Can you reheat tea? You know sometimes, it’s really easy to forget about your delicious cup of tea, maybe something has come up or you’ve been distracted, be other things, it’s happened to us all at some point. Now you might agree that most people frown at the idea of reheating tea.
Reheating your tea can be very advantageous in some ways, like, how it could save you some extra cash, or how it could keep your carbon output in check.
However, what most people are afraid of is whether it is safe or not to drink reheated tea. In addition to all this, the question is Can you or should you reheat tea?
Can You Reheat Tea?
Yes, you can! “but” by reheating tea, it loses its aroma, flavor, and other nutritional qualities you get from your tea.
However, it’s strongly recommended against reheating tea that has been left on the side for over 8 hours.
This is because it is likely that mold and bacteria has started growing in the tea. This bacteria growth can be even worse if you previously added milk or sugar.
But, if you want to know if it is possible to reheat your tea, then you should pay more attention to what happens to your cup of tea if you do leave it unattended.
What Happens When You Reheat Tea?
Even if you know that reheating your tea can save money, there are still those drawbacks that come along with you reheating your tea.
Now, it really doesn’t matter what kind of tea you plan on reheating, whether it’s an herbal tea, a fruity tea, or even a medicinal tea.
“Reheating any tea will definitely cause it to lose its medicinal properties, and take away its aroma or even cause it to lose its flavor”
You should also know that some of the chemical compounds you find in tea are prone to vaporization when they are subjected to extreme heat temperatures.
The only reason why these compounds vaporize easily is that they are highly volatile. You May think that once you were preparing the tea, the compounds would still be intact, but they aren’t.
Preparing that tea at that initial time caused it to lose its chemicals. So, by reheating the tea it loses those chemicals even more.
“A good example of these chemicals found in tea are essential oils”
Essential oils are those chemicals that gives the tea its unique aroma. So, once you reheat this tea, these oils will vaporize and you will lose its unique aroma.
Aside from essential oils, there are also some chemical compounds like herbs and other essential elements that are also susceptible to heat.
Once you reheat or prepare your tea in the first place, those labile herbs and chemicals are also lost to the heat.
Now, we know that there are a lot of data available, and all of which pertain to what exactly happens when our tea is reheated or what happens when we leave it bare.
However, there is still a need for more research to be carried out to further clarify this.
Does It Taste Good When You Reheat Tea?
Most people who love tea and who enjoy drinking it will always say that it is best to drink your tea while it’s hot.
“Allowing your tea to get cold after making it, will cause it to lose its nutrients and flavor”
Although it does not mean that you can no longer drink the tea, it just means that it won’t be able to taste as good as when you drink it hot.
Some of its flavors will be long gone, taking away the whole “tea drinking” experience. If you must drink cold tea, allow it to sit in for like 10 to 15 minutes is okay.
Where most people would frown against drinking cold tea is when the tea has been left on the side for about four to eight hours at room temperature.
The idea of drinking tea that been left for so long is just plain ridiculous.
“Leaving your tea exposed for about one or two hours gives it enough time to start accumulating bacteria”
Remember, this growth is even worse when you add sugar or milk to your tea.
Can Brewed Tea Go Bad?
The answer to this question is yes. That a cup of brewed tea will eventually go bad. When this happens the tea will appear murky and the taste will just be off-balance.
If you have brewed your tea under room temperature, then it’s best to drink it immediately or perhaps 30 minutes after brewing.
Once you have made your tea and then you get distracted or something came up and you are not able to drink it, then you can put your tea in a fridge.
“However, storing your tea in a fridge does not mean that it will still be as fresh as it was when freshly brewed”
Now as far back as the year 1996, the American center for disease control and prevention, (CDC) stated that tea should not be kept in a refrigerator for more than 8 hours.
However, tea that is properly stored in an airtight container that is clean and then kept in a refrigerator can actually last a lot longer than 8 hours before going bad.
There have been some claims that if you store tea in such manner, it can last up to 48 hours in a refrigerator, or sometimes up to 2 weeks.
“With that being said, this is not good practice or proper hygiene as drinking such tea is not good for your health”
Do your best to avoid this if possible under any circumstances!
As before, if you have already added any additives to your tea like sugar, cream, fruit, or any other sweetener to your tea, your tea will go bad a lot faster and much sooner than you expect.
If you have essential oils, herbs, and other volatile chemicals in your tea, then the spoiling process can be much worse for you if temperatures are very high during that period, especially during the summer.
Signs That Your Tea Has Gone Bad
The most common way, and the easiest way to know a tea that has gone bad is to look at it. This is usually done, using a glass container.
The first thing that you should look out for is mold. Sometimes, mold often signifies the presence of bacteria in your tea, and once noticed that tea is no good.
Although, if there is no mold, then you are one very lucky person. The tea might still be good for drinking.
Apart from mold, if you still are not sure that your tea is good and you want to confirm it, then check for the color of the tea.
“Most tea that has gone bad will often have a dark color and it will come out as murky or cloudy”
This cloudy presence also comes along with crusts especially if you added milk to the tea.
