How Long Does Tea Last? And How to Keep Tea Leaves Fresh?

Tea is a very popular drink, and it’s been very long since it has spread to all countries and people. Even though tea is very popular, most people don’t even know the answer to the question “how long does tea last?

Let’s talk about it. 

How Long Does Tea Last?

The answer is more complex than you might think. Unlike most food items and rations that expire due to some internal chemical process, tea leaves are a bit different. Tea leaves are heavily dependent on the way you store them. 

There’s a definite way of storing tea leaves. You need to keep them in a dry, dark, and cold place where they’re completely isolated from a free air medium. If the tea leaves come in contact with a freely moving air medium, then it’s seen to expire faster than the usual. 

Why Do Tea Leaves Expire?

You’ll find an expiration date labeled on most packets of tea leaves. However, if you store them properly, you’ll find that the tea is perfect even after the expiry. This is because tea leaves usually expire due to their exposure to air, mold, water, and heat. 

Do Green Tea Leaves Expire Faster?

Yes, it’s seen that green tea leaves expire faster than any other type of tea leaves. It’s because these tea leaves are less oxidized. Other than green tea leaves, the white tea and light oolong tea leaves are also less oxidized. Due to this chemical property, they’re more likely to expire a bit faster. 

This is why we recommend taking these teas before their expiration date. Make sure you store them tightly, as the presence of oxygen can accelerate the rate of oxidation. Then again, storing them in direct sunlight can change the flavor and color of the tea leaves, and it’ll take no more than 30 minutes to do that. 

So, extra caution must be taken while storing these. 

Recommended: Top 10 Best Tea Sets of 2021 (Reviewed)

How to Keep Tea Leaves Fresh?

As tea leaves don’t expire easily, it’s quite possible to store them for a longer time than their expiration period. Tea leaves will stay fresh as long as you can keep them isolated. Most tea leaves are sold in paper or plastic bags. These bags can’t be sealed once they’re opened, and even if they can be sealed, that won’t be enough to keep them safe. 

So, it’s highly recommended to store these in tin cans with a tight sealing. If you manage to store them properly, then you’ll be able to keep them fresh for a pretty long time.

A crucial thing to do is keep the tea leaves away from the mold. If they get moldy, they will lose their color, fragrance, and taste very soon.

As long as you can keep them safe from these elements, they will be safe.


Tea leaves can be used for a long time. Their expiry depends largely on how you store them, so their storage should be taken care of properly.