Food Preservation

How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do Tea Leaves Go Bad?

In this article, you will know the answer to the query “How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do Tea Leaves Go Bad?“.

What a wonder ingredient tea leaves are, aren’t they?

You can dunk them in your morning beverage and boom! You feel refreshed for the rest of the day after drinking it.

There are also different health benefits associated with different types of tea leaves.

Have you ever heard that tea leaves can go bad? Tea leaves do come with a “best before” date, despite what many people believe.

If you have been using the same old tea leaves for brewing green/black/red tea for the last year, maybe it is time to restock your tea leaves jar.

After a certain period of time, tea leaves lose much of their nutritional content.

It is therefore vital to understand when and why tea leaves go bad if you want to reap the full benefits of your tea leaves.

The purpose of this article is to answer the daunting question: how long do tea leaves last? Here are some tips on spotting bad tea leaves.

How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do Tea Leaves Go Bad?

Those wondering if tea leaves can go bad at all should know that they can!

There is a possibility of tea leaves going bad. Now let’s talk about how long tea leaves last.

There are a number of factors that determine the answer.

One thing to keep in mind is that the duration may vary depending on whether you are using loose tea leaves or tea bags.

It is common for loose tea leaves to be thicker in size. Because of this, their shelf life tends to be a bit longer.

When it comes to loose tea leaves, they can last as long as two years, while teabags can last between six and twelve months.

In addition, the answer may vary depending on the type of tea leaves used. In contrast, black tea leaves normally last up to 24 months, while green tea leaves last up to 12 months.

White tea leaves may have a shelf life of up to 12 months, while oolong tea leaves may have a shelf life of up to 24 months.

Having learned that your tea leaves can go bad, you may be in a state of panic. You don’t have to worry! Despite all the bad news, there is some good news.

When it comes to preserving the shelf life of your tea leaves, there are a few things you can do.

If you want to prevent your tea leaves from going bad quickly, follow these storage tips:

Make sure it’s kept in an airtight container and away from sunlight. It is possible for tea leaves to lose quality when they are exposed to light/heat for an extended period of time. Make sure it’s kept in a dark, cool place instead.

In addition to avoiding glass jars, you may also want to avoid plastic containers. Due to the ease with which light can penetrate through glass, this is the main reason. It may be better to use a stainless steel airtight container instead.

It is best to avoid opening the lid of the container frequently unless you need to brew tea in it.

Tea leaves should not be scooped with wet spoons. It is possible that they will lose nutrients more rapidly if exposed to water.

How to Tell if Tea Leaves are Bad?

Knowing how to identify bad tea leaves is equally important as knowing that tea leaves can go bad.

If you want to know if your tea leaves have gone bad, look for these signs:

Smell it

You can tell if your tea leaves have gone bad by smelling them. There will be a distinct sour and pungent smell to spoiled tea leaves.

Tea leaves naturally contain oils that evaporate over time. As a result, the natural aroma of the tea leaf is reduced.

Taste it

It is clear that you need to change your tea leaves if they are no longer providing you with that explosion of flavor.

The catechins in green tea can reduce the flavor by nearly 51% in just six months, according to research.

In the same way, other tea leaves can also lose their flavor over time.

Look at it

You can also tell if your tea leaves have gone bad by looking for obvious signs like molds and mildews.

Keeping them properly will prevent that from happening. It is possible, however, to see mold and mildew formations.

Mold may grow on your tea leaves if you keep them near the sink or scoop them up with wet spoons.

You don’t want to drink mold tea, do you?


There are still many people who don’t realize it, but it is possible for tea leaves to go bad.

As of now, there are no major health risks associated with using tea leaves after the best-before date. However, that does not mean you should continue using them.

A good deal of authentic flavor is lost once the tea leaves have passed their prime stage.

Additionally, the potency of their health benefits is significantly diminished.

Thus, only fresh tea leaves should be used or proper measures must be taken to preserve their flavor.

To make a good cup of tea, it is essential to store it properly. Be sure to store your tea leaves airtight in a container with minimal light exposure and water exposure.

How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do Tea Leaves Go Bad? (Recipe)


15 minutes


15 minutes


30 minutes


  • Tea leaves
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge before use. Always check for signs of spoilage before use.

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan is an accomplished culinary author with a passion for cooking and 6 years of experience. His creative ideas and valuable tips inspire readers to explore new flavors and take their culinary skills to the next level.

Rehmat Dietitian

Rehmat is a certified food dietitian having experience of 10 years in reviewing and practicing on foods different aspects.

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