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How Long Does Chai Tea Last? Does it Go Bad?

Chai tea is a popular drink that originated in India and has since become beloved worldwide.

It’s a blend of tea, spices, and milk, creating a warm and comforting beverage.

But how long can you keep it? Does it go bad?

Chai tea can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Proper storage is crucial to maximizing its shelf life. If the chai is left at room temperature or kept past two weeks, it can go bad. Signs of spoiled chai include a sour smell, sour taste, and the presence of mold.

What is Chai Tea?

Chai tea, also known as masala chai, is a traditional Indian beverage that is a combination of black tea, spices, and milk or cream.

The spices commonly used in chai are cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. The tea leaves can vary depending on preference and may include Assam, Darjeeling, or Ceylon.

Chai tea is typically brewed using loose leaf tea or tea bags, and the spices are steeped along with the tea. After brewing, the tea is strained, and milk and sweetener are often added.

Chai tea can be served hot or cold and is considered a comforting and calming beverage.

How Long Does Chai Tea Last?

Chai tea, like any other perishable food or beverage, has a lifespan. Its shelf life is affected by various factors, such as storage conditions, whether it’s homemade or store-bought, and additives used in the recipe.

Homemade Chai Tea

Homemade chai tea will last about four to five days in the refrigerator. If the chai contains dairy, it is best to store it in an airtight container to keep out any contaminants that can cause bacterial growth. If the chai is made with nondairy milk, it can be stored in a sealed pitcher.

Store-Bought Chai Tea

Store-bought chai tea usually lasts longer than homemade chai tea due to preservatives added during manufacturing. However, the shelf life still varies depending on the brand and the ingredients used. Most store-bought brands claim their chai tea lasts about two weeks in the refrigerator after opening.

It’s important to note that chai tea should be stored in the refrigerator and not kept at room temperature. If left at room temperature, the tea can spoil quickly and develop harmful bacteria.

How to Store Chai Tea

Chai tea, whether homemade or store-bought, should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The container should be cleaned thoroughly, as any residual bacteria can cause the tea to spoil more quickly.

Use a Sealed Container

An airtight container can maintain the tea’s flavor and prevent any contaminants from entering. This means that the tea can last longer in the refrigerator, and there is no risk of spoilage.

Avoid Light and Heat

The container that stores chai tea should be kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Exposure to light and heat can cause the tea to spoil more quickly.

Avoid Freezing

While freezing can extend the shelf life of many beverages, it is not recommended for chai tea. Freezing causes changes in the texture of the milk or cream, resulting in an unpleasant taste and mouthfeel.

How to Tell if Chai Tea Has Gone Bad

It’s important to know how to identify if your chai tea has gone bad. Spoiled chai tea can pose a health risk and should be disposed of immediately.

Sour Smell and Taste

One of the most noticeable signs that chai tea has gone bad is a sour smell. The sour odor is often accompanied by an unpleasant sour or tangy taste. If you notice these signs, discard the tea immediately.


Discoloration is another sign that chai tea may have gone bad. If the tea turns a different color or has an unappetizing appearance, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dispose of it.

Presence of Mold

Mold growth is a clear indication that chai tea has spoiled. The mold can be visible as black, green, or blue spots. If you notice any mold, discard the chai immediately, as consumption can lead to food poisoning.

Change in Texture

Any changes in the tea’s texture can mean that it has gone bad. For example, if the tea has become thick and clumpy, it is an indication that bacterial growth has occurred.


Chai tea can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator if stored correctly. Homemade chai tea will have a shorter lifespan than store-bought chai tea due to the absence of preservatives. Proper storage in an airtight container and refrigeration is crucial to maximizing its shelf life.

Signs that chai tea has gone bad include a sour smell and taste, discoloration, the presence of mold, and a change in texture. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to dispose of the tea immediately to avoid any health risks.

In conclusion, understanding chai tea’s shelf life and how to store it properly can ensure that you enjoy a delicious and comforting beverage for longer.

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.