Herbal tea is made from a variety of ingredients such as dried fruits, flowers, and seeds. Once boiling water is added to the mixture the flavors are then released. Although herbal tea is not classed as tea, because it doesn’t contain any leaves from the Camellia tea plant.
So does this mean that herbal tea can still expire?
YES, Herbal tea can expire, over time the fresh spices and herbs will start to lose flavor, giving you a slightly moldy, and earthy like taste. However, herbal tea can typically last 1 to 2 years if stored correctly.
By storing tea in an airtight container this can prolong the lifespan and expiration date of your tea. Herbal tea is best stored in a small plastic packet bag within an airtight container, then stored in a cool dry place keeping it fresher for longer.
Does Herbal Tea Have An Expiration Date?
Certain brands of herbal tea will print an expiration date on their products. However, most teas, even herbal tea, can still be consumed past the expiration date. BUT! again this is down to how you store your tea.
Now there are signs if your tea has expired, the first is, your notice the tea has started to fade, this goes for herbal and fresh tea leaves.
Also look out for any mold that can appear on the leaves, with herbal tea it can be a bit harder to notice, but if you look carefully mold can be found in herbal teas if left for long periods of time.
The next thing is the loss of smell, herbal tea when fresh has a very nice and pleasant smell to the ingredients, if you notice that the fresh spices have no smell then the tea has expired.
Now if you miss any of the signs mentioned above there is one more, and that’s the taste! If you notice your tea tastes moldy and slightly earthy then yes the tea has expired, this also goes for fresh tea leaves as well.
How Long Does Herbal Tea Last On The Shelf?
Herbal tea can typically last up to one year on the shelf, and after this time as you know the tea ingredients will start to deteriorate.
However, if you store the tea correctly, as mentioned above, herbal tea can last up to 2 years.
Having the right container to store your tea is an important factor if you’re using a container that’s too big your tea can dry out and expire a lot quicker.
The best option would be to use a small airtight container that can trap less air, and by keeping the tea compacted together this can prolong the lifespan of your tea.
The Evak Airtight Storage Container is the best choice, they have a twin-valve airflow system that automatically removes air and are excellent for storing tea there very small and cheap.
Can You Drink Herbal Tea That’s Expired?
If you think your herbal tea has expired, then it’s not a good idea to drink it. Not only will it smell and taste bad, but it can give you some unpleasant side effects, for example, you may experience stomach cramps or Nausea, and if you have a weak stomach in some cases vomiting.
Now, this is not saying you can’t drink tea that’s past its expiration date, some teas in fact still taste fine, depending on how it was stored.
But.. if the tea itself has expired then it not wise to consomme it. If you have tea that has expired and is no good to drink, ‘Don’t throw it away’ Because there’s still plenty of things you can do with expired tea.
What To Do With Herbal Tea That’s Expired Tea?
If you find that your herbal tea has expired, then don’t worry! there plenty of things you can do with expired tea.
If you have herbal tea bags, for example, this can make a great fertilizer. You can use it to boost plant growth which can add nutrients to the soil.
You see teabags contain tannins and other nutrients that will increase the nitrogen level in the soil and at the same time will also discourage the growth of weeds.
Teabags are great for absorbing water and can also be used to grow seeds.
Fresh teas, on the other hand, you simply brew the expired leaves first, then let the tea cool down, after this you can use the tea water on your plants, or even vegetables as a feeder, again this will add nutrients to the soil resulting in a better crop.
Types Of Herbal Tea
There are many types of herbal teas, in a wide range of flavors, that not only taste great but are naturally healthy that can improve your health.
But are there other herbal teas that can last longer? The answer is NO! most herbal teas expire around the same time give or take a day.
What really makes your tea last longer, is to make sure you store it correctly, especially if you have a high-quality tea that’s expensive. If you don’t store your tea correctly the pennies can rack up over time.
So does herbal tea expire? Yes of course but as mention before, there are ways to prolong the lifespan of the tea using airtight containers. which is highly recommend if you want your tea to last.
If you’re like your herbal tea bags then remember to store your tea in the same way you would with fresh tea, just use a slightly bigger container.
Also if you think your tea has expired don’t let them go to waste! use it to help grow your plants, there will still be some nutrients present in those old tea bags or leaves.
Give it a go! Try it on your plants or if your growing vegetables try using the tea water from the leaves and see if it works.