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Does Tea Expire? Everything You Need To Know!

Does tea expire? This can depend on many things, one of which is the type of tea you are drinking. Whether it’s packet tea (tea bags) or fresh tea, even power forms such as Matcha tea. All these things you need to take into account and how you store your tea is another important factor.

The short answer is YES! tea does expire, But you can prolong the life span of your tea with some that can last up to 3 years before they start to go bad. However, no matter how well you store your tea eventually it will go bad.

If your tea shows any of these’s signs below then there’s a good chance your tea has expired…

  • Your tea has started to go moldy
  • Your tea has an unusual taste
  • Your tea has a strange smell
  • Your tea has lost its flavor
  • Your tea leaves have started to lose color.

Does Loose Leaf Tea Expire?

So does loose leaf tea expire? Yes they do! when the leaves get towards there expiry date, you will notice a slight colour change in the leaves. If you see mold growing on the leaves, this is another sign to indicate that the tea has expired.

Now there are ways you can make your loose tea last longer. If you have the Da-Hong Pao Tea which is the most expensive in the world, then it’s always good to know how to prolong your tea.

The best way to make your loose leaf tea last longer is to freeze it. By freezing the tea you wont lose any vitamins or antioxidants, that’s a hugh benefit to your health, and at the same time keeping your tea fresh.

The next step if you don’t want to freeze your tea, is to store the tea into a air-tight container. Fresh teas like the oolong and pu-erh tea are tightly wrapped up there leaves and stay fresh for longer without losing any flavor and can last up to four or even five years, before the tea starts to expire.

Does Tea Bags Expire?

Tea bags can last up to 3 years, before they start to expire, sometimes longer! but this depends on the type of tea you have, and how you store your tea.

When tea bags start to expire, they usually turn from white, to a slightly yellow colour. They also give off a strange odor, and will also have a bitter taste.

The best way to preserve your tea, is to make sure it’s stored in a cool dry place and in a container that’s air-tight. By doing this you should be able to prolong your teas life span.

Does Matcha Tea Expire?

Matcha is a tea that’s growing in popularity, with it’s vibrant green colour that delivers a mega dose of antioxidants and nutrients. It’s a delightful beverage suitable for all.

Matcha is a powder form tea, that last’s about one year before it starts to expire, but should be consumed within a month after opening.

After a month the tea will start to lose it’s fresh taste, the powder will also start to discolour and in some cases show signs of mold, The powder can also give off a strange odor, this is a clear sign that your tea has expired.

If you buy matcha and it already has these synonyms, then it’s most likely a bad batch, and should return it for a replacement.

Does Iced Tea Expire?

It’s recommended from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that Iced tea can be stored in the fridge for a maximum of eight hours.

However! Iced tea can be good up to 24 hours, before it starts to expire. but only if you use the correct air-tight container. If your using a jug that’s not covered then the maximum time is 8 hours.

You can also freeze iced tea to extend life span of the tea, then simply defrost when your ready to consomme it.

To tell if your iced tea has expired, there are some clear signs to look out for that will indicate the tea is bad. If the iced tea starts to turn thick and syrup like, then this is most likely gone bad.

Your also notice changes in consistency, When looking the jug or container your be able to see a line where the tea has evaporated and will be crystallized on the edge, if you see this then the tea has expired.

Another sign is when the tea starts to go cloudy, this usually happens at the bottom of the jug or container. If you iced tea is showing any of signs, then it’s better just to throw your tea away and make a fresh batch.

Does Tea Expire Once Been Brewed

Yes! Brewed tea does expire, like iced tea that is also brewed, if you store the tea in an air tight container then place in the fridge, the tea can last up to 24 hours before going bad.

It’s always best to consume your tea within 24 hours, after this time, it will gradually start to lose it’s flavour. As before you have the option to freeze your tea to make it last longer, then once defrosted simply reheat.

When your brewed tea has expired your noticed a pungent smell coming from the tea, and like iced tea, your also notice changes in consistency.

Can Expired Tea Make You Sick?

If you consume tea that’s expired then yes you may get sick, or you might get a slight belly ache, depending on what tea you drink, different teas can react in different ways.

If you drink a certain tea, for example: ‘Iced tea’ especially if it’s cloudy once expired, then it is possible you can feel seriously sick after you have consume it.

Other teas you might not feel or get sick, you may just experience an unpleasant bitter taste, that your get from teas that are passed there date.

If you think your tea has expired, its always best to throw it away, just to be on the safe side, then make a fresh batch. as before you can always freeze your tea to preserve it.

If you do freeze your tea, always freeze it on the day it was brewed, never when it expires. This goes for any type of tea.

What To Do With Expired Unused Tea Bags

You can do all kinds of things with expired tea bags, for example: there’s compost tea! Yes you can actually use tea bags as a form of compost for plants, growing tomato’s, potato’s, rhubarb etc.

This method is also good for increasing the soil acidity which is great for certain plants and vegetables, that leads to a better crop.

You can also use these tea bags to remove hand odor, If you have a smell on your hands that is hard to remove try the tea bag. It’s great for removing the smell of onion’s or garlic, or even fish.

Uses Of Expired Green Tea Leaves

What can you do with expired Green Tea leaves? Well like tea bags you can use the leaves for your plants, you simply brew the expired leaves, then let the tea cool down, after this you can water your plants using this expired tea.

This is a great way to give your plants a boast in growth, this will also work on any vegetables your growing or for the tomato’s in the greenhouse.

If you have any expired leaves make sure you brew them all, as eventually the leaves will attract small bugs and also start to grow mold.

Hi, my name is Mike the Founder of simmeringtea.com! I'm very passionate about tea. So ive created this website with helpful information and useful tips on a wide range of topics regarding tea.