Does iced tea go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does iced tea go bad?”, how long does iced tea last, how to store iced tea to make it last longer, and how to make iced tea. 

Does iced tea go bad?

Yes, iced tea goes bad. The sugar in iced tea limits its shelf-life. This is the reason why iced tea will only stay good for a single day in the fridge while brewed tea will last 2-3 days If stored correctly.  

Similarly, If the iced tea contains fruits or fruit juice, It will naturally have a shorter shelf-life. Because the sugar in fruit juice is prone to fermentation and spoilage.  Iced tea without sugar will stay good for 3-5 days just like the regular brew.

How long does iced tea last? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests keeping your iced tea in the fridge for no more than 8 hours. Generally, the iced tea remains safe for up to 3-4 days. But the quality degrades each passing day.

If the iced tea contains sugar or real fruit juice, you may notice some sour smell due to fermentation. To make the iced tea last longer, you should brew the tea at a minimum safe temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Hot brewed iced tea has a longer shelf-life than its cold-brewed counterpart. Because the cold brewed iced tea is never warmed to temperatures that may support the growth of microbes. 

Weather is the brewing method, make sure that you use clean, and sterilized brewing and storage containers. This will ensure that you do not introduce any bacteria along the process of browning or storing your tea. 

How to store iced tea to make it last longer? 

Store your iced tea in an air-tight container. This will prevent the tea from picking up unwanted odors and oxidizing. The temperature at which you store your iced tea is very important. The optimal temperature for the growth of most microbes is 20 ℃/68℉ or room temperature. 

Therefore, you must always keep your iced tea refrigerated. Make sure the fridge is maintained at a steady temperature of 4C or below. Because some bacteria can grow at temperatures 5 ℃/41℉ F or below. Such bacteria are called Psychrotrophic bacteria

Frequent temperature changes or exposure to warm temperatures destroy the vitamin and mineral content of the iced tea.

Storing the iced tea in the fridge only slows down the quality degradation. The fridge does not prevent the growth of microbes, it merely slows it down. 

The lid of the air-tight container used for storing iced tea should be clean and sterilized. Because condensation happens to some degree during storage. If the underside of the lid is unclean, the iced tea will quickly spoil.

Ideally, you should not store your tea while it’s hot. This prevents condensation. If your iced tea is hot brewed, let it come to room temperature before pouring it into the storage container. 

How to make the iced tea last longer? 

  1. Always store your iced tea in air-tight containers so that it does not pick up on unwanted odors. 
  1. Do not brew your iced tea with sugar in it. The sugar starts to ferment gradually no matter how you store your tea. Ideally, you should brew your tea plain and sweeten it with sugar syrup, honey dust, or male dust just before drinking.
  1. Adding plain ice cubes tends to dilute the flavor of iced tea. What you can do instead is to chill your tea with iced tea cubes.

How to make iced tea? 


  • 6 tea bags
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp runny honey, plus extra to serve
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • small bunch of mint leaves, picked
  • ice


  1. Dissolve sugar and honey in 1.5 liters of water. Then dump in the teabags. Let the tea steep for about 10 minutes. Do not over steep or you will end up with bitter tea. If you like your iced tea stronger, increase the number of tea leaves or tea bags.
  1. When the time is over, take out the tea bags and discard them. Let the brew chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  1. Before serving, stir in the lemon juice, lemon slices, orange slices, and mint leaves. Then mix in lots of ice cubes. 
  1. Fill the bottom of the tall glasses with crushed ice or ice cubes. Pour the iced tea from the top and serve with honey on the side.

Other FAQs about Tea that you may be interested in.

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In this article, we answered the question “Does iced tea go bad?”, how long does iced tea last, how to store iced tea to make it last longer, and how to make iced tea.