My tea bags are expired, can I still use them?

  • This box of tea has an expiration date which has passed but I would like to know if I can still use it. What do you think?

    Something about tea as in proper tea in bags, and dried fruit or herbal "teas" that also come in tea bags (and might have spoilage risks, eg mold) being conflatable here is worrying....

    The only harmful way tea can spoil is mold, and you can spot that easily. As it ages, it loses aroma and flavor gradually, but never becomes actually harmful.

  • Aaronut

    Aaronut Correct answer

    10 years ago

    Tea bags will be fine for at least a year in the pantry, but even long after that, they're still safe to consume. They just might change colour or flavour.

    If your tea has an expiration date then it's just for best quality, not safety. I've personally found tea bags sitting at the back of the pantry that were more than 3 years old, the packaging had even started to fade, and the tea was still fine. I just had to steep it for a little longer.

    It depends a lot on the packaging - if they're not individually sealed they may have lost a lot more of their flavor.

    @Jefromi: Even so, just means you need to steep 'em longer to get the same flavour. Sort of like old spices - if they haven't been kept properly (i.e. in the freezer) you might need to increase the amount.

    Yup, you'll never get food poisoning from tea. However, it will be bland as all get out after a few years. Green and Oolong teas suffer particularly from this.

    The oldest tea I've tasted was about 32 years old, well older than I am. It was kept in a sealed metal box and besides having a metal-ish taste - it was perfectly fine.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM