Does Green Tea Expire? Can You Use It After The Expiration Date?

There is always a battle between two types of people around the world. One section is for those people who prefer coffee over tea, and then there is another bunch who prefer tea over coffee anytime, anywhere! I don’t know what your favourite is, but I am assuming that you may choose health over anything else. So when we talk about health and beverage together, green tea comes first in our mind the majority of the time.

people who don’t even like traditional tea include green tea in their diet. Green tea is indeed an exception. It has many health benefits, which makes it a popular beverage around the world. If consumed regularly, with some exercise and a healthy diet, it benefits you the most. It helps you lose weight and detox. I will not bore you by listing out its health benefits as you might know them already. 

But have you ever thought if your favourite green tea can go bad or not? As it is a beverage which you drink almost every day, sometimes twice a day, you must know about the expiry period of green tea. Read this article to find out.

Does Green Tea Expire?

It is a fact that any food item is perishable. Foods, including frozen food, tend to get spoiled after a specific time. However, tea leaves don’t expire. Unlike other beverages, green tea leaves don’t go bad and the pack doesn’t have an expiry date. Instead, there is undoubtedly a ‘best before a date!’ That means you should use it before the determined period to get the best taste.  

Even if you use green tea after the best before date, it is safe to consume. The so-called ‘expired’ tea leaves are not harmful to your health. The only issue is that sometimes the tea leaves may lose their flavour. Generally, the shelf life of any sealed tea pack is between 1 year and 3 years. If you use a loose-leaf tea, the shelf life might be shorter because of the moisture and odour of the environment.

What Makes Green Tea Leaves Lose Their Flavor?

There are many reasons why green tea leaves would lose its flavour. One of them is the tea’s ingredients. You might be aware of the fact that these compounds are passed through many processes before you buy/use them. 

Another reason is the environment. Once you open the package, they may get affected by the humidity, high temperature, or excessive sunlight. Such factors make green tea lose its flavour and reduces quality. Although, if you store tea leaves in the best possible way, their life span may extend.

How To Store Green Tea?

  • As mentioned earlier, the shelf life of any tea is between 12 and 36 months if it is well packed. Freeze all the unopened packs.
  • Try purchasing smaller quantities and finish one pack at a time. This way, you can enjoy its flavour for an extended period.
  • Keep it at room temperature. Once opened, store the loose leaves in an airtight container. Also, never put the leaves in the freezer as they may get dampened.
  • The main enemies of green tea are moisture, heat, and odour. If you are successful in protecting it from them, you can enjoy better shelf-life.

Tricks To Find Out The Spoiled Tea

Humans are known for their senses. Get help from your insights and past experiences while finding out if your tea has gone bad or not. Firstly, smell the aroma. If it is still pleasant, then no need to worry. Sometimes, you may have a problem with the taste even if the fragrance is delightful. So, whenever you feel that it doesn’t taste as good as before, stop using it. Always remember, when the natural oils have evaporated entirely, the green tea turned less flavorful.

Recycling Green Tea

Once you are convinced that you can’t use your green tea, there are many ways to recycle it. Don’t waste your favourite drink. Here are a few ideas to use extra green tea. 

  • Use dry green tea leaves to get rid of the unpleasant smell of your hands. For eg. after cooking or working in the garden, some strong odour may set in your hands. You can avoid such smells using green tea leaves.
  • Hang tea bags in cupboards or shoe racks to absorb the bad odour.
  • Soak some green tea in cold water. Drain and wrap it in a paper. Use these tea bags to get rid of puffy eyes in the morning.
  • Use green tea as a fertilizer by mixing it in your garden’s composite.  

Bottom Line

There is no issue in drinking green tea which has crossed its best before date. Make your green tea at a temperature of about 90 degrees Celsius and brew it for three to five minutes. Green tea never goes bad. It just loses its pleasant aroma and delicious flavour with the passing time. Green tea leaves do have some characteristics that can multiply if you keep them open for a longer period. But, there are no cases of illness due to green tea. But if you think that your body and especially your stomach is sensitive, then you must be cautious.


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