These two ways are clear signs that your tea has gone bad.
We’ve talked about several ways to know if the tea has gone bad, including looking out for mold and looking out for the color…
“But” if you just feel like all of these things are too much of a bother, then, it’s best just to dispose of the old tea and make yourself a fresh batch.
What Happens When You Reheat Tea With Milk?
Now, if you have made your tea that has milk, but you have forgotten about it maybe because you had something to do, but now you are back and you’ve noticed that your tea has gone cold.
So, you ask yourself, what should I do?
Well, what you shouldn’t do is consume that tea right there and then. It’s just doesn’t make sense to do that because the taste will be off.
The first thing you should consider when this happens is the time-lapse in which you left your tea unattended to.
Has it been 15 minutes or is it 30 minutes?
Has it been more than an hour or up to 8 hours now, since you made this tea? If it was 10 to 15 minutes ago, then you should be ok to reheat the tea, but no longer.
Although, most health departments stated that after a few hours have gone by, the tea is no longer safe for consumption because the entire tea could be filled with bacteria and other pathogens that can damage your health. Plus the tea will taste awful.
If you still look carefully, you will observe that the milk in the tea has gone bad already, especially if you are used to using pasteurized milk already.
“There will be noticeable differences between the taste and smell of both good and bad milk”
In fact, it’s even worse when you drink old tea with milk in it. So, once you tea that has milk in it is more than 15 minutes old, you should just make a new one and drink that instead.
Besides, it’s safer and it will taste a whole lot better.
Can You Reheat Tea The Next Day?
As mentioned, if your cup of tea is more than an hour old, then it is no longer safe to drink it, especially if it’s been left overnight.
“Just imagine how bad the tea will be when you leave it overnight”
Obviously, drinking such tea will cause you a lot of health problems, and it is even worse if you have previously added milk or sugar to the mix.
Leaving such tea overnight is more than to time for the tea to spoil and go seriously bad. It will usually have a nasty appearance that just screams “stay away”.
Meanwhile, if you had previously kept the tea in a fridge, and in an airtight container, a through the night, then the tea might still be good enough to drink. But know that the taste might be a little bitter and bland.
Can You Reheat Sweetened Tea?
If you have previously made yourself a nice cup of sweetened tea and you left it untouched for a while at room temperature, drinking that tea is a no-no.
It really is a bad idea to drink such tea.
This is because sweetened tea contains high amounts of sugar, and is the ideal food source that bacteria needs to thrive, causing it to ferment over time.
“If you want to avoid disposing of your tea, then you should keep it in a refrigerator”
It will slow down the spoiling process of your tea. As an additional tip, leaving the tea in an airtight container and make sure light does not pass through that container.
Otherwise, you will be in for an unpleasant experience the next time you decide to drink that same tea. The airtight container and refrigerator slow down the fermentation process and the oxidation process.
Can You Drink Old Tea Without Reheating It?
If you have been reading through this article, you should have gotten the general idea of when and when not to reheat your tea.
If your still unsure of the answer to this question, then Yes, you can drink tea that has gone cold but be very careful not to drink old tea that has been left on its own for hours.
As mentioned before, if your tea has spent 4 to 8 hours on its own, even if it was kept in a refrigerator, it is still a risk when you decide to drink it.
However, it is a given that some people actually enjoy drinking cold tea. This just means that the diminished flavor and aroma of the tea does not disturb them that much, and it’s okay if you are one of these people.
But, if you know that you previously left the tea bag or the tea leaves inside your tea, then the tea will taste very bitter and bland when you drink it.
It will also have a cloudy appearance and have a dark color. If you notice this, then you should steer clear of the cup of tea.
What Ways Can You Reheat Tea?
So now let’s look at ways you can use for reheating our tea if we have a cup or we have made a whole batch of tea that we don’t just want to throw away
Here are some steps you can take to reheat your tea.
1. Using a microwave
Using a microwave to heat up your tea is easy and fast, however, I don’t just think that you should get your hopes up when you do so. As a side note, taste and flavor are also affected by this heating method.
If you don’t know how to go about the process of reheating your tea using a microwave, then, you can start by setting the power of your microwave to about 1100 watts and start the reheating process in 30 seconds intervals.
Then after the end of the first 30 second period check the temperature of the tea so that you can be sure that the tea is not getting too hot.
Then continue the process just like that until you are satisfied with your results.
“Safety tips when using a microwave”
If you are using a mug as the container of the tea, you should be very careful because the mug can get really hot as a result of the heat from the microwave and might burn your hands.
Use the outer part of the microwave turntable plate to keep your mug cup from staying in just one place in the middle of the machine.
2. Using a teapot
Using a teapot to reheat your tea is the best way to heat than cold tea without losing flavor. The problems you encounter using a microwave is not experienced here.
Problems like even distribution of the heat around your tea or the ability to regulate the temperature of the tea is not an issue with using teapots.
“A teapot gives you more control over your tea’s temperature without harming the flavor or aroma”
The tea does not have to get to high temperatures when you want to reheat it. Teas like green tea, oolong tea, and even white tea should not be made to boil like boiling water.