How Long Does Milk Tea Last Out Of Fridge?

Milk tea can last for about 8 to 12 hours outside the fridge, after which it may start to spoil and should be discarded.

Milk tea, a popular beverage made by combining tea with milk and sweeteners, is enjoyed by many around the world. Nevertheless, it’s important to ensure that milk tea is stored properly to avoid spoilage.

So, how long can milk tea be left out of the refrigerator before it spoils? The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as the temperature of the environment and the ingredients used. Generally, it is recommended to refrigerate milk tea within two hours of preparation to maintain its freshness and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. To learn more about the shelf life of milk tea and other interesting tea-related topics, continue reading our series of informative guides.

Key Insights
I. Milk tea can last for up to 8 hours outside of the fridge if kept at room temperature.
II. If left out for longer than 8 hours, milk tea should be discarded to avoid the risk of bacterial growth.
III. When stored in the fridge, milk tea can last for up to 3 days before it should be consumed or discarded.

Factors Influencing the Longevity of Milk Tea

1. Temperature: The Effect of Room Temperature on Milk Tea

Maintaining the correct temperature is vital for preserving the freshness and extending the shelf life of milk tea. When milk tea is exposed to room temperature for an extended period, harmful bacteria can multiply quickly, leading to spoilage. The optimal temperature for storing milk tea is below 40°F (4°C), which inhibits bacterial growth and ensures its quality.

2. Ingredients: How Different Ingredients Can Impact Spoilage

The ingredients used in milk tea can significantly influence its shelf life. Dairy-based components, such as milk or cream, are susceptible to spoilage due to their high protein and fat content. These elements create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, resulting in spoilage within a short period. Conversely, non-dairy alternatives like almond or soy milk may have a longer shelf life due to their lower fat content and different composition.

3. Packaging: The Role of Airtight Containers in Preserving Freshness

The packaging of milk tea plays a crucial role in preserving its freshness and preventing spoilage. Airtight containers help maintain the quality of milk tea by preventing exposure to air, moisture, and contaminants. Oxygen and moisture can accelerate bacterial growth and cause milk tea to deteriorate. By using tightly sealed containers, the shelf life of milk tea can be extended, ensuring a longer-lasting and enjoyable beverage.

Relating to the shelf life of milk tea, it is essential to store it properly. Milk tea should not be left outside the refrigerator for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth. Beyond this time frame, the risk of spoilage significantly increases. To maximize the shelf life of milk tea, it is recommended to refrigerate it promptly after preparation and consume it within 24 hours.

how long does milk tea last out of fridge

Storing Milk Tea at Room Temperature

1. Recommended Duration for Leaving Milk Tea Unrefrigerated

As for storing milk tea at room temperature, it is important to consider the recommended duration to avoid spoilage. Whilst milk tea can be enjoyed both hot and cold, leaving it unrefrigerated for a long time can pose health risks.

According to food safety guidelines, milk tea should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. After this time, the growth of harmful bacteria increases significantly, which can lead to foodborne illnesses.

To maintain the freshness and quality of your milk tea, it is advisable to consume it promptly or refrigerate it within the recommended time frame.

2. Risks Associated with Consuming Milk Tea Left Out for Too Long

Consuming milk tea that has been left out for too long can expose you to various risks. Here are some potential hazards:

  • Bacterial growth: When milk tea is stored at room temperature for a long time, bacteria can multiply rapidly. This can lead to food poisoning and gastrointestinal issues.
  • Quality deterioration: Milk tea that has been left unrefrigerated for too long may undergo changes in taste, texture, and color. The tea leaves may also become stale, resulting in a less enjoyable drinking experience.
  • Mold formation: If milk tea is exposed to moisture and warmth for a long time, it becomes susceptible to mold growth. Consuming mold-contaminated milk tea can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
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It is crucial to prioritize food safety By conforming to proper storage practices. To extend the shelf life of milk tea, refrigeration is recommended whenever possible. If you are unsure about the freshness or safety of milk tea that has been left out, it is best to discard it to avoid any potential health risks.

Benefits of Proper Storage Risks of Improper Storage
Maintains freshness and quality Bacterial growth
Minimizes the risk of foodborne illnesses Quality deterioration
Mold formation

Extending the Lifespan of Milk Tea

Milk tea is a delightful and invigorating beverage that numerous individuals enjoy. In contrast, it is crucial to properly store and handle milk tea to maintain its freshness and prevent spoilage. In this segment, we will discuss several methods to prolong the lifespan of milk tea.

1. Refrigerating Milk Tea to Lengthen its Freshness

Refrigeration is one of the most efficient ways to preserve the freshness of milk tea for an extended period. When milk tea is refrigerated, the cold temperature slows down the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, thus preventing spoilage. To refrigerate milk tea:

  • Transfer the milk tea to a clean, hermetically sealed container.
  • Ensure the lid is tightly closed to prevent any air or moisture from entering.
  • Place the container in the refrigerator at a temperature below 40°F (4°C).

2. Tips for Proper Refrigeration and Storage

Appropriate refrigeration and storage techniques are essential in maintaining the freshness of milk tea. Here are some vital tips to remember:

a. Utilize Fresh Ingredients

Commence with fresh ingredients when preparing milk tea. This encompasses using fresh tea leaves or tea bags, top-notch milk, and quality sweeteners. Utilizing fresh ingredients will guarantee the best taste and prolong the lifespan.

b. Store in hermetically sealed containers

When storing milk tea in the refrigerator, it is imperative to use hermetically sealed containers to prevent exposure to air and moisture. This will help preserve the flavor and prevent any undesirable aromas from permeating the tea.

c. Avoid Temperature Fluctuations

Evade subjecting milk tea to frequent temperature changes. Fluctuations in temperature can facilitate bacterial growth and hasten the tea’s spoilage. Maintain a consistent refrigerator temperature and refrain from leaving the milk tea out at room temperature for an excessive duration.

d. Check for Indications of Spoilage

Regularly examine the milk tea for any indications of spoilage, such as a repugnant odor, peculiar texture, or off-taste. If you observe any of these signs, it is advisable to discard the milk tea to avoid any health hazards.

