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Camiah said

How long does tea keep?

I recently acquired some Upton’s China Lychee from a friend. The tea was packaged in 2008, and it is still in the original Upton’s bag. Is it still likely to be any good? I don’t really know what lychee tastes like, so I can’t really determine if the taste has gone off any or if its stale or what. I’m a relative newbie to drinking good tea ,which means, among other things, I don’t have a very refined palate. Anybody have any ideas for how to tell if something is still worth drinking?

I’m not a fan of the tea, but I’m not sure if that is just because I don’t like lychee or if it is because the tea is old. If it still has life in it, I’d rather it go to a good home than into my compost pile. It’ll also help to know if I should bother with lychee flavored teas in the future.

11 Replies
Dazaii said

Assuming it was also kept in a cool, dark place, I’d say 2 years if kept in a tightly seal tin or 6-8 months in a sealed bag. But your tea is 3 years old and was kept in a bag….it won’t be bad, just kinda stale.

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I never keep any bagged tea for longer than 6 months. Whatever I have left over after that time goes right into compost.

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Chad said

There are three factors that cause tea to go stale or bad. Light, Air, and moisture. If the tea is not kept in an environment (such as a sealed tin) and is exposed to these elements it typically won’t last longer than a month or two. Otherwise, if stored correctly, it should last at least a year. Bagged tea is typically sealed in it’s own individual packaging so it has a longer shelf life. Tea is inexpensive enough, however, that you would be much better off to replace it with some fresh tea that you don’t have to guess at.

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TeaVivre said

Tea has five enemies: light, air, heat, moisture, and odor, each of which will cause the tea to gradually lose its flavor, even go bad. For the most bagged tea, it has the shelf life for itself, usually can keep one or two years, however, if we did not avoid the five enemies, the bagged tea will not keep for a long time.

But for loose leaf tea, we should pay more attention to store it. Generally, green tea can keep for about one year in an normal temperature, and for some Yunan pu-erh tea, it can keep for many years, the more years they have, the more pure taste they will be.

If a tea has the following characteristics, so the tea can not be drunk any more:

1: Go moldy or stale

2: Green teas begin to change its color to red

3:The brewed tea liquor is quietly different from before, it become more brown and darker.

Here is the link for the tea storage:
http://www.teavivre.com/info/proper-storage-of-tea/

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Excelsior said

It also depends on how the tea is kept at the retailer. I had FF 2010 Darjeeling one year after it was picked. It was still very good yet it changed slightly in taste. it had lost some of the fresh “green” taste and acquired some traits of a Summer Flush Tea. BTW, I have a FF 2011 Darjeeling tea purchased in 4/2011. In an air tight tin, tea wrapped in plastic on the Inside. Mariage prints on the label, Best Before 4/2013, which is two years after it was picked.

TeaVivre said

yes, I agree with that^^

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Good question. Thanks for asking. And thanks for the answers….

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Camiah said

This has been very helpful. Thanks!

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Nerys said

I am fairly new to loose leaf tea so glad I found this thread thanks for very good information.

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I would like to add that tea will remain fresh for about 2-3 weeks outside of an air-tight canister. In a tin canister stored in a cool dry place, tea can stay fresh for up to a year. Hope this helps.

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Definitely great information. I would like to add that tea will remain fresh for about 2-3 weeks outside of an air-tight canister. In a tin canister stored in a cool dry place, tea can stay fresh for up to a year. Hope this helps.

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