As delicious as bubble tea is, sometimes you can’t finish it in one sitting. If stored properly, you can continue to enjoy this Taiwanese delicacy for up to 24 hours after it was made. However, if you leave the boba milk tea out on the counter, it is only safe to drink for up to four hours.
Can You Drink Bubble Tea That Hasn’t Been Refrigerated?
It is typically unsafe to drink bubble tea that has not been refrigerated. After you expose bubble tea to heat, bacteria begin to grow. If you leave the tea at room temperature for more than four hours, you should toss it. If you only forget it on the counter for a short while, you should be able to drink it without an issue.
How Long Does Bubble Tea Last in the Fridge?
Many factors affect the expiry date of bubble tea, especially if it isn’t homemade. Depending on what type of milk (if any) you ordered and which toppings you chose, cafe-bought bubble teas could last between one and two days.
You don’t need to worry about the type of tea that was used to make the drink. The most common, black tea and green tea, options do not expire quickly. However, with time, their flavor will become less potent.
Bubble milk tea should only be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours. As a customer in a bubble tea shop, you will not know when the milk was opened; therefore, you won’t know precisely how long your milk tea will be good for.
You can preserve bubble fruit tea (that contains no milk) in the fridge for slightly longer than milk tea- 48 hours, maximum. Because it includes fruit juices instead of dairy, it is less likely to spoil. However, you do not know when the fresh fruit was cut.
A boba smoothie, with or without milk, will only last about eight hours in the refrigerator before the ice melts and the drink begins to separate. After this, you could still technically drink it, but it would be a different, less delicious experience.
No matter how long you store bubble tea in the fridge, it should always be stored with a lid or plastic wrap to preserve the flavors so that you can enjoy it the next day.
Should You Separate the Milk Tea and the Toppings?
Separating the popping boba or tapioca balls from your tea is a great idea. The tapioca pearls will harden overnight and will no longer be enjoyable. Popping pearls tends to disintegrate over time, which will change the flavor of your tea. If you must store your tea, eat all the toppings first or separate them.
If you ordered tea with jelly, you should be able to store the entire drink overnight without an issue.
Can You Freeze Boba Tea?
You should not freeze ready-to-drink bubble tea. The chemistry of the milk (or fruit syrups), tea, and sweeteners will change. When you thaw it, the iced tea will not resemble the original bubble tea you once loved.
If you make bubble tea at home, you can freeze the homemade boba pearls. Boba pearls are made from tapioca starch from the cassava root and can be frozen for up to twelve months. When you thaw them, you’ll need to rehydrate them with brown sugar syrup, or something similar, to enjoy their famous chewy texture.
You could also attempt to freeze the boba pearls you separate from your tea, but there are no guarantees about how they will thaw after already being submerged in your tea. In general, you should discard tapioca pearls that have sat at room temperature for four hours or more.
How Do You Know if Bubble Tea Is Expired?
You will know bubble tea is expired if the odor and taste of the drink change. Hopefully, it will never come to this, but if it sits out long enough, you will be able to notice the bacteria growing in the drink visibly. When in doubt, throw it out.
What Happens if You Drink Expired Boba Tea?
Although the health implications are somewhat unknown, if you drink expired boba tea, you will likely develop a stomach ache. Due to the short shelf life of the unrefrigerated cooked pearls, the bacteria growing in the drink can potentially make you very ill.