Does tea expire?
Of late, we have been asked this question a few times. The short answer is : No.
Whether you purchase loose leaf tea or tea bags, the packaging is bound to come with a best before date. This date usually indicates how long the tea will maintain its ideal taste for. Once the best before date has passed, the tea is still safe to consume**, however you may notice the flavour may not be as strong as it was, compared to when it was first purchased. This is mainly because the natural oils and flavours in the tea will evaporate over time.
Generally it is best to store tea in an airtight container away from direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place. Storing tea leaves in the freezer does extend its freshness for longer. If you choose not to consume tea which has passed its best before date, you don’t have to discard it right away. The tea leaves can be used to absorb odours in storage areas, or even added to a compost bin in the garden to use as fertilizer. This would be a good way to be kind to the environment and minimise waste.
**Please note that this only applies to teas with the actual tea leaf in it ( the camelia sinensis leaf ). If your tea is made up of dried fruit pieces, flowers & herbs, then it is best to follow the recommended shelf life on the packaging. For these fruit infusions and herbal infusions, if you have stored it in your freezer since you purchased it, the shelf life may be extended another 6 months at most.
Long live tea! Celebrate the citeazen within.
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