Your favorite mall tea shop closed its doors, and while you’re sad about it, you managed to snag a hefty amount of your favorite tea at a good discount, so you’re good for a long while… right? Maybe? How long does Teavana tea last, anyway? Is your tea still okay to drink???
Before you panic, set down your teacup, take a deep breath, and let’s have a chat about tea freshness, good storage practices, and what to look out for.
How Long Does Teavana Tea Last?
Let’s start with allaying your basic fears: Drinking expired tea won’t hurt you. That said, expired Teavana tea might not taste as good anymore.
Generally speaking, unflavored teas last longer than flavored. Any teas stored properly in an airtight container, away from extreme temperatures, air, and light, may last even longer — up to three years for some teas, especially if the package is sealed and unopened.
Flavored teas and herbal teas are best within six months to a year if the package has been opened. After that you can still drink them, but the flavors will start to dissipate. You can tell because the scent won’t be as strong, the tea leaves and herbs will begin to fade, and the tea just won’t taste the way you remember.
Your unflavored teas will last longer than flavored ones. Unflavored green and black teas are usually good for up to 18 months, while most oolongs are generally best within two years. White and pu-erh teas can age extremely well; may people age them on purpose with the goal of enriching their flavor. There’s not really a limit to how long you can age them, either, though white teas are usually aged between 10-20 years; quality puerh, properly stored, can age for 50 years or more.
How Do I Know If My Teavana Tea Is Bad?
As mentioned earlier, just because a tea has expired doesn’t mean you can’t drink it. It might not taste as good, but it won’t hurt you.
However, there’s a caveat: Tea stored improperly (say, in a fridge or freezer) will degrade more quickly and can pick up the flavors of things it’s stored with, collect moisture, and even start to mold (yuck).
Do NOT brew or drink the tea if:
- it smells bad or off
- it’s damp or condensation has collected inside the package
- there is visible mold
If the tea is otherwise just expired and a little stale, go ahead and drink it if you want. Make a big batch of cold brew iced tea, whip up some tea cocktails — or simply toss it in the compost bin if you’d rather. Then go buy yourself some fresh tea.
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