Does black tea expire?

There are many comments about whether black tea expires, surely you have asked yourself many times. We have analyzed the useful life of black tea  and we have asked ourselves, can the black tea that I bought in Turkey continue to be consumed? And if I never touched the tea, can I use it? Let’s find out in this article that we bring you.

Black tea shelf life. What is tea?

Before knowing the useful life of the black tea is necessary to know what tea is, because it is precisely its composition that has to do with its expiration date. Its preparation is based on the use of the Camellia Sinensis plant, it must be fresh so that it goes through the oxidation and drying processes.

Depending on the type of tea, the corresponding oxidation process is applied to obtain the desired one. For example, white tea barely undergoes oxidation, in the case of black tea the oxidation process is long. Other types of varieties with partial oxidation are obtained, such as green, yellow, Oolong and red tea.

Now, since it is a natural product, we might think that it has an expiration date, and that this varies from one class of tea to another. Let’s see if it is.

So… does black tea expire?

We would say yes and no. Being a fresh product, it would logically expire, but there is an exception. The useful life of black tea has to do with those perishable products and those that present risks of acquiring microbes. However, in the case of tea, this is not the case, because it is a long-lasting product.

The expiration date does not apply to the tea, but rather the best before date, which means that when the recommended date passes, it is likely to lose its characteristics. Although that being said, there is no real health risk if it is consumed.

It must be very clear that not all teas last the same time, it will depend not only on the type it is, but on its presentation. For example, crushed tea is not the same as bulk tea. Its conservation will also influence its properties, if they are poorly stored it will expire faster.

Black tea shelf life. Sachet and Bulk

Know the useful life of the black tea in bags it is very simple, just by looking at the packaging we can find out. But what about bulk? In case you didn’t know, loose tea lasts much longer than tea bags. This is due to the rolling to which its leaves are subjected, which helps it to better preserve and last its natural oils, flavor, aroma, and color.

A tip that we give you, when you buy tea in bags, choose the pyramids, because in addition to infusing well, they preserve their natural flavor.

How to store them?

As for the way to store it to give it more useful life, it is recommended to choose a place that is cool, dry, without humidity, without excess air and that does not give it direct sunlight. In addition, the container must be intact, so the tea will be better preserved.

The varieties of tea that exist

It is normal to think that the expiration date of the tea influences its type. Everything will depend on its level of oxidation. Here some examples:

  • White tea. It is recommended that it be consumed in the first 6 months after purchase, so we will prevent its properties from being lost.
  • Green Tea. It has low oxidation, the same as the previous one, so the same recommendation applies to it, the first 6 months after buying it. Also, if they are green teas worked on hot surfaces, they can be kept intact for up to 2 years.
  • Oolong tea. His properties are preserved, approximately for 2 and a half years.
  • black tea. The shelf life of black tea is one year, those varieties with more oxidation tend to last longer.

Does something happen to me if I drink expired tea?

You already know that tea has a preferential consumption date as there is no risk of contamination with microbes, which means that if you drink tea that is already expired, nothing will happen to you, at least if it has not been contaminated with mold.

When the best before date is reached, the tea you drink will have less body and will lose certain properties. In this sense, surely when you try it you will not feel the same flavor or aroma.

How do I know if the shelf life of black tea is over?

Having a hygiene and food safety is the way to avoid foodborne diseases. It may not be a perfect technique, but the senses are often a reliable tool for knowing if the tea is bad. If so, its pleasant aroma will disappear. When the tea is in poor condition, it means that its natural oils have been lost over time, which causes its leaves to lose their flavor.

To prevent this from happening, then use more sachets or additional leaves to prepare a new infusion. Now, drinks in poor condition imply a health risk, so you must be careful with food and consume your drinks before they expire.

Finally, we can say that the useful life of the black tea does not expire in the same way as it does with milk, meat or cheese. When talking about expiration, it refers to the loss of its properties, color, aroma and flavor, but it would not be a risk to health.

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