tea go bad

Does Tea Go Bad and Expire?

If you are a tea lover only during the cold winter days, you probably wonder if the package you have in the kitchen cabinet since last season is still good. Find all the answers in our article.

There is nothing nicer than coming home after a hard day and relaxing with a cup of hot beverage. And if it is cold or snowing outside, a tea can boost your enjoyment. 

For every feeling we have, there is a tea that goes with it. Mostly, we all have a habit of holding at least five to ten types of teas and choosing when to drink one.

How do teas usually last in a kitchen cabinet until we consume them? The question arises as to how long they last and can they spoil at all? So the answer to the question is twofold. It will rarely happen that the tea is so spoiled that it causes you nausea. However, the pleasure of drinking depends on the aroma of the tea, and it indeed fades with time. Here are the details.

How Long Does Tea Last?

Can tea go bad? Teas generally have no expiration date but rather the best by date written on the packaging. That date will tell you a lot about the freshness of tea because, of course, the fresher the leaves, the better the aroma. 

You will also notice that different teas have different times of recommended consumption. In principle, black teas can last a little longer than others, but be sure to follow the recommendation written on the box.

Open or unopened tea

If you notice that the expiration date written on the box has passed, don’t worry, the tea is very likely good for consumption and of sufficient quality for another six months to a year. Whether the box is open or not. The method of storage will have the most significant impact on quality.

Tea Bags or Can Packaging

So do tea bags go bad? The aroma of tea will certainly last longer in a can that is well closed than in a bag or cardboard box. The reason is, of course, the presence or absence of air which helps to evaporate the aroma. If you have the opportunity, choose canned leaves instead of tea bags.

tea bags

Do Tea Bags Expire?

As we have already mentioned, tea rarely becomes spoiled in the sense that it is dangerous to consume. Mostly with old tea, you will get a less tasty drink, that’s all. It rarely happens if moisture has penetrated the packaging, mold develops, and dangerous formations are formed. However, the absence of flavor is enough to buy a fresh product.

Sign 1: Mold appeared

If you notice mold and spores among the tea leaves, be sure to throw the product in the trash. Not necessarily dangerous to consume, but why risk it?

Sign 2: Moisture got to it

The appearance of moisture does not always mean the development of mold. However, if the tea is soaked and moist, you can be sure that it is not of the highest quality to drink.

Sign 3: Smell is funny

The most essential thing in the world for a quality cup of tea is the pleasant and robust aroma. If the smell has become stale or woody, you probably won’t enjoy the drink. The scent should be enjoyable and intense.

Sign 4: The contents are too dry

Tea is made of dried leaves, flowers, and fruits. However, a product that has been standing for too long, especially exposed to heat or sun, may become too dry. Then you can be almost certain that the aroma is also lost.

Which is the Best Way to Store Tea?

It is extremely important how you store the product if you want it to fulfill its potential for durability. Air, heat, humidity, or light will negatively affect the quality of the tea. Here are some simple rules you can follow for the best results.

Tip 1: Choose can instead of paper

There are different cans on the market that you can reuse for each new pack of tea. Even if you bought tea in paper bags, put them in a can to ensure longevity. The can provides two protections: first from the inflow of air circulation because it is well closed. And the other from light since it is opaque.

Tip 2: Avoid hot places

Very warm places will help the aroma evaporate faster. So always choose a comfortable room temperature for storing tea and avoid exposure to the sun and light.

Tip 3: Avoid moisture

It goes without saying that you should definitely avoid the tea coming into any contact with moisture except when you are brewing the beverage.



Tea is probably one of the oldest drinks known to the human race. If tea is made from natural plants dried by a quality method, then the pleasure of drinking is really precious. It will calm you down, relax you, cheer you up, and even warm you up when you are cold.

Teas are durable products that can be used for up to a year after the expiration date. It will be drinkable even after that period, but the aroma will not be the same. Always store tea in a dark place at room temperature and do not expose it to moisture.

Up next: Does ground coffee expire?

*image by maxa0109/depositphotos

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