Tea reheated 1Tea is a widely consumed drink across the globe. Rising demand for tea has been widely observed across the world. With increasing consumption, comes the questions of safety and hygiene. Many times people often forget about the cup of tea they just brewed. This gives rise to a dilemma about what actually to do with the tea. Should it be discarded, or can it still be consumed? 

Can tea be reheated?  Yes, tea can be reheated. It is believed that tea remains in perfect condition for a maximum of four hours in room temperature, and from eight to sixteen hours under refrigeration. However, the flavors and essence of the tea might reduce considerably, and the nutrient value diminishes as well. 

When you make a big batch of your favorite tea for yourself and your loved ones, most of the times, the requirement is significantly overestimated. This unavoidably results in wastage. The dilemma follows. What to do with this remaining quantity? How do you discard away from your favorite cup of tea? Not to mention the monetary factor after spending dollars for your favorite beverage. Well, can you reheat and use it again? 

Like any other beverage, the first thought that comes into mind is what to do with the remaining beverage. Will reheating be an issue? Reheating tea is a bit tricky job. The question can be answered differently depending upon various conditions. In general, reheating tea is mostly safe. However, lots of terms determine if you can proceed with the idea of it.

Tea leaves are dry herbs. That is, tea leaves if stored in proper storage conditions; tea leaves can technically not go stale for years. However, this does not necessarily mean you should be completely free of worries. Tea leaves are prone to damage in moisty conditions. Any little moisture content can destroy the tea leaves entirely and leave it useless. Moisture promotes the growth of mold (a type of fungus) which can permanently damage the tea leaves.

This definitely should not come as a surprise that tea is prone to damage. Tea is, in fact, nothing but an infusion of tea leaves into the water, which is prone to damage. Yes, this does sound devastating. However, there’s a catch. If brewed tea is appropriately stored, maintaining adequate precautions, you can surely store the drink for later.  

The reusability of tea depends upon the storage techniques. If stored properly, tea can be reheated and enjoyed later!

How To Store Tea?

Tea reheated 3Storing the brewed tea plays the most crucial role in determining whether tea can be reheated. The brewed tea generally remains good for eight to twelve hours before brewing it. If the tea is left in room temperature beyond that safe period, chances of damage increase significantly. 

Storing tea effectively is a vital task. Specific steps can ensure a longer shelf life of brewed tea.

I. Do not add sugar while brewing a big batch of tea. Adding sugar can speed up the process of mold formation. Sugar is quickly acted upon by microorganisms in the atmosphere or even in the water used for brewing. This helps in fungal growth and mold formation. To avoid this condition, try to brew the tea without adding sugar.

Tip: If you enjoy your cup of tea with sugar, you can try adding a teaspoon or two in your cup while serving it. This lets you choose the amount you want to add besides being useful for preserving your tea for a longer duration. You can also add other sweetening agents if you are calorie conscious!

II. Do not add milk while brewing your tea. Adding milk promotes the growth of undesirable organisms in your tea. Fungal or bacterial infestations become frequent and more evident with added milk in the drink. If you enjoy a cup of milk tea, try adding milk before serving your cup.

III. Avoid adding fruits in your blended tea. If you enjoy consuming blended tea with flowers and fruits added to it, try not keeping it for longer duration. Fruits added in your tea can quickly degrade, causing your entire drink to be unusable. If you want to brew blended tea, use proper approximations.

IV. Refrigerate the unused beverage. Once you are done with consuming the beverage as much as possible, try transferring the remaining tea into a refrigerator. Cold temperature demotes the growth of microorganisms. The longer you sit out the tea, the higher the chances of it being unfit for further consumption. Refrigeration will increase shelf life to a great extent.

V. Avoid humidity and moist surroundings. The brewed tea must at all cost be kept away from wet surroundings. The moisture in the surrounding will spoil the drink readily and render it technically useless. Tea should be kept in a clean container away from direct sunlight and moisture.

VI. Use a lid. Cover the tea contents using a lid and cut off the exposure with direct surroundings. The top will not only protect the tea but also keep it warm and fresh for a longer duration. Use a clean lid over the container in which you prefer keeping your batch of tea.

These steps will ensure your remaining batch of tea remains usable for longer duration. If the tea is not physically damaged, you can reheat and enjoy your tea.

How To Know If The Tea Is Still Usable?

Tea reheated 2There is no basic thumb rule which tells if your tea is still fit for consumption. However, if the tea seems drinkable, and no physical damage is observed with your eyes; it is possibly fine for you to reheat and enjoy the tea. 

It is relatively easy to spot physical damages in tea. The tea will look murky or cloudy. The tea might also look darker than usual. Check for white spots. These can be the first form of mold starting to grow around your beverage. Avoid consuming the drink if you find any reddish or whitish spot. 

If the tea is mixed with milk, the milk solidifies and forms a whitish crust. Avoid this condition at any cost. This can cause severe stomach upsets. Milk tea can hardly last for an hour or two in average room temperature. It is always advisable to consume the tea within that time frame. To keep it warm for a longer time, use thermos flasks.

Often you can also find the presence of a rainbow-colored film over your cup of tea. This is usually oil scattering light into rainbow colors with the phenomenon of thin-film diffraction. This phenomenon splits white light into component colors giving rise to the rainbow color. This color, however, is not the sign of complete damage of the tea. Your tea is probably still consumable.

Taking a sip of the drink is the other obvious option. You can take a small sip from the tea and check for any foul taste or odor. The tea after it cools down is naturally supposed to taste insipid and bland. But if it smells of something unusual, or it feels odd, immediately discard it. Personally speaking, this method of checking is not recommended beyond two to three hours of letting it sit out in the open. 

So, finally, can tea be reheated? Keeping the above things in mind, it is safe to assume that tea is reheatable and reusable for some time. Temperature and added ingredients play the most vital role in deciding if you should go for consuming it beyond the sustained period of four hours. 

Tea is supposed to remain intact for four hours in room temperature and at least eight hours in the refrigerator. With proper refrigeration, your batch of tea is surely consumable beyond that period. In any condition, you can reheat this tea and enjoy your beverage once again!

Having said that, you should know that the tea will not taste as good as it should. Tea loses its natural flavor and aroma with passing time. Once cooled, you can never really get it back. Expect your tea to taste bit bland or tasteless. The fruity notes and the sweet aroma of a freshly brewed cup of tea is unparalleled anyway. Regular tea drinkers will always know the difference among those.

Tea is also believed to lose its nutrients to a great extent. Nutrients in tea are mostly volatile. Reheating tea will cause specific nutrient values to degrade over time, and the drink will not be as beneficial as it is believed to be.

Therefore, tea can be reheated and enjoyed later if it is stored efficiently. The time brackets must be strictly followed to ensure no harm comes into the body from consuming stale tea. The flavor and essence, however, will not remain as good as it is supposed to. 

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