Food Storage - How long can you keep...

TEA, LOOSE, COMMERCIALLY PACKAGED — UNOPENED OR OPENED

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18-24 months (best quality)

Tips

  • How long does loose tea last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions — to maximize the shelf life of loose tea (including white, green, black and oolong varieties,) store in a cool, dark cupboard, away from direct heat or sunlight.
  • How long does loose tea last at room temperature? Properly stored, loose tea will generally stay at best quality for about 18 to 24 months.
  • To maximize the shelf life of loose tea, and to better retain flavor and potency, store in airtight containers.
  • Is loose tea safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged — commercially packaged loose tea will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before," or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the loose tea will remain at peak quality.
  • Does loose tea ever spoil? No, commercially packaged loose tea does not spoil, but will start to lose potency and flavor over time — the storage time shown is for best quality only.
  • Should you store loose tea in the refrigerator or freezer? Storing loose tea in the fridge or freezer is not recommended, since condensation can result, which will harm the taste and flavor of the tea.
  • How can you tell if loose tea is still good? To test whether loose tea is still good, brew a cup of tea for at least 3 to 5 minutes - if the aroma is weak and the flavor is not obvious, the loose tea should be replaced.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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