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You are watching: Does tea have an expiration date


Does tea expire? The quick answer is no.

The day stamped top top the bottom of her tea believe or tea bag crate isn’t technically an expiration date. The an elderly Advisor because that Food safety at the FDA has declared that the “Best If offered By” labels are related to the product quality, not safety, and also do not show when something have to be thrown far <1>. In other words, the shelf life of tea tells once it"s most likely past its optimal high quality for consumption.

Several tea brands prefer Celestial Seasonings likewise specify that tea is still perfectly for sure to drink past the “Best By” date <2>. So, if save on computer under exactly conditions, what happens to tea once it’s “expired?”


As mentioned, tea bags perform not expire. No does loose leaf tea. Dried tea leaves and bags are typically an excellent for a whopping 2 years before top quality starts rolling under a hill.

All teas make from the camellia sinensis plant, whether green or black color teas, will begin to shed their flavor with time <3>. In enhancement to taste, an larger batch that tea might additionally lose nutritional value, leave behind a drink closer to a tasteless, nutritionless heap of leaves. Special, flavonoids, which space antioxidants presented to pat a role in condition prevention, will certainly degrade <4>.

The kind of tea and their level of oxidation additionally influence the shelf life the tea. For example, tea agency Harney & Sons says that oxidized variations favor black teas keep far better for much longer than environment-friendly or white teas <5>. And thanks to the odor soaking up superpower that tea leaves, loosened leaf teas might also be much faster to welcome in moisture and also smells than smaller sized leaves and fannings in tea bags.

However, if you uncover that her crinkly tea bag native the back of the cupboard steeps a stale and tasteless concoction, there room still many of means to reuse her old tea bags.


With various packaging, warehouse instructions, and preparation processes, matcha also uniquely has actually its own indications of mirroring that it’s previous its prime. Fresh, top quality matcha have to be a deep, colorful jade in color. Once the color alters to be lightish environment-friendly or brown in color, you understand it"s one of two people low top quality or too old to gain <6>.


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Can you drink tea that has actually been sitting out? finest not!

Ideally, aim to drink her freshly steeped tea best away.

When tea sits out at room temperature, a number of things start to happen. Nutrients favor vitamin C and also E begin to disappear, while the protein and sugars invite in bacteria <7>. Studies have indicated that sun tea, or tea left the end to brew under the sun, can build harmful bacteria due to the ideal conditions in i beg your pardon bacteria prefer to prosper <8>. If you want to do safe iced tea to enjoy later, instead shot to make cold brew tea in the refrigerator.

There isn’t specific science to exactly how long tea large in the fridge, but you can expect to get a few days out of it. Constantly smell and inspect her homemade tea in the fridge before drinking to make certain it"s still safe and complimentary of uninvited bacterial visitors.


Like with packaged loose leaf tea and tea bags, bottled tea does no technically expire. Instead, it has a “Best If provided By” date to imply when the tea beginning to shed its quality. This timeframe can generally last between a few months to 2 years.


Tejava, for example, claims its tea’s optimal shelf life is 12 months <9>. Meanwhile, Arizona iced tea’s glass, can, and PET assets have 24 months unopened native the day they are developed <10>. After opening, they can be delighted in within 7-10 work in the refrigerator and 2-4 work unrefrigerated.

In summary, it’s ideal to reference the date stamped on your bottled tea to understand for sure!


A 2 year shelf life for guarantee quality might be forgiving, but loose leaf tea and also tea bags still require some TLC to stay fresh and thrilling.

Avoid save on computer tea in see-through glass containers, unopened in the fridge, or in plastic bags <5>. Remember that tea leaves space very odor absorbent, so the last point you desire is a cup that tastes prefer your dinner’s leftovers.

Instead, prolong how long your tea is great for by opting for storage away from light, high temperatures, humidity, oxygen, and odor <5>. Opaque, airtight containers in cool, dried cabinets room the method to go, which is why loosened leaf tea is frequently sold in tins and tea bags might come in aluminum wrappers. You should also aim to store your tea far from the sink and stove <3>.


+ References

<1> Office that the Commissioner. “Confused by day Labels ~ above Packaged Foods?” U.S. Food and also Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/confused-date-labels-packaged-foods.

<2> “Frequently request Questions.” Celestial Seasonings, https://celestialseasonings.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions.

<3> McKay, Diane. “How Long have the right to You keep Tea before It starts to shed Its Taste and also Nutritional Benefits?” Tufts Now, Tufts University, 2 Dec. 2015, now.tufts.edu/articles/tea-storage-length-time-fresh-nutrients.

<4> D;, Kozłowska A;Szostak-Wegierek. “Flavonoids--Food Sources and also Health Benefits.” Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny, U.S. Nationwide Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25272572/.

<5> Harney, Emeric. “Does Tea walk Stale?” Harney & Sons well Teas, 3 Oct. 2019, www.harney.com/blogs/news/does-tea-go-stale.

<6> Battle, Will. The world Tea Encyclopaedia. Unified Kingdom, Troubador posting Limited, 2017.

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<7> “Is Overnight Tea Drinkable?” BornTea, 7 Dec. 2017, www.borntea.com/blogs/tea-town/is-overnight-tea-drinkable.

<8> Galloway, David. Brew Tea in her Refrigerator to prevent Heat, Bacteria. Lifehacker, 7 Aug. 2011, lifehacker.com/brew-tea-in-your-refrigerator-to-avoid-heat-bacteria-5828460.

<9> “Tejava freshness Stamp.” Tejava, tejava.com/blogs/blog/tejava-time-stamp.

<10> Shop Arizona. “FAQs.” Shop Arizona, drinkarizona.com/pages/faqs.


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Hello, is that tea she looking for? Raquel is one Arizona-based tea drinker that writes around tea together a next hobby, however otherwise enjoys a good guanyin latte with boba and 0% street on the weekends.