Canning tea beverages containing honey

Asked January 30, 2019, 2:36 PM EST

Given honey harbours C Botulinum spores is there a safe method for canning a tea beverage that uses it as the only sweetener? Is pressure canning the beverage at temps over 240 F sufficient to make the final product safe for shelf storage and long would the product be stable? Ingredients used to brew the beverage would be in order of quantity Water, Cardamon (black or green), Candied Ginger. Tea loose leaf (Black or Green), Honey, Ceylon Cinnamon and secondary spices used for creating different varieties of tea that may include any or all of the following (black pepper, cloves, anise, food grade lavender, vanilla extract, ground hot peppers, nutmeg)

Oregon food safety home food preservation

1 Response

We do not have much information on teas, but I was able to get this recommendation from a food safety specialist in another state:

The pH of brewed black tea is actually high enough to support C. bot if it is unrefrigerated. Commercial teas have been acidified. We do not have a researched/safe process for home canning of any tea (tea with honey would be even more dangerous), so tea should not be canned at all. If they wish to have tea with honey in it, it will need to be refrigerated, and should be discarded within 5 days if it is not consumed, as mold can grow in it.

If you were planning on a commercial product, you could work with the OSU Food Innovation Center for pH testing and to determine safe levels of acidification specific to the ingredients and amount of honey added. https://fic.oregonstate.edu/ They do charge a fee for their services.

They offer a one-hour consultation to get started. They will consult with consumers who are not going to sell products as well. 503-872-6680