Do Tea Bags Expire or Go Bad?

I like to collect a variety of tea bags in different flavors, some have been in storage for two or three years.

So, do tea bags actually go bad? The short answer is yes, food goes bad, and tea bags are no exception. Although some teas can be stored for a long time under proper and reasonable conditions.

In today’s article, we’ll talk about the shelf life of tea bags and how to properly store them.

Keep reading!

Shelf life

The shelf life of a tea bag is about six months to 1 year, except for black tea, which has a shelf life of between 1 and 3 years. To maintain the freshness of a tea bag, you should store it in its original packaging.

If you must keep it elsewhere, zip-lock bags are not ideal because they don’t allow air in or out. Instead, a resealable plastic canister or Tupperware-like container is your best bet.

How Long Can You Keep Tea Bags?

You can store tea bags for up to 6 months from the production date.

Although there is a certain amount of debate on shelf life and quality past this period. Most experts agree that a well-stored tea bag will retain its freshness for at least six months.

While in storage, you should ensure that you’re storing your tea bag in a dark, relaxed environment.

Tea bags should also be kept in an environment with low humidity so they don’t absorb moisture, affecting the drink’s flavor.

The Expiration Day Vs. Best-By Dates

The expiration date is a term used to describe the last day that Tea bags can be sold and consumed before it begins to deteriorate.

Meanwhile, the Best-by date is used to describe that particular period when the quality of the tea will be highest.

This generally applies to high-sugar, fat, or acid-content products. While most tea bags won’t expire within this period, it’s best to use your best judgment and check on the quality and freshness.

How Long Do Tea Bags Last After The Best By Date?

Tea bags generally last for a year from the production date.

Some brands will last longer, and some will last shorter, but they should all be fresh.

If you have tea at both the expiration date and the best-by date, you’ll have to gauge which ones are staler.

You can judge this by tasting them and deciding if the initial taste is still good or if it is going sour (which indicates that they may go wrong in a short time).

How to know when tea bags go bad?

One way to tell that your tea is going wrong is the appearance of mold.

Look for any discoloration or trim spots on the bag.

The liquid inside the tea bag should not be darker than usual and should not smell odd. Also, it will taste like spoiled honey if it starts to rot.

The Best Way to Store Tea Bags

When you’re looking to store tea bags, you should keep them in a dark, cool place.

The ideal temperature range is between 50 and 70 degrees. Hot temperatures can cause the tea to go stale while cooling temperatures will make it last longer.

As mentioned before, humidity significantly affects your tea bag’s length. Keep an eye on the moisture levels if you’re storing them in a humid environment.

Because they will spoil much faster than if they were held at a cooler temperature in dry air.

Can You Freeze Tea Bags

If you want to keep your tea bags even longer, freezing them is an option. Ensure the tea is tightly sealed and not exposed to any moisture in the air while freezing.

Once ready to thaw and use the bag, let it warm up slowly to retain its freshness.

You can easily accomplish this with a warm water bath or by leaving it on your counter for a few hours before brewing.

Can Tea Bags Get Moldy?

Mold is a type of fungus that can be found on surfaces such as fabric, vegetables, and even food.

While mold is typically not harmful to humans, it can start to smell foul, and it will give your tea an unpleasant taste.

With tea bags, usually, you’ll find that the first bit of mold that appears will smell unpleasant. However, as the mold grows, it worsens and leaves your tea bag noxious.

Is it OK to use tea bags after the expiration date?

While there is no set expiration date for tea bags, you must check the date on your package to ensure that your tea is still at peak freshness.

However, as with all food products, if they have not been stored properly, they can experience spoilage. If a product smells terrible or changes color, use it immediately and toss it away.

You should be able to get the freshest brewed product possible.

Final Thoughts

Tea is a popular drink and can be used in many ways. With this article, you’ll learn how to determine the taste and quality of tea bags and how long they will last.

Also, keep an eye on your tea bags and ensure they are correctly stored. If they start to smell bad or change color, then use them immediately and throw them away. Tea bags should be stored in a relaxed, dark environment.

Tea bags can absorb moisture and become moldy, which can then affect the flavor of your tea (and the taste of everything around it). If you store your tea bag correctly, it will be fresh for at least half a year.

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