Tea is among the most favored beverages globally.
It’s delicious and refreshing, and people who don’t typically drink coffee often find themselves reaching for a cup of tea instead.
But what happens when your tea goes bad?
Can you still drink it?
And how can you avoid having your tea go bad in the first place?
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to buy, prepare, and enjoy tea.
How can you tell if tea has gone bad?
You might be tempted to assume that because tea is so delicious, it must be good forever.
But while some teas do have a shelf life, others will get spoiled quickly.
There are different types of tea, and each type has its own expiration date.
You should always check the label on your tea to make sure it’s safe to consume.
If you see “best by” or “sell by,” those dates indicate the manufacturer’s recommendation for how long you can expect to use the product before it gets stale.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your tea, try storing it in airtight containers.
If you use glass jars, be sure to clean them with soap and water regularly to prevent bacteria from growing inside.
Does tea expire?
Yes, tea can go bad.
The problem is that it’s difficult to predict exactly when this will happen.
Some teas, such as herbal teas, are more prone to spoil faster than others.
While some teas have an expiration date, others don’t.
For instance, some manufacturers recommend that you use loose leaf tea within six months.
However, some teas are better suited to dry storage, which keeps them fresher for longer.
In general, though, you’ll notice that the flavor starts to change once the tea is past its prime.
This may mean that the leaves are starting to break down, or they may even start to smell sour.
When you’re ready to discard old tea, just put it in the trash.
Don’t compost it or give it away to friends and family—that could spread harmful bacteria through your home.
How long does tea last?
The shelf life of tea depends on several factors, including the type of tea, where it was made, and whether or not it was sealed properly.
Tea made from whole leaves tends to last longer than tea made from powdered herbs.
Black tea, for instance, has a shelf life of about six months, while green tea can last up to three years.
Oolong tea, however, has the longest shelf life of all, lasting up to five years.
White tea, meanwhile, can last anywhere from two to four years.
It’s also important to note that some teas are better suited to being brewed into beverages rather than eaten straight from the jar.
Since these types of teas tend to have less caffeine, you won’t experience any negative effects if you drink them too soon after opening.
These include matcha (which is great for baking), pu-erh tea, and chamomile tea.
What are the signs that tea has gone bad?
As we mentioned earlier, the most obvious sign that tea has gone bad is the loss of flavor.
Once the leaves start to lose their freshness, they will taste stale and bitter.
Your tea will also start to turn brown, which is another indication that the leaves are losing their nutrients.
Other signs of tea going bad include mold, which can appear as small white spots on the surface of the tea.
When tea becomes moldy, it can cause sickness in humans and animals.
It’s best to throw out any tea that looks or smells suspiciously moldy.
Can you still drink tea after it has gone bad?
Yes, you can still drink tea once it’s gone bad.
As long as you haven’t opened the container or taken any of the tea out of its packaging, you can simply pour it back into the same container without worrying about contamination.
However, you should probably avoid drinking tea that’s been open for more than a week or two, since it’s likely to have lost much of its flavor.
Even if you’ve already had a few sips, you should consider throwing the rest away to ensure that you don’t risk getting sick.
How do you store tea to keep it fresh?
To prolong the shelf life of your tea, it’s important to store it properly.
First, wrap your tea tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to protect it from exposure to light.
Then, seal it in an airtight container, preferably glass, to keep out moisture and oxygen.
Finally, store the container in a cool, dark place. Ideally, you should keep your tea somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the best way to brew tea?
While you can brew tea in pretty much any vessel, you’ll usually get better results if you use a teapot.
Teabags are great for brewing tea in bulk, but using loose leaves is better for infusing flavorful liquids.
To brew tea, just add hot water to the bag or pot until the water level reaches halfway up the sides of the container.
Let the tea steep for at least five minutes and then strain it into a mug or glass.
How many cups of tea can you drink in a day?
This question has no clear answer, since everyone is different.
One person might drink 10 cups per day, while another might only need 2 cups per day.
There are plenty of variables involved here, so it’s impossible to say exactly how many cups you should drink in a day.
The best advice is to drink tea in moderation, especially when you’re trying to cut back on sugar.
If you want to increase the amount of tea you drink, try adding honey to your tea.
Honey helps to sweeten your beverage and adds extra flavor as well.
What are the benefits of drinking tea?
Tea has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and it continues to gain popularity today.
Many health professionals believe that drinking tea can help improve your overall health and wellness, including boosting your immune system, reducing stress levels, and lowering blood pressure.
In addition, there are certain types of tea that are particularly beneficial for your skin.
Matcha, for instance, is rich in antioxidants, which help to reduce wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes.
Chamomile tea is known to calm inflammation, which makes it a great choice for soothing irritated skin.
Is there a difference between iced tea and hot tea?
Most people think of iced tea and hot tea as the same thing, but they’re actually very different.
Hot tea is prepared by steeping the tea leaves in boiling water and then straining the mixture.
Afterward, the liquid is cooled to room temperature and served cold. Iced tea is similar, except that it’s served cold right after it’s brewed.
Hot tea is considered healthier than iced tea because it contains fewer calories and less sugar.
Plus, it’s easier to digest.
On the flip side, hot tea is less effective at removing toxins from your body than iced tea.
So, if you’re looking for something to replenish your energy after a workout, hot tea isn’t the best option.
Twisted Tea Recipe
- 4 cups lemonade
- Ice cube pans
- 6 sprigs fresh mint and fresh mint leaves
- 8 ounces vodka
- 6 cups sweet tea
- 6 black tea bags like orange pekoe
- ½ cup sugar
- Make ice cube trays and freeze the lemonade. Cube by cube, put in a single mint leaf for at least two hours or overnight, and place in the freezer.
- Make six large glasses of lemonade iced tea. Sweet Tea should be poured over the ice cubes, and vodka should be poured over them. Straws and sprigs of mint can be added towards the end.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Turn off the heat and place the tea bags when ready to serve. After five minutes of steeping, strain the tea and discard the bags. Dissolve the sugar by stirring it in. Make a strong cup of tea with this.
- The tea mixture should be added to an ice-filled pitcher. Add another 4 cups of water to the mix to complete it. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week, covered.