Can I un-refrigerate Honest Tea?
March 30, 2009 8:31 AM   Subscribe

My local market keeps organic tea in its refrigerator. When I buy it, do I have to keep it refrigerated, or can I store it at room temperature?

Specifically: I buy Honest Tea by the case, which my supermarket stashes in its cold room.

I don't particularly want to stash 12 bottles of tea in my fridge at a time, but I'm concerned that because it's organic, I shouldn't be warming it and recooling it. I've seen Honest Tea sold warm elsewhere, so I know it's stable without refrigeration, at least before it gets chilled.

So how does organic tea work? Can I bring a previously refrigerated case home and safely store it in the cabinet?
posted by werty to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Have you inquired of the store?
posted by Carol Anne at 8:41 AM on March 30, 2009

Not sure what the store's motivation is, but Honest Tea is eminently shelf-stable and fine to sit around at room temperature.
posted by rhizome at 8:51 AM on March 30, 2009

Response by poster: Carol Anne: no, I haven't asked the store... I generally keep supermarket inquiries to a minimum.

rhizome: I do know it can sit at room temp, and I'd prefer it that way. (Who needs 12 teas in the fridge? Not me.) I just wasn't sure if it can go back to room temp once it's been refrigerated.
posted by werty at 8:56 AM on March 30, 2009

As long as the bottle is sealed, it will be fine at room temperature. Once you open it, however, you should definitely keep it in the frig: turns out that regardless of how minimal a medium unsweetened tea is, there are still sufficient nutrients in it for bacteria to grow (yes, I found this out the hard way), and you never know if any of it could be harmful to you.
posted by halogen at 9:36 AM on March 30, 2009

Best answer: Bottled teas tend to perform well under temperature changes. Sodas too. Once beer or wine is chilled, though, it cannot be warmed and then chilled again. Your tea will be perfectly happy being warmed to room temp and then back to chilled if you like.
posted by incessant at 11:10 AM on March 30, 2009

It would be easy enough to confirm with a simple test with two bottles. Leave one bottle in the fridge. Leave one bottle out, then put back in. Compare their taste.
posted by ShooBoo at 11:44 AM on March 30, 2009

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