Milk tea is a favorite beverage consumed around the world, made from tea leaves, milk, and sometimes sweeteners like sugar or honey.
It is a popular drink that people enjoy for its soothing and relaxing qualities, especially during warm weather.
If you’re someone who enjoys this beverage regularly, you may want to know how long milk tea can last before it goes bad.
Several factors come into play that can affect milk tea’s shelf life, including storage conditions and the presence of preservatives.
So, how long does milk tea last, and does it go bad?
Milk tea can last up to 24 hours if kept in the refrigerator and consumed the same day. If stored at room temperature, milk tea can go bad within 3 hours due to bacterial growth. The presence of preservatives in packaged milk tea can extend its shelf life by a few months.
What is Milk Tea?
Milk tea is a popular drink made from tea leaves, milk, and sometimes sweeteners like sugar or honey.
It originated in India and later spread to other parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, where it has become a beloved beverage.
Milk tea is typically enjoyed hot or cold, depending on personal preference and the weather.
Some people prefer to add flavors like vanilla or chocolate to their milk tea to enhance its taste.
The drink has several health benefits, including its ability to relieve stress, improve digestion, and boost the immune system.
How Long Does Milk Tea Last?
Many factors contribute to how long milk tea can last before going bad, including temperature, humidity, storage conditions, and the presence of preservatives.
Here’s what you need to know about milk tea’s shelf life:
Milk tea is a perishable beverage that needs to be stored at the right temperature to avoid bacterial growth.
If left at room temperature (around 68°F to 72°F), milk tea can go bad within three hours due to the proliferation of bacteria.
For this reason, it is essential to keep milk tea refrigerated or stored in a cool, dry place.
Humidity can affect the shelf life of milk tea as well.
If stored in a damp place or in an environment with high humidity levels, bacteria can grow and cause milk tea to spoil quickly.
To prevent this, keep milk tea in a sealed container, away from moisture and humidity.
The storage conditions of milk tea can also impact its shelf life.
If milk tea is left out in the open or exposed to light, heat, or air, it can spoil faster.
To extend its shelf life, store milk tea in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight, heat, or any other environmental factors that might cause it to spoil.
Many packaged milk teas come with preservatives that extend their shelf life.
These may include chemical additives like sodium benzoate or natural preservatives like ascorbic acid.
The presence of these preservatives can significantly prolong milk tea’s shelf life for several months, depending on the type and quality of the preservative used.
How to Tell If Milk Tea Has Gone Bad?
Determining whether milk tea has gone bad is relatively straightforward.
Here are a few indicators to look out for:
If milk tea has gone bad, it will have a sour or rancid smell due to the presence of bacteria.
An unpleasant odor is always a red flag, so if you notice this, it’s best to dispose of the milk tea and make a fresh batch.
If milk tea has gone bad, its texture will also change.
You may notice that the milk has curdled, or the tea has a thick, slime-like consistency.
These changes are due to bacterial growth and are a clear indication that the milk tea has gone bad.
Besides its smell and texture, you can also tell if milk tea has gone bad by its taste.
If milk tea tastes sour or rancid, it’s a sign that it has gone bad and shouldn’t be consumed.
Finally, you can visually inspect milk tea to see if it has gone bad.
If you see any signs of mold, yeast, or other unwanted growths, it’s an indication that the milk tea has gone bad and should be thrown away.
How to Store Milk Tea?
Storing milk tea properly is essential to extend its shelf life.
Here are some tips to help you properly store milk tea:
Milk tea should be refrigerated, especially if you prepare it at home.
Refrigeration will help keep the milk fresh and prevent bacterial growth.
Make sure you store your milk tea in an air-tight container to keep air and humidity out.
Drink it Within the Day
If fresh milk tea is left out at room temperature, it can go bad in as little as three hours, so it is best to consume it within the day.
If you decide to make your milk tea at home, you can add preservatives to extend its shelf life.
Preservatives like ascorbic acid or sodium benzoate can help keep milk tea fresh for an extended period.
In conclusion, milk tea has a relatively short shelf life due to its perishable nature.
If left at room temperature, milk tea can go bad within three hours due to bacterial growth.
To extend its shelf life, it is essential to keep milk tea refrigerated or stored in a cool, dry place.
The use of preservatives can also extend milk tea’s shelf life by several months.
It’s crucial to note that sour or rancid odor, unusual texture, and an unpleasant taste are all signs that milk tea has gone bad and should be thrown away.
By following proper storage procedures, you can ensure you have fresh and safe milk tea every time.
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.