Pitcher of iced tea with mint and lemon.
Food - Drink
Why Brewed Tea Should Always Be Stored In The Refrigerator
Tea is usually a healthy beverage, but Food Safety reports that brewed tea is susceptible to bacteria growth and poses a potential risk of foodborne illness if you don't drink it all right away. This doesn't mean you can't make a batch of tea and store it — keep it in the fridge the right way, and you can enjoy pre-brewed tea worry-free.
Bacteria thrives in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, with typical room temperatures falling within that range. Brewed tea should not be left out for more than eight hours, though some err on the safe side and don't leave it out for over four hours, so move the tea to the fridge before this time is up.
In an airtight container in the fridge, brewed tea can last for eight hours, says the CDC, but tea purveyors offer shelf life recommendations from 24 hours to three or four days. You should also never brew so-called "sun tea," which can be full of bacteria from sitting out on a windshield for hours and using the sun's rays to brew tea.