after 48 hours in the frig and I'd really like to know why.


It goes stale. Tea can become bitter rather quickly. If you've been doing this for so long, you may have become accustomed to the taste and differences that others may notice.


I notice the taste change - it goes bitter. Same as when i'm out i can tell if someone is serving old tea or yesterdays.

It just depends on your tastes.... i make myself normally finish what i make, but like today, if i don't finish the jug by noon, i'll end up tossing it tomorrow morning because it will be gross! :tongue_smilie:

#17 melhouse

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:31 AM

Please explain to me why this is so? I just don't understand. Tea is just.....leaves. An herb that is diffused in water. What is there in tea to spoil or go bad? (I'm asking about unsweetened tea here, as I can understand that adding sugar to it would make it go bad)

I set a gallon of water with three tea bags in it outside in the sun to brew for three or four hours. Then we put it in the frig to cool and it can go fast (like two days around here) or it can stay for a week or so. We still drink it.

If we notice the tea congealing on the bottom of the jar, we toss it and make more. But...I've done this since the early 1970's with no problems, so I really don't get how or why tea would be considered bad after 48 hours in the frig and I'd really like to know why.


I don't know why - chemistry is not my thing. It becomes fermented - a sour taste. I used to think it would only be sweet tea, too, but I started making unsweetened tea to cut down on sugar, and I found it would spoil, too. I am southern, and sweet tea has always been a staple in our home growing up - although I don't keep it at home now - trying to cut down on sugar and caffeine. While I was cutting back, I would order tea at Chick-fil-A, for instance, mixed half sweet, half unsweet. I had to quit doing it because the tea tasted spoiled. I could smell it when I'd bring it to my mouth. Perhaps, I am a super-taster when it comes to tea,:D

#18 MomLovesClassics

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:39 AM

every day!

Same here! I like it fresh daily, I do not like leftover tea at all.

#19 gardening momma

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:40 PM

Tea is just.....leaves. An herb that is diffused in water. What is there in tea to spoil or go bad?

Tea is leaves. Leaves decompose. That's how it can go bad. A lot of what we eat is plant matter, and it can spoil. As far as it going bad in 48 hrs vs. a week in the fridge, I wouldn't know about that. I just know, from my own experience, that when it was left out for hours and hours (especially over a period of days), I got very sick.

#20 fivetails

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:57 PM

I set a gallon of water with three tea bags in it outside in the sun to brew for three or four hours.


:001_huh:

This whole thread has me half lost. What I know as "Iced Tea" is powdered stuff that you mix with cold water..evidently you guys are talking about something made with REAL tea. (Which I would never like LOL - I hate tea. Blech! I do like iced tea though, as long as it's not watery. I usually end up using double the spoonfuls called for on the container)

Anyway - I wouldn't drink *anything* that had been sitting (unsealed) in the fridge for three weeks. Even if it wasn't "bad", it would prolly have fridgeflavour.

#21 Amy loves Bud

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:59 PM

Yes, it will go bad. A good friend had a major allergic reaction to tea they left in the fridge at their lakehouse from the previous week. Probably had fungus in it they couldn't yet see. It was scary.

Just make some new stuff. You'll rest easier.

#22 Dobela

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 12:13 PM

I don't know why - chemistry is not my thing. It becomes fermented - a sour taste. I used to think it would only be sweet tea, too, but I started making unsweetened tea to cut down on sugar, and I found it would spoil, too. I am southern, and sweet tea has always been a staple in our home growing up - although I don't keep it at home now - trying to cut down on sugar and caffeine. While I was cutting back, I would order tea at Chick-fil-A, for instance, mixed half sweet, half unsweet. I had to quit doing it because the tea tasted spoiled. I could smell it when I'd bring it to my mouth. Perhaps, I am a super-taster when it comes to tea,:D

I rarely order tea in restaurants now. It seems that the ones who actually take the time to brew tea with leaves and hot water use hot water that is run thru the coffee makers first to make it hot. Coffee flavored tea is nasty. Other restaurants now are using these concentrates of tea and I think they taste just as bad.

#23 KidsHappen

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 03:48 PM

It is probably bad by now! :tongue_smilie:


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