Can Tea Go Bad? Tips to Keep Your Tea Fresh
Can tea go bad? Good question. Tea is a natural product, with no preservatives. So if you’ve wondered this, you’re not alone!
The simple answer is no, tea doesn’t go bad unless moisture gets into the tea container. Tea has a long shelf life because it’s almost completely dry. However, any contact tea has with moisture can drastically shorten its freshness.
Teas often have a use-by date on their packaging. That date indicates how long the tea leaves should retain freshness. It has little to do with safety. The date on the label is there to remind you by when you should drink your tea to experience the full flavors of that tea.
TIP: If you find yourself with tea on hand that is past its best-by date, add a little more leaf to your cup. More leaf may add some of the flavor boost it may have lost.
How to Store Tea to Keep it Fresh
It’s important to know how to properly store your tea.
We have well-designed teaware that works just as good as it looks. Our tea tin with latch keeps your tea away from harmful air, light, moisture and other odors. The specially designed latch-lock tins are airtight and protect your loose tea from the outside elements. Keep it sealed — the more tea is exposed to oxygen, the more odor and moisture it may absorb.
The storage location is also important. Keep tea out of direct sunlight. Your tea cabinet should be in a consistent, room-temperature area (67 to 77°F), dry and away from any heat source.
Tea is also highly absorbent; keep it separate from items with a strong odor. Make sure you don’t store your tea with spices.
How Long Does Tea Stay Fresh?
Black tea is oxidized as part of processing, so it will last longer on the shelf. If stored correctly, it’ll be at its best for about two years. Green tea may keep for up to 18 months before losing flavor. The antioxidants in green tea are what makes it healthy, so consume it within one year of production to get all the health benefits.
It’s said that white tea increases in quality as it ages. Aged white teas may already be five or six years old when you purchase them. And pu-erh tea is deliberately aged and fermented, to develop additional complexities similar to a fine wine.
More Tips to Keep Tea Fresh
Tea quality matters too. High-quality teas tend to have a longer shelf life. An exception to this may be Japanese green teas, such as Gyokuro. Enjoy this extra special tea within six months for optimum freshness.
Another way to keep tea fresh is to avoid buying too much at once. Our Sampler Sets are a great way to try small amounts of new teas, but not to have too much on hand.
Looking for a new tea to try? Try our cozy teas for fall: