Tea: Whether or Not It Expires & How Long It Actually Lasts

Tea is luxury that’s affordable for plenty of people: you might look forward to it in the morning or have some at night to relax. However, after a while, you may wonder how long the tea will stay fresh for. When should you drink up and replace it? In this blog, we’re going to explore tea in the context of expiration if at all and how long it will actually last.

Does Tea Expire?

Tea is extremely sensitive to temperature, light, moisture and air, and so should be stored properly in order to age into a lovely tea. If not cared for properly, old tea may not be as flavorful as a young tea, and therefore will brew up a weaker cup with a stale flavor. 

Keep in mind that improperly stored tea will likely dull faster. The safest way to store tea is in a dry, dark place, but if you’re unsure if your tea is safe, you can always exchange it for new tea and enjoy a fresh cup.

How Long Does Tea Last?

The most effective way to keep tea fresh is to store it in a container that seals tightly and keeps out light and moisture. Tea tins are ideal for this because they block light and moisture. Some people use mason jars and similar glass containers; that should only be an option if the it goes in a cabinet or dark drawer.

  • Tea stored in a bag – Will stay fresh for three to four months
  • Tea stored in a tin or other airtight container – Will stay fresh for up to a year

So, for the most part, tea stored properly will be good to drink up to year after you bought it.

When Is Tea Still Fresh?

A tea will not go bad, but it will lose its flavor if it is not stored properly. You should evaluate the aroma and flavor of any tea you think might be over a year old. If it tastes funny, you should replace it with a fresh batch of tea. Look at the color, too; if it’s a different color than the first time you bought it, chances are it’s time to start fresh.

Most of the time if tea has been sitting around for too long, it doesn’t smell or taste as good as it should, and it might not taste as rich. Sometimes, if your tea is past its prime and has seen better days, it can develop mold or other signs of decomposition. These signs might vary depending on the type of tea you’re drinking. 

While old tea might not make you sick, it definitely won’t be as good as it should be. If you think your tea has gone bad, don’t risk it. Tea can have some volatile molecules that will make you feel nauseous if there’s a high concentration of them in your tea.


Tea is a beloved drink all over the world. A common question people have is about expiry and how long it lasts. Simply put, tea can stay fresh for up to a year if it’s properly stored.

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