Shelf Life of
Tea

How Long Does Tea Last?

How Long Does Tea Last?

Shelf Life of Tea

How long does packaged tea last? Does tea expire? The shelf life of tea depends on a variety of factors, such as the best before date, the preparation method and how it was stored. Tea, made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, is enjoyed both hot and iced. Because it is rich in antioxidants and relatively low in cost, it is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Survival lists say to pack it and nations fight over it. So, how long does tea last past the best before date? When properly stored, the shelf life of packaged tea past its best by date is approximately …

(Unprepared) Pantry Freezer
Past Date Past Date
Packaged Tea lasts for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years
Loose Tea lasts for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years
Powder Iced Tea Mix lasts for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years
(Prepared) Refrigerator Freezer
Prepared Tea lasts for 3-5 Days 6-8 Months




Of course, all food and drink lasts for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember, tea, like a lot of other drinks, usually has a best before date and not an expiration date or use by date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use it to compliment your favorite meals even after the best before date has lapsed.

How to tell if tea is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your tea has gone bad. If it has gone bad, the pleasant aroma of the leaves will be gone. Tea gone bad only means that the natural oils in the leaves evaporated over time and became flavorless, but before the flavor is completely gone you can just use more bags or leaves to still make a fresh pot.
Always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods prior to their eat by date.

How to store tea to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food. You can help tea keep fresh longer by storing it in your freezer. Once prepared, tea should be stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator to keep out moisture and other contaminants.
If prepared tea is left out on the counter, it should be used within 4-6 hours. Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Want to know some interesting facts about tea?

  • Tea has many antioxidants which help shield the immune system and stop infections.
  • All tea (white, green, black and oolong) comes from the same plant. It’s the processing that gives them their unique qualities!
  • Regular tea has about half the caffeine of regular coffee.

  • What can you do with too much tea?

    Is your cupboard filled with excess? Before your tea goes bad, try one of these suggestions:

  • Since Tea leaves easily absorb odors, use them when trying to get something smelly (like fish odors) off your hands.
  • Have puffy eyes? Try moistening two bags with cold water and laying them on your eyes for 20 minutes.

  • How long is tea good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does tea last? That depends. How long do lemons last? In general, tea lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our how long does tea last content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of tea.

    *An important note about expiration dates …

    Although the does tea expire information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not replace the advice of your health care provider. Please drink responsibly!