How Long Can Tea Last
Tea can be stored for a long time if stored properly. If you have your unused tea leaves, store them in a tea bag or an air-tight tin to keep them fresh. This way, they will stay for a year. And brewed tea is kept in the fridge, it will remain good for 2 to 5 days.
While all teas are different, and some lose their flavor faster than others, tea doesn’t actually expire if it’s stored properly. To keep the tea as long as possible, it should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place.
Remember, if you want your regular tea to last longer, store it in the refrigerator where it is safe to drink for up to five days if stored in an airtight container. If you have made more tea than you can consume in a five day period, you can safely store it in the freezer for six to eight months. If you leave the tea at room temperature, be sure to drink it within eight hours.
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After this time, bacteria will begin to grow and tea made at room temperature will become unsafe to drink. Aging too long will make the resulting brew too bitter, and brewing too short will result in a weak tea. Storing unprepared tea in the refrigerator or freezer is a bad idea, as condensation can change its flavor. If you accidentally brew too much tea and don’t want to throw it down the drain, try storing it in the refrigerator.
The short answer is that properly stored tea can lose flavor and complexity over time, but it generally doesn’t spoil to the point where it’s unhealthy to drink. While loose tea may be of a higher quality, it will deteriorate over time (or simply lose its flavor). It also occurred to me that loose green tea starts to lose its flavor, especially about 2 months after opening the package, even if stored in an opaque and airtight container. When sealed, black tea can retain most of its flavor and aroma for up to 36 months after purchase, while green tea becomes noticeably stale after about 12-14 months, even when stored in an unopened sealed package.
|White tea||For 2 years|
|Dark oolongs and black tea||For 3 years|
|Regular tea||Safe to drink for up to 5 days|
|Unsweetened iced tea||For 3 to 5 days (like regular tea)|
When these two facts are combined (whole leaves last longer and are usually only found in loose teas), it’s clear that tea leaves retain their flavor better than tea bags.
When tea leaves fall apart, a large surface area can oxidize, which means they lose their flavor more quickly. Tea bags also come with tea leaf powder and fine grained particles known as fan; therefore, they tend to lose flavor faster than liners. Tea bags usually contain powder or fan, small particles that can lose their freshness much more easily than whole leaves, especially if they are not packaged in individual bags.
This means that if the container or box is not closed tightly, the tea bag or tea leaves will start to smell strange over time. The only way tea leaves can really spoil is when they are stored in extremely humid conditions, where they eventually absorb enough moisture to form mold, so proper storage of tea leaves is important to keep them fresh. Dried tea leaves that are stored dry do not spoil, as long as they are kept away from heat, water, light and air, their flavors and phytochemicals can last for up to two years.
If you have loose leaf or packaged green, white or oolong tea, the taste and freshness will be better within 1 year of purchase. In fact, all less oxidized leaves, such as white tea, green tea, and pure oolong tea, have a shorter shelf life. Generally speaking, black tea and pure green tea can be kept fresh for a long time, while herbal tea has a shorter shelf life.
The shelf life of dark oolongs and black teas is about 3 years, after which the taste and aromatic qualities begin to fade. Even more refined teas, such as black teas, will last longer. More refined teas, such as English Breakfast and Earl Gray, will retain the aroma and freshness of more refined teas for longer.
The longer herbal teas are left unused, the more likely they are to lose their original flavor. Generally, a pack of white tea can keep its original taste for 2 years. If you want to take advantage of its healing properties, you can store it for up to 20 years. Even if the tea is old, it does not mean that it cannot go bad.
Sometimes green tea has a longer shelf life if it is a top brand green tea, or if you pay more attention to how you store it. This tea usually keeps for a day, but if stored well, you can carry it with you for a day or two. If you make your own unsweetened iced tea, it will keep like regular tea for 3 to 5 days.
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 much faster than “regular” tea. After the last one, your tea will become noticeably less fragrant, sometimes even dull and stale. The taste will become bitter only when you let this tea steep longer than usual. Don’t be afraid to carry black tea with you, just try it from time to time to see how the taste changes.
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White tea is good for at least a year, but if you want to enjoy the spring freshness of pure silver needles, drink it within 6 months. Tea usually retains quality for at least 2-4 months after the date on the label, provided you store it properly. After three or even four days, the taste may become strange, and if you have added sugar or fruit to the tea, the tea may even begin to ferment. If you leave tea on the counter open from morning to evening, it will be almost impossible to drink it, especially on a hot summer day.
How Do You Know if Tea is Expired?
When tea goes bad there must be a few clear signs you can notice. For instance, you may feel a pungent smell coming from your tea. Or you may notice mold in your tea, or the flavor and aroma of a tea are entirely gone.
What are the Health Benefits of Tea?
Through a lot of research, it has been seen that particular types of tea can fight against inflammatory conditions, strengthen immunity, and avoid life-threatening conditions such as the diseases of the heart and cancer. A good habit of consuming tea as part of the routine can be beneficial for health in the long run.
How Long Does Tea Last in the Fridge?
If the tea has been brewed, it can stay good for a lengthier time inside a refrigerator. The tea will remain usable for up to 72 hours, and after that, the organisms, as well as the smell in the refrigerator, will destroy its standard in the absence of a package that keeps the air out. It is not dangerous to drink the brewed tea even after 5 days have passed if an air-free container has been used.