Note: When discussing the lifespan of milk tea, it is crucial to also consider the individual components used. The freshness and expiration dates of milk, tea leaves, and sweeteners can also impact the overall lifespan of milk tea.

Refrigerated milk tea freshness

Indicators of Milk Tea Spoilage

Milk tea is a popular drink enjoyed by many, but it’s important to be aware of signs of spoilage to ensure its freshness and safety. Here are some key signs to look out for:

1. Visual Signs

Visual signs can provide valuable insights into the freshness of your milk tea. Pay attention to any changes in color, texture, or appearance. These signs may indicate spoilage:

  • Color: If the milk tea appears darker or has an unusual tint, it could be a sign of spoilage. Fresh milk tea usually has a creamy, light brown color.
  • Texture: Clumps, lumps, or separation of the ingredients in the milk tea may suggest spoilage. It should have a smooth and consistent texture.
  • Appearance: Mold growth, curdling, or any other abnormal visual changes are clear indications that the milk tea has gone bad.

2. Scent and Flavor

The scent and flavor of milk tea can provide significant clues about its freshness. If you detect any off-flavors or unpleasant smells, it’s likely that the milk tea has spoiled. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Off-flavors: Spoiled milk tea may have a sour, rancid, or bitter taste. It should taste pleasant, with a well-balanced blend of tea and milk flavors.
  • Unpleasant smells: If the milk tea emits a foul or unusual odor, it’s best to avoid consuming it. Fresh milk tea has a pleasant aroma.
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How Long Can Milk Tea Be Left Out of the Refrigerator?

Milk tea should be refrigerated promptly after preparation to maintain its freshness and prevent bacterial growth. Leaving milk tea out of the refrigerator for an extended period can increase the risk of spoilage.

As a general guideline, milk tea should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. Beyond this time frame, the growth of harmful bacteria becomes more likely, potentially leading to foodborne illnesses.

To ensure the longevity of milk tea, it is recommended to store it in the refrigerator at a temperature below 40°F (4°C). This will help preserve its quality and prevent spoilage for an extended period.

Extra Tips: Safely enjoy milk tea by refrigerating it promptly after preparation and consuming it within two hours at room temperature.

Safety Precautions and Best Practices

Ensuring safety and cleanliness is crucial when preparing milk tea. Follow these tips to maintain cleanliness and minimize the risk of contamination:

1. Proper Hygiene and Cleanliness when Preparing Milk Tea

When handling milk tea ingredients, it’s important to maintain proper hygiene. Here are some best practices:

a. Handwashing

Prior to handling any ingredients, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. This helps eliminate potential bacteria and germs.

b. Clean Preparation Area

Keep your preparation area clean and sanitized. Regularly wipe down surfaces with a mixture of water and disinfectant to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.

c. Sanitized Utensils

Make sure all utensils, such as measuring cups, spoons, and strainers, are properly cleaned and sanitized before use. This prevents cross-contamination and the spread of pathogens.

2. Avoiding Cross-Contamination and Using Fresh Ingredients

When preparing milk tea, it’s crucial to prevent cross-contamination and use fresh ingredients to maintain quality and safety:

a. Separate Cutting Boards

Use different cutting boards for various ingredients to avoid cross-contamination. Keep one dedicated board for fruits, another for tea leaves, and a separate one for other additives.

b. Fresh Milk and Tea Leaves

Always use fresh milk and tea leaves for your milk tea. Check the expiration date on the milk carton and ensure that the tea leaves are within their recommended shelf life. Using expired or spoiled ingredients can compromise the taste and pose health risks.

By complying with these safety precautions and best practices, you can enjoy your milk tea without any concerns about hygiene or contamination.


Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the quality and extending the shelf life of milk tea. By complying with a few simple tips, such as storing it in a cool and dark place, keeping it sealed tightly, and refrigerating it when necessary, you can ensure that your milk tea stays fresh and enjoyable for a longer period of time.

Remember that the shelf life of milk tea can vary depending on various factors, including the ingredients used and the storage conditions. By being mindful of these guidelines, you can maximize the lifespan of your milk tea and enjoy it at its best.

Faq about Milk Tea Storage

FAQ 1: How long can milk tea be stored in the refrigerator?

Milk tea can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

FAQ 2: Can I still consume milk tea if it has been left out overnight?

It is not recommended to consume milk tea that has been left out overnight as it may spoil and become unsafe to drink.

FAQ 3: Is it safe to drink milk tea if it has changed in color?

If milk tea has changed in color, it is best not to consume it as it may indicate spoilage or the presence of harmful bacteria.

FAQ 4: Can I freeze milk tea to extend its shelf life?

Whilst it is possible to freeze milk tea, it is not recommended as it can affect the taste and texture of the beverage.

FAQ 5: What should I do if I accidentally consume spoiled milk tea?

If you accidentally consume spoiled milk tea and experience any adverse symptoms such as stomach discomfort or nausea, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

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Emily Jones
Emily Jones

Hi, I'm Emily Jones! I'm a health enthusiast and foodie, and I'm passionate about juicing, smoothies, and all kinds of nutritious beverages. Through my popular blog, I share my knowledge and love for healthy drinks with others.