When do tea leaves and tea bags “expire”?
Tea bags and those lovely loose leaves don’t really “expire”. Yup, you read that right! Your beloved dry tea leaves and bags usually stay all good and dandy for about two years. But after that, they might start losing their charm.
Now, all teas, whether they’re green, black, or somewhere in between, come from the camellia sinensis plant. As time goes by, these teas might not taste as amazing as they once did. Plus, that healthy punch they pack? They might lose a bit of that too. Especially these cool things called flavonoids – they’re like superheroes for our body, fighting off bad stuff. But they might not stay as strong in older tea.
Different teas have different lifetimes. Like, Harney & Sons, a fancy tea company, says that black teas (which are more “oxidized”) stick around in good shape longer than green or white teas. And here’s a fun fact: since tea leaves are like sponges for smells, loose tea leaves might take in moisture and odors faster than the stuff in tea bags.
But, hey, if you brewed that ancient tea bag from your kitchen’s darkest corner and it tastes like, well, nothing… don’t toss it! Old tea bags have some neat tricks up their sleeves.
How do you know if matcha is expired?
When does tea steeped at home “expire”?
So, you made a pot of tea but forgot about it and left it sitting on the counter. Should you still sip it? Maybe think twice.
Here’s the deal: when you steep tea and leave it out, it’s like a party for bacteria. Those vitamins in your tea, like vitamin C and E? They start to pack their bags and leave. And the sugars? They’re like magnets for unwanted tiny critters (aka bacteria).
You might’ve heard about sun tea. That’s when folks leave tea outside to brew in the sunlight. But research says that’s not the best idea because it can turn into a bacteria breeding ground. 😟 Want a safer cold tea option? Go for cold brew in the fridge!
Speaking of the fridge, if you’ve stored your homemade tea there, it won’t last forever. It’s kinda like leftovers. You can keep it for a few days, but always give it a sniff and a look to make sure it hasn’t turned into a science experiment.