There are many different types of tea available on the market. One of the popular types of tea is green tea. Green tea has been gaining popularity due to its health benefits and it’s packed with nutrition. Most will buy green tea in large volume to keep at home, whether it be a container, tea bags, or powder. Therefore, you may wonder how long can you keep green tea before it needs to be discarded.
So how long does green tea last? For green tea bags, they will about 6 months after their expiry date. Unopened loose leaf green tea will last 12 months after their expiry date. Once it’s opened, they will last about 2 to 3 months.
How Long Does Green Tea Last?
Out of all the types of tea, green tea has the shortest shelf life. This is due to how it’s processed. The more time the leaves are processed, the better it’s able to retain quality.
For green tea bags, whether it’s opened or unopened, it will last an extra 6 months once it’s past the “Best By” date.
When it comes to loose leaf green tea, for unopened packages, they will last an extra 12 months once it’s past the “Best By” date.
For an opened package of loose leaf green tea, it will last about 2 to 3 months. Therefore, you’ll want to open the package only when you’re ready to use them.
For all opened packages of green tea, you’ll want to either transfer them to an airtight container to prolong their shelf life.
The good thing about green tea is that it will last a long time and won’t go bad. After their expiry date, the quality of the green tea will decrease. When you try to brew it, you may notice it will not have that strong aroma like when it was fresh. Additionally, the taste of it will be stale.
How To Store Green Tea
When it comes to storing green tea, it’s the same as storing coffee. Whether the package has been opened or unopened, green tea should be stored in a cool and dry dark location. The pantry is an excellent place to store it, but it can be stored in the cupboard as well.
Air will cause green tea to age quickly. Even though it won’t go bad, the quality of it will decrease. Therefore, after the package has been opened, you’ll need to make sure it’s sealed tightly after each use.
If the green tea comes in a large package, it’s not a good idea to keep them in there. Most of the packages will be difficult to seal. Packages that are unable to be sealed tightly will cause air to get in there and speed up the aging process.
Therefore, you can either transfer them to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. If you’re using a plastic bag, make sure the air is squeezed out after each use.
If you’re planning to use all of the green tea within a month, you can just leave them in their original packaging. It takes a couple of months for the green tea to go bad after the package has been opened.
Therefore, an airtight container won’t make much of a difference if the tea is used within a short period of time.
Can You Freeze Green Tea?
It depends on the type of green tea you bought. Green tea comes as loose leaves, tea bags, or combined green tea.
Green Tea Leaves
Freezing green tea leaves is fine as long as you store them properly. By this, it means storing them in an airtight container that’s approved for freezer usage.
Green tea leaves usually come in a sealed package and put in a tin container. It may seem that it’s sealed properly already, but it’s really not. Overtime in the freezer, inside the tin container and package, condensation will start occurring. This happens from opening and closing the freezer often.
When you take the tin container out of the freezer, liquid from condensation will damage the green tea leaves.
Therefore, you should always transfer the green tea leaves to an airtight container before putting them in the freezer.
Once you freeze them, you should never freeze them again. By freezing green tea again, it will damage the structure of the leaves and flavors. The end result will be a stale tasting green tea.
Brewed Green Tea
Freezing brewed green tea is the best way to freeze green tea. Since it’s already in the liquid form, you won’t need to worry about condensation destroying the tea. Additionally, it will freeze quickly and stay fresh for a long time.
Another great reason to freeze brewed green tea is you can freeze them for a very long time without affecting the taste quality. To keep the tasting fresh, store them in an airtight container and use them within a year.
Combined Green Tea
When it comes to combined green tea, it’s never a good idea to freeze them. This type of tea will usually have fruits and herbs added to them. The essential oils and aromas in the fruits and herbs will be damaged. As it freezes, the temperature will damage the structure of the oils.
Coconut oil or olive oil, on the other hand, freezes very nicely and thaw back just as nicely.
Additionally, frozen green tea will produce condensation as it thaws. When it does, the liquid from the condensation will start to breakdown the oil of the fruits and herbs in the tea. This will result in stale tea, even though it’s fresh.
How To Tell When Green Tea Go Bad?
The great thing about green tea is that they don’t really go bad. Over time, they will just degrade in quality.
Green tea will last much longer than the “Best By” date. After that time, you should examine the tea for quality. Opening a fresh green tea bag will be hard to tell if the quality has degraded. The only way to determine if the quality is bad is to taste it.
Once you’ve brewed with an old green tea bag or leaves, see if the taste is stale or the flavor seems off. If that’s the case, discard the entire batch of green tea bags or containers that its part of.
However, the only time they will go bad is when they are exposed to water or other liquid. Once water gets to the green tea, mold will most likely start occurring. If there’s mold, you’ll need to discard the tea.
What is green tea powder?
Green tea powder is also known as matcha. Matcha is a type of green tea that has been grind down into a bright green powder. When you’re drinking matcha, you’re actually drinking the whole tea leaves.