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Do you pay attention to expiration dates on tea?

26 Replies
gmathis said

I have never had a tea go bad on me, per se. When one gets old and loses its punch, I can use it for iced tea or blend it.

darby select said

I haven’t had any go bad and I have some from 2010 (that’s when I got in to loose leaf). I would totally blend it though – don’t know that I could throw any out unless it looked bad.
I blend teas especially for iced if I don’t like them just to use them up – GREAT IDEA!

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Sillyvicen said

Well this is very comforting to me since I recently came across a 5lb bag of Jasmine pouchong? (very little english on the packaging) for less than 9 bucks. I was becoming quite concerned that I would wind up wasting most of it if I didn’t drink it fast enough if I decided that I liked it. I’ll be breaking into it this week.

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Uniquity said

I barely follow the expiration date on perishable products, so I don’t really bother about it for tea. I use common sense and smell/taste judgment to decide when things are bad. Of course, I also eat locally so most of my food doesn’t have an expiry date. :)

As for tea, if it’s stale and yucky, out it goes. Otherwise, it’s a deal!

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john12 said

How long can I store tea in a tin kept out of the light? I have some peppermint bark tea that’s not my thing but my family loved it. Can I keep it until next Christmas if I store it this way?

Lala said

I think in general if stored properly the tea will be good. However, it may loose some of the flavour over time.

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sandra said

i only have thrown away tea i really didn’t like (lapsang :())
never had tea gone bad; have a green tea from 2011 and it’s still yummie. i guess it may well have lost some of its flavour over time, but that doesn’t bother me.

gmathis said

Ditto on the lapsang. I couldn’t even give it away to friends. It ended up fertilizing my zinnias :)

sandra said

hihi lol. that is so funny :)! asked Teavivre for a sample to see what the fuss is all about. Well, at least I know that I would never ever order lapsang!

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momo said

It’s funny to see the general differences in tea communities. I figured because Steepster people seem to drink it till it’s tasteless, and other places, people have such bizarre concern for people with a dozen tins of tea: how are you going to drink that all before it goes bad? I always see.

Seriously. My mom made iced tea last year from Republic of Tea sachets that had been around since I was a freshman in high school. It took a lot to give it any flavor, but it didn’t taste horrible by any means. And if it’s bad, well, throw it in soil!

gmathis said

I’ve quoted this enough in various posts people may start throwing their leaf leavings at me, but there’s a lot of truth in the old rhyme: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. Tea, too.

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Nerys said

Smell and taste it. I find the grocery shop black fruit teas lose their flavor several months past their expiry date. As with all things use your teas enjoy them drink them up.

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Nerys said

Today I ordered my kitchen cupboards and found an old tea production date august 2008 was a Christmas tea from Tea Masters of London. Very fragrant teabag so made it tastes very nice but states only classic tea on carton it is a black tea strong in flavor way past its date.

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I’m pretty sure that expiration dates on over the counter medication are designed to frighten consumers into re-stocking their cabinet every couple of years. Since most people don’t know any chemistry, they probably fear that aspirin past its expiration date may become cyanide. ;-)

With tea, I have even less concern, especially if it is stored in airtight containers and protected from moisture. Obviously the cheap-o grocery store teas (Lipton, Salada, etc.), which have only a thin sheet of flimsy paper separating the bags from one another, are bound to go stale fast. But they’re so bad to begin with that there’s no point in drinking them anyway.

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