As you don’t like to run out of your most beloved tea in case of a sudden tea shortage, you should also not waste a perfectly made tea with optimum quality.
Naturally, being a tea enthusiast, you would want to know how long your stockpile of tea will last on your shelf before it goes to waste. Not knowing this may result to an awful scenario as you watch the tea leaves crumble upon your hands, and is not eligible to use.
In that sense, tea lovers would always want to have a backup tea in case of emergency.
To help you with that, this article will provide the time span of tea before it reaches its expired date.
May you have a good tea day ahead of you!
You are cleaning your cabinet and suddenly you find boxes of tea bags scattered beneath the surface. The first question that may come to your mind is, “are the teas still edible?” Of course, as a tea drinker yourself, you would not want to leave the untouched teas to go to waste!
Accordingly, in case of storing teas, we need to be mindful about the storing process, especially for loose leaf. This is because it affects the quality if we pass the allotted due date.
In addition, loose leaves are the types that are most likely to lose quality over time than any other perfectly sealed teas.
However, the shelf life can range from 12 to 36 months for sealed teas on average. On the other hand, this is not the same for the loose leaf types.
In reality, they tend to be shorter since they are mostly more exposed to moisture and air. To prevent losing of flavors, it is best to buy it in small quantities and consume it faster.
While in storage, the absorbing of moisture can affect its compound. Moreover, there are mostly different in terms of shelf life. To know more, here are some details:
For room temperature, the shelf life is one year. If stored with extra care and has up to par packaging, it can extend up to exact or less than 2 years. It is slightly longer than others like green tea since the preparation is almost similar, but is still not advised for long time preservation.
It is best to use less than 18 months, and after that, the flavors and overall quality degrades. Nevertheless, there are cases wherein it can extend up to 36 months, depending on existing variables and debris in the storage, specifically moisture, heat, and air.
There is no specified shelf life for dark tea though it can improve its quality and fragrance if stored properly.
The life is also longer than green tea, with 18 months in bulks and 24 months if tea bags are stored separately. The paper bags can be stored for 2 years while the most sealed packaging made of tin material can be stored up to 3 years.
This type of tea is different. Unlike others, the longer it is stored, the more effective it is in terms of medicinal purposes. The shelf life is 2 years, but as it grows older, the flavor becomes richer and mellower.
In shops, it is mostly 1-6 years old since they store it efficiently, beyond that is typically for rare collection.
Most people tend to make batches of iced tea ahead of time, but the truth is it should not be stored for more than 8 hours. This is its optimum state, which is the best time for drinking.
However, many do not follow the rules, and breaks it even, which gives us a margin of error that it can be consumed before three to four days.
Likewise, if you notice that the flavor is weird, or starts to ferment and get moldy, do not hesitate to throw it out! It may appear wasteful, but health matters more than ever.
Although heating it again is advisable, you should consume it faster since it can go off faster than usual in this state.
On the other hand, for those who can stand the cold temperature of teas, bacteria and flavor is not really the issue.
Consequently, you might like to store it, but make sure that the area of storage and the equipment in the brewing process is clean and sterilized. No one would want a thick and sour tea full of bacteria!
The time span of tea and till when you can still use it depends on the packaging. Initially, individual packages tend to last longer than loose leaf types. Beyond the specific time, it loses its quality slowly, which can degrade the overall performance of your most beloved tea.
In tea bags, it is mostly associated with silky sachets or mesh bags, depending on the overall composition. Furthermore, it defines its shelf life.
The years of overall storage mostly relies on its material and its overall exposure to the moisture and light. On average, it can last at least a year but can be extended due to certain factors.
Most tea bags have expiration dates to specify its ideal consume. If it has mold or changes color, the best is not to use it. As its age gets overtime, the tea degrades its flavor, nutrients, and aroma, but it does not mean that it is harmful in any way.
Accordingly, not being individually sealed makes this downside process faster as it is exposed to air and other debris that may come its way.
Using tea that has been abandoned for over a year requires more steeping time than the usual. It is in hopes of concentrating its remaining flavors along the way.
Indeed, you cannot get food poisoning from teas that have long passed its expiration date, but the quality and flavor are not what is designed. With this said, the best way to do is to comply with the basic protocol in tea lifespan.
Final Words: Ensuring Quality Before Usage
Teas do have a shelf life, and it is not for safety purposes, but for preference regarding the proposed optimum state of quality before consumed.
Over time, following this can ensure that your tea still does not lose its flavors, and can even reach your expectations. If you notice that your tea have mold formation, never attempt to drink it!
Apart from that, your tea collection is safe. Now, make sure that they are properly sealed each time you get up in the morning to brew your tea of the day!