Does Tea Go Bad?

Teas are probably the best thing you can get and definitely one of the healthiest. They have numerous health benefits and they are more than needed to every single person.

However, there are some questions related to the expiration date of teas. Most people believe that they can last forever, but some individuals believe that teas can be used only when they are fresh. The situation is a bit more complicated and there are several factors that regulate how long teas can be used. In any case, you should pay attention to them, simply due to the fact if a tea isn’t good for drinking, it will lose taste and health benefits.

Tea that isn’t good for drinking

In general, teas can last for a long time, but only if they are properly stored. General rule is that teas must be stored away from the sun, moisture and air. If you have stored tea like this, it can last for a few years. However, this also depends on a tea itself.

White and green teas have essential oils, so they should be used during first 6 months. After that, they lose flavor and health benefits, so they are not a great choice. On the other side dark teas can last much longer. In any case, they are safe to drink during the first year, but some of them can last for 2-3 years.

Another fact you should know is the time, during which a tea will have the full benefits depends on the leaves as well. Those that have larger leaves can last for a longer period of time.

On the other side those that have small leaves and they are broken into small pieces cannot last longer than 6 months. A great thing is the fact that even if a tea has expired, it can be used. But, it won’t have a great taste and the health benefits will be reduced. In any case, it is a much better choice to drink tea while it is fresh, simply because you will get the maximum efficiency and the taste will be the best.

The aforementioned facts apply only to ordinary teas. Keep in mind that most teas are seasonal, so they should be used during specific time of a year. They have the most properties then and they are the safest to use during that period.

Storing tea properly

In order to get the best and the longest benefits of a tea, it has to be stored properly. As aforementioned, it should be kept on a dry and cool place. In addition, it must be kept away from strong aromas, simply because they will have a negative effect on the tea. The best place for keeping tea is some place where it will be away from the sunlight, moisture, water, aromas and closed, so it doesn’t have contact with the air.

Most people believe that tea can be refrigerated, but this is a mistake. When you open the jar for the first time, the tea will be damaged, due to the fact the aromas and the moisture will get in contact with a tea. On the other side, keeping a tea near the coffee and other ingredients is a mistake as well, so your kitchen cabinets are not the best choice. In any case, you should store your tea somewhere where it will be protected from all aforementioned factors. By doing this, you will get the tea that will last for a longer period of time and it will contain all the ingredients and benefits a fresh tea would have.

Using fresh water or re-boil the old one

With this question the situation completely depends on you. Most people claim that you should use fresh water, due to the fact when the water boils, it loses oxygen so it isn’t very fresh and it is hard. On the other side some people claim that re-boiling the water doesn’t have a negative effect on the quality of the tea. In any case, this is your choice, so you should water that you want.

Despite the fact most experts recommend that fresh or re-boiled water have the same properties, most people can feel the difference, so it is still a better choice to use fresh water every time you make a cup of tea.

Checking tea to see is it good or bad

Sadly, there are no tests that can help you determine is a tea good or bad to use, but there is one thing you can do. The first fact you should know is that if a tea is old, it won’t have the desired taste and it will taste old, so it isn’t pleasant for drinking. On the other side, a fresh tea will have all the benefits and advantages.

The only thing you can do is to make one cup of a tea. If it tastes great, the tea is good for drinking. On the other side, if it tastes old and bad, you should get a fresh package of tea. Maybe this sounds like an obsolete technique, but it is the only way you can test the tea and see is it good for drinking.


As you can see, tea can be used almost forever, but it is the best choice to use it while it is fresh, simply because you will get the most benefits and the best taste. The time, during which tea should be used depends on the type of a tea, but most of them can last 1 year, but only if they are stored properly. If it isn’t stored properly, tea will go bad in a matter of days, so you will have to get a new package. The taste of the bad tea will be different than the fresh one has and it may smell differently.

However there won’t be negative effects on your health, but you won’t get all the benefits fresh tea has to offer.