Brewed tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can enjoy. Drinking tea regularly can help boost your immune system, alleviate inflammation throughout your body, and help you calm down.
Every now and then, you may have some tea left over. You may be wondering if you can keep that hot tea in your fridge.
Find out what you should do with your leftover hot tea by going through the rest of this article.
Can You Put Hot Tea in the Fridge?
Hot tea should not be placed in the refrigerator because it could raise the appliance’s internal temperature. If the refrigerator’s internal temperature rises, the items stored inside it become vulnerable to spoilage. Routinely putting warm drinks inside the refrigerator can also strain that appliance. The refrigerator’s performance may suffer in the long run due to how it is being used.
Should You Put Hot Tea in Your Refrigerator?
Brewed tea is a great beverage to enjoy at any point of the day.
You can enjoy it with breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack. Some folks even enjoy having a cup of tea after lunch or dinner.
If you’re an avid tea drinker yourself, then you’ve probably thought about brewing up big batches so you never run out. Of course, the problem with brewing a lot of tea is that you often end up with leftovers.
So, what should you do with your leftover tea? Can you put the leftover tea inside your refrigerator even if it’s still hot?
Putting hot tea inside your refrigerator is not a good idea. Allow us to list the different reasons why doing that can be problematic.
1. Hot Tea Can Raise a Refrigerator’s Internal Temperature
The biggest issue with storing hot tea inside your refrigerator is the type of environment it creates.
According to this article from Michigan State University, placing warm food inside your refrigerator can raise that appliance’s internal temperature. If that happens, the other items stored inside your refrigerator may become vulnerable to spoilage.
Ordinarily, your refrigerator should be safe from bacteria. However, that may no longer be the case if your refrigerator’s internal temperature rises.
2. Hot Tea Could Strain Your Refrigerator
Placing hot tea inside your refrigerator is also not a good idea because of how it could affect that appliance long-term.
When you store something hot inside your refrigerator, that appliance will respond by trying to cool its contents down as quickly as it can. Your refrigerator will work hard to balance out the effects of the hot tea.
Your refrigerator should be fine if that only happens one time. The real problem emerges if that happens consistently.
If you keep putting hot tea inside your refrigerator, you could end up wearing down that appliance. After some time, your refrigerator may break down completely.
Also, your refrigerator working harder to compensate for the hot tea can lead to higher electric bills. You probably want to avoid that so keep the hot tea outside of your refrigerator.
3. Hot Tea’s Properties Will Change Inside the Refrigerator
Storing hot tea inside the refrigerator is not like keeping it in suspended animation. The properties of your drink will change as it cools down.
The flavor of your tea will change significantly. It may also start to lose some of its nutritional value.
You may not like your brewed tea after it’s spent some time in the refrigerator. Consider that before you place it in there.
4. Hot Tea May Infuse Its Aroma into the Contents of Your Refrigerator
Some teas are more aromatic than others. If you brewed up a particularly fragrant batch, it could perfume the rest of the items inside your refrigerator.
Tea infusion works for some types of food, but not all of them. You may end up with some unpleasant combinations if you leave hot tea in there.
How Should You Handle Hot Tea if You Want to Refrigerate It?
If you’re okay with storing tea in your refrigerator even knowing its properties will change, then you need to handle it properly. Follow the steps detailed below so you can store your tea without any issues.
Step 1: Move the Tea to a Different Container
You need to move your tea to a different container before storing it inside your refrigerator. Airtight containers with lids are ideal for this purpose.
Use as many airtight containers as you need to store all the leftover tea.
Step 2: Fill a Bowl with Ice
Next, get a big bowl and fill it up with ice. Make sure that the bowl is big enough to accommodate the airtight containers holding the tea.
Step 3: Put the Containers on the Ice
You can now start placing the containers of tea on the ice. Just remember to keep the containers closed so no water enters them.
Keep the containers on the ice until they no longer feel warm to the touch.
Step 4: Place the Containers inside the Refrigerator
All that’s left to do now is to place your containers of tea inside the refrigerator. You can keep your tea in the fridge overnight then warm it up in the morning if you want to drink up.
Can You Store Tea Inside the Freezer?
Storing tea inside the freezer is also an option to consider.
You can follow the same steps detailed above to prep your tea for the freezer. Leftover tea stored in the freezer will remain safe to consume for several months.
Conclusion to Can You put Hot Tea in the Fridge?
Storing piping hot tea inside your refrigerator is not recommended. You should at least let it cool down a bit before storing it. Otherwise, your refrigerator and its contents could end up in rough shape.
Frequently Asked Questions about Can You Put Hot Tea in the Fridge
Can You Put Any Kind of Tea inside the Refrigerator?
Technically, putting all kinds of tea inside the fridge is possible, but they will react differently to being kept in there. Loose leaf and sweetened teas, in particular, do not take to long stays in the refrigerator very well.
How Long Can Tea Stay at Room Temperature?
Tea should still be safe to drink even if it has been sitting on your countertop for nearly eight hours. Simply remember to cover it so no insects contaminate it while you’re away.