everyman said

OK to heat and drink tea that's been sitting (steeping) for a few hours?

Hi there,
I made tea for 2 this morning. I drank one cup then and left the remaining quantity in the pot (with the tea leaves). It is now evening and time for another cup. Is it okay to just heat that pot, tea leaves and all, and pour myself that second cup? How long can the tea sit before it “goes bad” in whatever way? (this is black tea btw, and I take it with milk and sugar after pouring)


8 Replies

I’d guess it would probably be pretty bitter after steeping so long, but safety-wise it should be fine! I would probably give it a try and see how it tastes.

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Donna A said

Agree sith softrevolution. It is not going to make you sick-tea has anti-microbial properties. I’ve re-steeped drained tea leaves up to 24 hrs later. But since you left the leaves in the water, it may be bitter. So as softrevolution said, no harm in giving it a try and if it tastes good, go for it.

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Lynxiebrat said

Report back and let us know how it went:)

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Angrboda said

In my experience it takes days before tea will turn mouldy. (And when you forget leaf in a pot and go away for a weekend and then come back, it’s totally disgusting too! Yay for glazed ceramics and china which can actually be cleaned out and disinfected real easy)

More likely it’s going to be undrinkable due to extreme bitterness. Give it a try if you’re curious, but in the end you might as well just brew a fresh cup.

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forsythia said

You could try adding more boiling water to the pot. Often a separate pot of hot water is set on a tea tray to warm the pot/cup or reduce the strength.

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Serenity said

I went to a tea tasting where the guy leading it said to put your teapot in the fridge between steepings, because the warmth and wetness combined with tea leaves can lead to bacteria growth. I have no idea if that’s true or not, just sharing for what it is worth.

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zazen5 said

I do this everyday. At work I put leaves into the cup, put the hot water into the cup, and then drink it all day. I havent had any problems with this method. Black tea kills cholera, you arent likely to get sick doing this either. I reinfuse three times, and drink this all day.

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Lazey said

If I really like a tea that’s gotten weak and want to get a third-fourth steeping out of it I’ll let it steep 12+ hours.

Might not be the best tasting cup but it should be fine.

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