Tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages.
It’s widely consumed in China and India, where it’s known as chai.
In America, we call it “champagne of drinks” because it’s so refreshing.
While tea doesn’t necessarily go bad (though some teas may), it can start to lose its flavor over time.
If you notice that your tea is not as flavorful as it used to be, it may be time to buy a new batch.
Does tea go bad if it’s not refrigerated?
Tea will spoil faster if it isn’t stored properly.
When you purchase tea at the store, keep it tightly sealed in an airtight container in a cool place.
The best way to keep tea fresh is by keeping it in the refrigerator or freezer.
If you want to consume tea quickly, leave it on the counter.
How can you tell if tea has gone bad?
If you have a lot of tea sitting around and don’t know how old it is, you might think it’s already bad.
But there are ways to tell if it’s bad without opening it up.
Here are a few things to look for:
1. The color
When you open a bag of tea, it should be bright green.
If it’s yellowish or brownish, then it’s probably spoiled.
However, if it’s dark red, this means that it’s still edible but not great tasting.
2. The smell
If it smells like rotten fruit, it’s likely spoiled.
3. The texture
A good cup of tea should feel smooth when you stir it.
A tea with a rough, grainy texture is likely spoiled.
4. The taste
If the tea tastes sour or metallic, it’s almost certainly bad.
What causes tea to go bad?
There are two main reasons why tea spoils: heat and light.
Heat is the biggest culprit because it changes the chemicals in the tea.
For example, if you microwave a bag of tea, it can cause the caffeine to leach into the water, which makes it bitter.
And when you reheat a bag of tea, it loses much of the antioxidants, which gives it a grayish tint.
Light is also a big problem.
Tea stored away from direct sunlight can begin to degrade.
This happens because plants contain photosensitizers, which react to light.
As the tea ages, the amount of photosensitizer increases, causing more oxidation and discoloration.
Some types of tea, such as black tea, can be stored longer than others, but even those will eventually go bad if left out.
Green tea, for instance, lasts about six months, while pu-erh tea can last up to five years.
Is it safe to drink tea that has gone bad?
It depends on the type of tea you have and what state the tea is in.
You shouldn’t consume any tea that looks or smells bad.
If you want to try drinking it anyway, make sure to rinse it well under running water first to remove any dirt that has accumulated on the leaf.
If you have leftover tea, you can always freeze it.
Tea freezes well, especially if you add sugar to it beforehand.
Once it’s frozen, you can pour it into ice cube trays and pop them in the freezer for later.
To thaw, just put the cubes in hot water.
If you want to save it for later, you can transfer it to a resealable plastic bag and keep it in the fridge until needed.
How long does tea last before it goes bad?
Tea lasts between 12 and 18 months once it’s made.
After that, it starts losing flavor.
Some herbs, such as mint and basil, last longer than other types of tea.
They can last up to two years if kept in a cool location.
Can tea be frozen to extend its shelf life?
You can freeze it in individual servings or in larger containers.
Just remember to label each one.
Don’t freeze tea in glass jars, though.
It could crack as the tea expands during freezing and expansion.
What are the signs that tea has gone bad?
You can tell whether tea is still safe to drink by checking its expiration date.
Most companies don’t sell tea past its expiration date due to health concerns.
If you see that the package has an expiration date beyond the 18 months mentioned above, it’s likely expired.
Is it still safe to use tea leaves after they’ve gone bad?
Once the tea leaves have gone bad, it’s still safe to use them.
Just make sure to thoroughly wash them first.
Some companies sell tea leaves that are already dried and ground, so you can use them right away.
Others have special packages meant for making tea bags.
How can you prevent tea from going bad?
Here are a few tips to help you keep your tea fresh:
Keep it in a dry place.
Store it in an airtight container.
Don’t let it sit out in the sun.
Do not microwave it.
Refrigerate it immediately.
Use it within six months of purchasing it.
What should you do with tea that has gone bad?
If you accidentally bought a bag that was already opened, you can either throw it out or give it to someone who would appreciate it.
Otherwise, you can pour it down the sink. If you have leftover tea, you can mix it with milk and eat it like cereal.
But if you find yourself with a whole bunch of old tea, you can get creative!
Try these recipes for using tea in desserts and cocktails.
Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe
- 1 bow
- 1 freezer
- 1 pint of heavy cream
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons matcha powder plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Pour the heavy cream, milk, and matcha powder into a medium-sized saucepan.
- Next, whisk the mixture together until the matcha powder is fully dissolved.
- Then, place the saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
- Once it reaches a simmer, add the sugar and vanilla extract.
- Whisk the mixture together until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to make the ice cream, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once the ice cream is made, scoop it into a bowl or container and garnish with additional matcha powder, if desired. Serve immediately or store in the freezer for later. Enjoy!