Does Tea Expire and Can Bad Tea Make You Sick?
Tea is pretty resilient and will not go bad if stored in an air-tight container at room temperature. Tea will rarely make you sick, even if it has been left in less than favorable conditions — you only really need to worry about mold on the tea leaves, otherwise, the drink is fairly safe to consume, even after it has been stored for a significant period.
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Even under ideal conditions, tea bags can get stale over time, and the tea can become almost as unpleasant as mold. Spoiled tea bags can smell bad, or if they’ve been exposed to moisture, there may be signs of mold on the paper packaging or bag. Tea bags are more prone to oxidation because the tea leaves in the bags are of poor quality, which means they spoil much faster than other premium teas. Tea bags will last for at least a year in the pantry, but they are safe to eat even after a long time.
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Tea bags may change color or taste. If your tea has an expiration date, it’s only for better quality, not safety. The same rule applies to old tea leaves, which can be safe if properly stored, but old tea leaves will be of lower quality. The proof that tea leaves do not spoil when stored properly is that any type of tea can be aged, including green tea. Old tea bags or loose tea are good after the expiration date or before the expiration date and won’t make anyone sick.
Tea bags usually keep longer, but mostly because the tea inside is poor quality, already dried and mostly tasteless. If you store tea bags in a ziplock bag in your pantry or kitchen cabinet, everything it actually does will dry out (like the All Spice container you have with spices).
|Freshly Brewed||Have a pleasant smell|
|Expired Tea||Stale or completely tasteles|
|Tea, like wine||Bitter and might cause nausea|
To avoid oxidation and loss of flavor while storing tea, I recommend using airtight tea containers like these for storing tea (link on Amazon). You can use airtight containers to store your tea, or store your tea in a cool, dry place to protect it from food odors. Brewed tea should be stored in an airtight container so that it does not absorb the smells or flavors of other foods and drinks in the refrigerator.
Although storage can extend the shelf life, condensation, especially from the refrigerator, can affect the flavor of the tea. In order to preserve tea, you must ensure that it is not exposed to light and air, which can cause moisture and spoil the tea. Moisture and condensation in the refrigerator can easily lead to mold and tea spoilage. Another issue with leaving a cup open in the refrigerator is that the tea can absorb flavors or odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
First, don’t store tea next to strong odors, like in the same cupboard where spices are kept. If you don’t see some of the above signs that your tea is bad (bugs, mold, mildew, or bad smell), brew it; you will probably be fine. There may be clear signs that your tea has expired or has really gone bad and should be thrown away.
In the worst case, you may be left with a bad taste in your mouth or stomach pain. Now, drinking bad tea, the worst thing that can happen to you is that you can have a thin stomach.
Tea, like wine, contains tannins, and drinking it, especially on an empty stomach, can cause nausea. Some tea lovers insist that when the tea bag is squeezed, tannins can be released, which can make the cup of tea bitter. If you drink loose tea, the bitterness is most likely the result of too much leaf fermentation or too high a temperature.
Brew yourself a cup of tea, you will notice that the tea will not give color, will not have a pleasant smell and will be tasteless and opaque. If you drink the tea before the date indicated on the package, the tea will taste great. Of course, it’s not that the tea becomes stale or completely tasteless a few days after this date, but you should expect it to lose quality significantly faster than “regular” tea.
It’s hard to say how long it will be before the tea actually becomes that way, as time varies with different teas and storage conditions. In some cases, tea retains a certain quality for much longer, so nothing can be said about when the tea will start to spoil. When you take a significant amount of tea every month, you usually have no problems with the freshness of the tea.
Keeping a cup of tea in the fridge is the easiest way to get on vacation, but there are other factors that can help your tea last longer. Brewing iced tea at the right temperature in a thoroughly cleaned container and limiting the time at room temperature before drinking it can minimize the risk of bacterial contamination.
According to the CDC, “The practice of making sun tea by steeping tea bags in a container of water in the sun may have a higher theoretical risk than brewing tea at a higher temperature because it creates a bacterial environment that may survive, and multiply. According to the CDC, “sun tea is made by soaking tea bags in a container of water in the sun (also known as brewing tea at a higher temperature) than brewing tea at a higher temperature. iced tea) increases the risk of bacteria growing in it.
The good news is that tea usually stays fresh for a while: 3 to 4 months in a bag, and up to a year in a can or other airtight container. This means that if the container or box is not closed tightly, the tea bags or tea leaves will start to smell strange over time.
What Happens if you Drink Bad Tea?
According to the research, the tea that has gone bad contains coliform bacteria that can lead to an upset stomach causing diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and other problems. Besides that, tea also contains caffeine which may affect health even more when consumed with other spoiled products.
How Do You Know if Tea Has Gone Bad?
The tea does go bad, and these are the four major signs that indicate that the tea has gone bad.
- It smells dank and pungent.
- It has caught mold.
- The flavor and scent have disappeared.
- It has crossed its expiration date or has been stored improperly.
What Happens if you Accidentally Drank Moldy Tea?
If you accidentally drank moldy tea, there would be no hazardous symptoms most commonly. Our stomach contains HCL (Hydrochloric Acid), which kills any foreign particle or pathogen that invades the body. However, some people may come across some symptoms like cramping or even diarrhea.