How Long Does Tea Last?

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...

How Long Does Tea Last?

Tea Expiration Date

(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 foods and drinks last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But remember that 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 techniques will help prevent foodborne 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 has evaporated over time, making the leaves far less flavorful. Before the flavor is completely gone you can just use extra bags or leaves to still make a fresh pot.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled drinks so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your drinks before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Tea to extend its shelf life?

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.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

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 teas have about half the caffeine of regular coffee.
  • How to use extra before your Tea goes bad?

    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.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Tea lasts, our 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 Tea shelf life 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 a replacement for your health care professional. Please drink responsibly!