How Long Does Homemade Iced Tea Last?
Iced tea can be a delicious and refreshing treat on a hot day. Making homemade iced tea is easy, and it can be a great way to save money. So how long can you enjoy your homemade iced tea before it starts to go bad?
Shelf-Stable vs. Refrigerator Iced Tea
There are two types of homemade iced tea: shelf-stable and refrigerator iced tea. The shelf-stable variety is made by pouring hot tea into a mason jar or other container with a lid. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, it can be stored on the counter or in a pantry.
Refrigerator iced tea is brewed like traditional hot tea, then cooled and placed in the refrigerator. This kind of tea is the best for enjoying poured over ice or for serving with a meal.
How Long Does Iced Tea Last?
Shelf-stable iced tea should be used within 2-3 weeks for the best flavor. Refrigerated iced tea can last for up to a week before degrading in flavor.
Tips for Maximum Freshness
If you want to make your homemade iced tea last longer, there are a few things you can do:
- Brew your tea with more tea leaves and larger pieces of herbs such as mint or sage.
- Store your iced tea in the refrigerator, and make sure it’s kept in a sealed container.
- When making shelf-stable tea, fill your container with cold tea, not hot. Hot tea can spoil more quickly.
- Remove any fruits or vegetables from the tea before storing it.
- Add natural preservatives such as honey, lemon juice, or alcohol. Just remember that adding these ingredients will also change the flavor and alcohol content of your tea.
Making homemade iced tea is easy, and you can keep it fresh for several weeks with a few easy tips. Whether you’re brewing it for yourself or for a dinner party, a few guidelines will help ensure your iced tea remains fresh and flavorful.