It’s no secret that drinking green tea can have serious health benefits. From boosting your immune system to helping you lose weight, it’s no wonder green tea is becoming increasingly popular over black tea or white tea. Based on Fortune Business Insights, the global market size for green tea is projected to grow from USD 12.80 billion in 2019 to USD 23.66 billion by 2027 https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/green-tea-market-100790. But how long does green tea last, does it have an expiry date, and what steps can you take to make sure it stays fresh?
Green tea is a delicate thing. Forgetting to store your green tea properly can lead to a world of disappointment, especially if you’ve been saving it for a special occasion. The last thing you want is to find that you’ve expired tea and have your green tea taste bitter, smell like fish, or have absolutely no flavor at all—especially if you’ve been looking forward to drinking it for a long time.
Unlike coffee grounds, loose leaf tea leaves don’t go bad if they’re left sitting in the back of a cupboard for months on end. However, that doesn’t mean that they stay fresh forever. They may have a longer shelf life than coffee, but you would want to make sure your green tea is as delicious as it can be. The best way is to take note of the shelf life of tea and keep track of how long it’s been since you purchased it.
How Long Does Green Tea Last?
The first thing to know about green tea is that the fresher it is, the better. So if you want to store green tea and get the best results, you should start out with the freshest leaves possible. As for how long those leaves will stay fresh, there are a few factors to consider. How was your tea processed? Was it hand-rolled by monks in a monastery, or was it machine-picked by a giant multinational corporation? This can make a difference in how long it stays fresh.
Another factor is your tea storage methods and where you store your green tea. To make sure your leaves stay as fresh as possible, store them in an airtight container away from direct sunlight and heat sources like ovens or radiators. It’s also important to keep them dry; water exposure can cause mold growth on the leaves and make them less effective at fighting off disease.
As for expiration dates? Strangely enough, tea doesn’t spoil the way other food does. Even left out on a kitchen counter, tea can remain dry and flavorful for years.
Assuming you’d like to know the shelf life of unbrewed, raw green tea leaves. They are generally good for 18–24 months after purchase. Much like wine, many types actually benefit from being aged—although this is not true of every variety. For example, sencha is at its peak flavor within a year, while some matcha blends become more flavorful over time.
How long does green tea last? Green tea is a hit or miss after two years. If you’ve kept your green tea on hand longer than 24 months, check the flavor before brewing a cup. If it’s still fresh and delicious, great! It will probably taste fresh if you’ve stored it well, but if it tastes stale, that means it’s oxidized and should be tossed out.
Green tea itself, unlike other types of tea, doesn’t spoil quickly. Freshly picked green tea leaves can keep their flavor for up to two years with proper storage.
How Long Does Brewed Green Tea Last?
The short answer is that how long your fresh tea can last depends on the different types of green tea and how you keep it.
There may be times you make a hot brew, open a good book to read, watch a movie, or get some work done. It’s easy to leave your cup of tea on the table till it’s cold with just a few sips. You may be wondering when will it go bad, or how long can you leave it as it is.
How Many Times Can Green Tea Bags or Leaves be Reused?
Most of us have been there. We want to squeeze every ounce of green tea out of the tea bags or tea leaves as much as we can. This leaves us the question, how much green tea can we drink out of used tea bags, or how many times can we reuse them and keep pouring hot water into the green tea leaves? Can we oversteep green tea?
It’s not difficult to keep pouring hot water into your used tea bag or tea leaves when there’s still some flavor. There’s no harm in reusing your green tea leaves and tea bag as many times as you want. But your green tea will get more diluted with more water and steeping time. The green tea flavor and aroma get weaker and eventually, it ends up tasting just like hot water.
Ways of Storing Green Tea Leaves to Last Longer
When you’re a green tea devotee, you don’t want to be without it. So how do you make sure that when you buy your green tea, it stays fresh for as long as possible?
You want the leaves to stay green, the flavor to remain an even balance of sweet and bitter, and the aroma to stay earthy and fresh. With the right storage conditions, you can store tea and maintain the flavor of the tea longer than you think.
Here are some tips for storing your tea:
- Make sure to keep your tea in a sealed container.
- Then keep the container of tea in a dry place, away from moisture and odors.
- Keeping it at room temperature is fine, but best that it’s a cool place of under 68F or 20C, away from heat.
- Your tea should be kept in a dark place, away from light or sunlight especially if your tea is kept in glass containers.
- If you like your tea loose-leaf, use a glass canister with a tight-fitting lid.
- For bags, or loose-leaf in a cupboard or countertop container, make sure nothing can get in—that’s how the quality gets compromised!
- You can put your bags or loose-leaf in the freezer if you have room—just make sure it’s sealed well so no odors or moisture can get in there.
- Remember that green tea should last longer than other types of tea because it doesn’t include fermented leaves—but every type of tea leaf has its limits!
If you drink green tea regularly, you’ve probably heard that it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator. But is that true? Why? And how long does green tea last? Read on to find out.
Does Green Tea Need to Be Refrigerated?
It depends on the type of green tea you’re storing, and how you plan to use it. If you’re storing green tea for iced tea, yes—you should store it in the fridge. However, if you plan to use it as a garnish or flavoring, store it at room temperature.
Green tea should be stored in an airtight container in a dark, cool area. The fridge is perfect for this! If you’re not sure whether or not your green tea has gone bad, do a taste test: does your green tea taste more like lemony grass than your favorite refreshing beverage? If so, toss it! It’s gone bad.
You can freeze green tea, but we really don’t recommend it. A freezer is too cold for the delicate leaves of green tea to handle. However, if you must freeze your tea, do so only in a small amount of airtight freezer bags.