Do teas expire?

Posted on Mon, Oct 04, 2021 by Amit Bambral

Tea is no longer a luxury item; it has become an essential part of many peoples' daily routines, so much so that many can't go without their daily dose of tea! You can begin your day with an invigorating cup of tea in the morning or you can even unwind with a hot cup of tea therapy in the evening.

A common question people ask is, do teas expire? If they do, how do you know when your tea is not good to consume anymore? Read on for the answers to these questions and more commonly asked questions.

How long does tea last for?

The answer to this question is a complex one as the longevity of tea depends on how it is stored. Although tea is good for at least four months, this time can easily be extended to a year or more if the tea is stored in a cool, dark, dry, and odour-free place in an airtight container. The main nemesis to tea’s freshness and longevity are air, moisture, light and temperature. If you safeguard your tea from these factors, your tea could remain fresher longer.

Does tea actually expire, or does it just become unpleasant to drink?

Tea doesn't actually have an expiry date, but it will quickly lose its freshness if it is not stored correctly. Tea is actually quite forgiving - if you do not take proper care of it, tea should not become harmful to drink, however it may lose its aroma and taste. For example, tea that is left in sunlight for a while will develop an unpleasant metallic taste, making it almost impossible to drink.

How do you know if your tea has gone bad?

It is relatively easy to find out whether the tea you have stored is still fit for drinking. Tea that was not stored properly and has long passed its prime will be less flavourful and could taste dull or stale. Since tea does not have an expiration date, it will still be safe to drink, although the experience will not match that of fresh tea.

If there is mould or any other sign of decomposition present on the tea, it is advised to steer clear!

What can you do with tea that has gone stale?

Even when tea is not fit for drinking anymore, there is no point in throwing away the tea. There are several ways to utilize old tea. Decomposing tea can be used to fertilize soil as it is rich in nitrogen and other nutrients, or you can try using old tea as a dye fabric. The uses for old tea are countless!

How do you keep tea fresh for an extended period?

The good news is that you can extend the longevity and freshness of stored tea if you do it the right way. The biggest obstacles when storing tea are air, moisture, temperature, and sunlight, which can be easily overcome by storing the tea in a dark, dry, and cool place in an airtight container. Tea leaves are also porous and absorb surrounding odors, so it is a smart idea to store tea in a separate location away from your spices and other strong smelling items in your pantry.

People often wonder whether tea expires or not. This post debunks the myth of tea expiration, and provides all the relevant and genuine facts surrounding tea longevity.