You’ve probably seen an expiration date or a best by date stamped on your tea packages, but do they really mean that you can’t drink your favorite blend anymore?
Sips by is a personalized tea discovery subscription. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more here.
DOES TEA EXPIRE?
The short answer is yes and no. Most tea doesn’t truly expire but - just like coffee - the freshness of the tea will start to deteriorate beyond the expiration date. While some pure blend teas can be consumed past their expiration date (though it’s not recommended), any blend that contains added perishable ingredients like fruit should be more carefully examined after the expiration date before drinking.
Will expired tea make you sick?
Only in extreme cases will old tea make you sick, but any tea consumed beyond a recommended best by date can start to taste bad and bitter. However, you can tell if tea is really expired and unsafe to drink if it has been exposed to extreme humidity or liquid and has developed mold, which can make you sick or upset your stomach.
When does tea expire?
When stored properly, tea can retain its original flavor and nutritional benefits for up to two years. The less fermented and more broken tea leaves are, the faster they expire. As a result, tea bags will generally expire faster than loose leaf tea because they usually contain broken leaves and tea dust that lead to the deterioration of the tea’s flavor. However, the flavor of individually wrapped tea bags will usually last longer than open tea sachets when stored properly. Overall, when stored in an airtight and dark container, whole loose leaf tea will retain its flavor the longest.
How do you keep tea from expiring?
The key to keep your tea from expiring too soon, and maybe even to extending the freshest flavor of your tea beyond the expiration date, is proper storage. Loose leaf tea, tea sachets, and even individually wrapped tea bags should always be stored in a dark, cool, and dry place in airtight containers. This will also protect your tea from getting wet (until you want to steep it!) so it doesn’t develop mold.
What can you do with expired tea?
Now, tea lovers know the struggle of having overflowing tea cabinets, so it might be time to freshen up your tea storage and clean out all of your expired tea! Don’t worry, your old tea doesn’t have to go to waste though. Here are a few things you can do with expired tea!
- Steep old tea bags in a relaxing and aromatic tea bath.
- DIY your own refreshing tea hair mist. This recipe makes the perfect natural mist for healthy and hydrated hair.
- Use old tea bags to supplement your compost.
- Make your own portable fire starters by dipping old tea bags in melted candle wax.
WELLNESS TEA SHOP
Explore the Wellness Tea Shop.
Discover new wellness teas for you to enjoy, feel better, and more relaxed.. Shop caffeine-free teas, herbal teas, and more. Explore our latest tea collections meant to help your overall wellness in areas like skin health, energy, digestions, and sore throats. Explore these and more in the new Wellness Tea Shop!
Interested in trying these teas and others? Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more here.
About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.