01/7 | The logic of reheating tea
In short, yes. It has happened with all of us at some point. We brew a hot cup of tea but it just so happens that we leave it unattended for long and sometimes even forget about it. Reheating tea has its advantages. It saves money, energy and also reduces our carbon footprint. However, many of us have been told about the dangers of having reheated tea. But throwing it seems like such a waste! So what should you do? Here is what happens to tea when reheated and why should you avoid having reheated tea.
02/7 | What happens to tea when it is reheated?
You always have the choice to reheat the tea. However, doing so might steal many of its flavours, nutritional properties and aroma. If you have left your tea abandoned for more than four hours, it is downright not recommended to reheat the tea as it may harbour mould and bacterial growth. If you are looking to reheat Indian chai made with milk and sugar, know that it only develops bacteria and other contaminants at extra speed. Warming your herbal, fruity or milk tea will take away several of its beneficial properties. Some volatile compounds such as essential oils and labile are also present in the tea, and they escape when subjected to too much heat.
03/7 | Brewing vs boiling
Many people are not aware of the fact that teas are not meant to be boiled and never with milk and sugar. The water is first boiled and taken off the flame. Then the tea leaves are left to steep in them for 3-4 minutes. This process is known as ‘brewing’. If you make the tea by boiling the tea leaves in water, it may already lose many of its nutritions, flavours and fragrances. Imagine what doing it again would do to your cuppa!
04/7 | Why should you avoid reheating tea?
First things first, do not reheat the tea if it has been left at room temperature for anywhere between 4 to 8 hours. If you forgot to have your tea for a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes, it is safe to drink. The food poisoning bacteria grow in brewed teas that are exposed to heat between 41 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The case is even worse with milk teas, which can also gain an unpleasant taste and grainy texture when reheated. The presence of milk results in faster accumulation of bacteria, and only reheating the tea will not kill them. Problems might get dangerous if your tea develops moulds. They might not be visible to the eye and can be easily missed. Drinking such tea even when reheated can cause stomach upset, diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, inflammation and many other digestive issues.
05/7 | Impacts the taste
Apart from making the tea lose its nutritional properties and become contaminated, reheating the tea can also negatively impact its taste. Tannins are polyphenols responsible for the colour and flavour of the tea. When we leave the brewed tea in the saucepan for an extended period of time or reheat it later, it causes the leaves to release excess tannins and makes the tea taste bitter. It might not be palatable to people who do not prefer strong tasting teas.
06/7 | How to reheat tea? (If you must)
Even though reheating cold tea is not recommended, it is possible to warm it for those who must. Place your cold tea in a clean mug. Boil water in another utensil and place the mug in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes. It is called the ‘double boiler’ method. Do not expect the tea to taste fresh or become piping hot. Consume it when it is lukewarm. For the sake of your digestive health, do not reheat teas exposed to room temperature for more than four hours.
07/7 | Alternate uses for your cold herbal teas
If you have a mug of cold herbal tea that you don’t know what to do with, we can suggest a bunch of interesting alternative ways to use it. Tea contains a burst of nutrients, and you can water your plants with it to provide them with some extra nourishment. You can also wash your face with it as it is considered as a great disinfectant and grease remover. You may also use it to clean the burnt and crispy bits of rice at the bottom of the pan!