PART III: A Safer Alternative to Sun Tea
Lately I’ve been discussing the pros and cons of making sun tea. To recap; some articles have reported a risk that sun tea may develop bacteria that can make you ill. A safer alternative would be to make refrigerator tea.
I’ve been experimenting and have found that refrigerator tea can be a delicious drink. So how do you brew tea in the fridge? Well, it’s pretty simple, place your tea packets in a glass container, fill it up with water, put a tight lid on it and place it in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
The question is, can refrigerator tea go bad.? YES; tea, like any other perishable, will go bad if you don’t practice safe food handling or you keep it too long.
Here are some common sense tips to keep your iced tea safe no matter how you brew it:
- Always use a clean container that has been washed in hot soapy water and then well rinsed.
- Consider avoiding those cute decanters with the built in spigot. It’s almost impossible to get the spigot clean and makes a perfect place for bacteria to hid
- Use filtered water
- Never leave sun tea brew for longer than 4 hours and refrigerator tea for 12 hours. No matter how you brew your iced tea, try to use it within 24 hours and discard any after 48 hours.
- Keep iced tea refrigerated after brewing
- Discard any iced tea if it smells sour, gets thick, or you see ropey strand-like particles. This is a sure sign that your tea has become contaminated with bacteria.
- If you do have tea that goes bad, make sure that your brewing container or pitcher is scrubbed in hot soapy water then dipped in a bleach/water solution and finally rinsed well with clean water before using it again