Since tea is typically consumed hot and is usually made from leaves, you would think that it would lose its flavor very fast and turn into a nothing more than a bitter brew. This is not the case. Tea’s staying power depends on how it is stored, how it is made, and how people drink it. You can find many tea recipes online that last months, some as long as a year.

Tea is my favorite beverage. It’s a healthy choice that can be enjoyed on a daily basis, and it’s simple to prepare. However, the question remains: how long does tea last? While there is no real set answer to this question, most experts recommend storing your tea in an air-tight container. This will ensure that your tea doesn’t go bad and that it remains a tasty drink to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Tea can be a versatile drink that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Tea is often consumed in the afternoon to relax and wind down, or later in the evening as a refreshing drink after dinner. However, tea can also be consumed whenever the consumer needs a pick-me-up. So, How Long Does Tea Last?

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How many times have you pulled out the old tea bags and wondered how long the tea will last? Does the tea have an expiration date or a date stamp? In this article, we will debunk the myths and help you understand the life of tea.

Discover the different types of tea and their benefits.

Most teas have an expiration date on the packaging that indicates the period of time during which you should drink the best quality tea. This date is not a hard rule and does not mean that tea consumed after this date will be harmful to you, but it gives you a rough estimate.

If you drink tea purchased before this date, you will usually still get a better cup of tea. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw away your precious tea at the end of the deadline. Read on to find out when to throw away your tea and how to store it properly to extend its life.

Tea bags and leaves life

The tea bags themselves never spoil if stored properly, which means they are never dangerous to use. They should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from moisture. As long as they stay dry, the bags will last a long time and not become a health issue.

However, to get the best flavor from your tea bags and loose tea, we recommend using them for up to a year. After that, they begin to lose their flavor and strength and are no longer drinkable. If you start with high quality tea, you will be able to keep it longer with good taste than low quality or cheap tea. This should be taken into account when purchasing.

Stored in a cool, dry place the tea has a long shelf life. The sooner you use them, the better the smell will be.

If tea made with old bags or leaves tastes stale or if you don’t like the taste anymore, it’s time to get rid of the tea.

Can I buy tea in bulk?

You may have been tempted by offers to sell tea in bulk and wondered if that was a good idea. If the tea spoils quickly, you may be left with an entire bag of unusable tea to throw away. At some point I gave in to the pressure to buy more and ended up regretting it.

While tea never spoils and can be stored for about a year without sacrificing quality, buying loose tea is not a good idea if you value the taste and freshness of your cup, especially if you don’t drink much tea. It is better to buy small batches of tea that you can drink within six months, rather than buying a one to two year supply at once.

If you drink a lot of tea or buy tea for an office or institution that has a lot of tea drinkers, you are much more likely to use most of the tea in bulk before the expiry date, so buying in bulk can be a good cost-saving measure.

How to store tea properly

To ensure you get the best possible tea, you need to know how to properly store and preserve tea bags and loose tea.

If you store your tea in the flimsy cardboard box it comes in, chances are you won’t get the best out of it. To store tea bags or loose tea, it is best to remove them from their original box or packaging.

Tea is best kept in an airtight container. A plastic or vacuum sealed container can help keep tea fresh longer.

Do not store tea leaves or bags with other strong smelling items as they easily absorb odors and flavors. It can be a nasty surprise in your drink if you’re not careful. I’ve had tea with a hint of cumin and chili powder – not very nice.

Freezing tea bags

Another great way to preserve your favorite teas is to freeze them. Due to the low water content of tea leaves, the molecular structure does not change with freezing. The important thing is to keep them in an airtight container, and preferably in small quantities.

Avoid refreezing at all costs. The more moisture the tea absorbs when thawed, the more it will lose its flavor when put back in the freezer. Just like in the refrigerator, try to keep frozen tea free of odors that can affect the taste of the batch.

Tea should not be frozen indefinitely, as over time the tea begins to lose its flavor. Anything longer than a year and a half is probably too long and should be discarded.

Storage of brewed iced tea

Cold tea is so delicious that it usually doesn’t need to be stored. You drink it too fast for that, but if you don’t drink it fast, you may wonder how long you can keep it in the fridge before it spoils.

The tea can be kept in the refrigerator for up to six days. After that the taste is affected and the tea can become undrinkable. Always keep a lid on the teapot and never drink directly from the teapot and then put it down again, or stir the tea with the spoon you had in your mouth.

Check out our favorite iced tea recipes for summer.

Sweetened iced tea spoils faster because it has more sugar in it, which is good food for bacteria. Sweet tea should not be stored for more than four days, which is a short shelf life. The best way to enjoy sweet tea longer is to sweeten it in the glass after pouring. A little extra work for safe storage.

Never store tea in a warm or hot place, as this accelerates the growth of bacteria.

The best way to enjoy iced tea is to make only what you’re going to drink and make sure you don’t have any leftovers. Keeping a jar of iced tea in the fridge is a tempting and delicious idea, but if you can’t use it within a week, you should throw it away.


Now you know how long the tea will keep. As you have read, tea bags and loose leaf tea have a long shelf life and can last quite a long time under the right conditions. If you are unsure of your storage method, now is the time to make changes and your tea will last even longer.

Set aside and share

Jillian studies in a small town in Oregon where she pursues her passion for people. In her free time, she enjoys music, writing and baking.Tea is an integral part of the culture in China, and a lot of people drink it almost everyday. Although drinking tea can have positive health effects, a lot of health issues can be caused by tea consumption.. Read more about does green tea expire and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

CAN expired tea make you sick?

No, it does not.

Can I drink 10 year old tea?

No, you cannot drink 10 year old tea.

How long does it take for tea to go bad?

It depends on the type of tea. Green tea can last for up to two years, black tea for up to six months, and oolong tea for up to three months.

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