Thursday, July 5, 2007

sun tea safety

I have been making and drinking sun tea for years, so this information surprised me. It's my understanding that making sun tea with black tea is less risky than doing so with herbs or decaf. The caffeine inhibits the microbes flourishing for about three hours.

Our best bet is to make refrigerator tea or simply make tea the old fashioned way with boiling water. However it's made, don't let it set at room temperature for more than a few hours. Refrigeration is key.


clipped from www.colostate.edu

Using the natural rays of the sun to make tea is fun and popular in the summer. However, using such a method to make tea is highly discouraged. Sun tea is the perfect medium for bacteria to grow. If the sun tea has a thick or syrupy appearance, it may be due to the presence of a ropy bacteria called Alcaligenes viscolactis. Ropy bacteria are commonly found in soil and water.

Several years ago in Ohio and Washington, several people became ill after drinking tainted ice tea. In Washington it was determined that the tea had been made with tap water only heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and left to sit at room temperature for more than 24 hours
Centers for Disease Control and the National Tea Association recommend the following when making tea
Brew tea bags at 195 degrees F for three to five minutes
Never maintain brewed tea for more than eight hours at room temperature
brew tea overnight in the refrigerator
Store tea bags in a dark, cool, and dry place away from strong odors and moisture
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