how long can tea sit out

how long can tea sit out

How Long Can Tea Sit Out?

Drinking a cup of freshly brewed tea is one of life’s little luxuries, but if you don’t finish the cup, you may find yourself wondering how long it can stay out before it becomes unhealthy.

Factors to Consider

The amount of time that a cup of tea can sit out safely depends on a variety of different factors, including:

  • The temperature of the room where it’s sitting.
  • The type of tea it is (black, green, oolong, etc.)
  • Whether it has milk added.
  • Whether it has other additions (sugar, honey, etc.)

How Long Tea Can Sit Out

Assuming the temperature is relatively cool (65°F or 18°C) and the tea is plain black or green tea without milk or other additions, then the general consensus is that it is safe to drink for up to four hours. After four hours, bacteria can start to grow and the tea can become unsafe to drink.

Adding milk or other ingredients to the tea can reduce the amount of time it can sit out safely, as these can provide more food for bacteria to grow. As a general rule, it is best to consume the tea within two hours.


To conclude, a cup of tea can sit out safely for four hours if it is plain black or green tea and the temperature is cool. However, it is best to consume it within two hours, particularly if it contains milk or other ingredients, to ensure optimal safety.


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