Attn tea lovers: Do you check if the tea leaves and bags have expired?

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

Our favourite time of the year, winter is here. And nothing feels as comforting as a piping hot cup of tea during this chilly weather. But what if the tea you drink has expired?

This may sound a little weird, but tea leaves and tea bags can also go bad, just like all other food items. Most of us, though, fail to keep a check on the expiry date for tea leaves and tea bags, but you may be surprised to know that even the best quality tea takes just 30 minutes to ruin.

From storage problems to over brewing, if it is not stored with care the tea will lose its essence and aroma.

Why do tea leaves expire?


Tea’s shelf life depends a lot on how it is stored. If the tea is not stored in the correct conditions, both tea leaves and bags will get expired. It can quickly go bad when the tea comes into contact with moisture in the air and in some conditions it can also develop molds due to the presence of excessive heat or moisture. Thus, the best way to preserve the shelf life of tea is by storing it in the right conditions.

Green tea expires quickly

Green tea leaves are fragile compared to other tea variants and can quickly lose their smell, color, and taste faster, if not properly stored. Exposure to excessive sunlight, heat, or moisture can cause changes to tea and its quality.

The right container is essential for maintaining the freshness of the tea. Therefore experts suggest that it is best to drink green tea within 6 months from its production date so that you can enjoy its perfect taste and aroma.

How to check the freshness of green tea?


If the tea has no scent and looks a little sticky once you open the bottle, then the best thing is to do is throw it away. If a foul or pungent scent is in your tea bags or leaves, then the tea must have gone bad. Another way to verify tea leaves’ freshness is by checking for formations of molds or even clumping up of leaves.

The touch of good-quality dried tea leaves should feel smooth, whole, and sturdy. It shouldn’t crumble or disintegrate with careful handling, and steeped leaves should feel slippery and smooth to the touch.

Most packaged green teas have the proper expiry date listed on the box, but it is not sufficient in certain cases to decide whether or not the purchased tea from the store is fit for consumption.


So, the main way to check your tea is to trust your senses and, please throw away the expired items as they can cause severe health problems. But one thing to remember, do not dump it with your regular waste. This is an organic waste that can be used for nature’s benefit either as an odor absorber or a composting agent.

So, remember to this drink the energy booster before it expires and even if it expires let it be beneficial to nature.