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How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do They Go Bad?

Tea has been with us for a long time as a refreshing drink.

Many people start their day with tea leaves.

This can serve you in both hot and cold forms, as tea leaves can be brewed in any way.

Even though it is common in daily life, people still have questions like do tea leaves go bad or how they should store them.

If you also face the problem that your tea leaves lose their taste after some time, then it is evident that they have gone bad.

One can use fermented tea leaves as they can serve for a longer time.

What are Tea Leaves?

It is an oval-shaped leave that is approx 5 to 10 cm long.

These are dark green in color and have a leathery and shiny structure.

Black tea, green tea, white tea, herbal tea, and many other variations are also available in the market.

The size of tea leaves can vary as per the variation, but commonly used leaves are either small or medium in size.

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These leaves seem small; however, they have potential and numerous benefits.

Some tea leaves are made to cure certain diseases such as cholesterol, diabetes, heart diseases, and much more.

One can prevent the risk of health disorders like sleeping disorders, migraine, and brain disorders.

Tea leaves can also help you lose weight in no time because they effectively improve your metabolism.

These leaves can improve your immunity and can detoxify your mind and body.

How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do Tea Leaves Go Bad?

Like other drinks, tea leaves also have a specific life span that is different for every leaf.

You cannot keep them fresh as they will lose their flavor as you store them for a longer time.

Tea leaves are fine until they are not detached from the plants.

Because once they are plucked from the plant, they will start to degrade their quality.

Leaves that are more fermented retain the flavor for a longer time.

When it comes to black leaves, then they can last for 12 to 24 months.

On the other hand, green and white leaves have a much shorter life which is between 9 to 12 months.

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You can rely on the dates mentioned on the packet of tea, but there is no surety that you will get your desired taste for so long.

Buy dried leaves if you want a leaf that can serve you for more than a year.

Dried leaves can be kept as long as you want but only with the right storage condition.

That is because these leaves are dried and processed differently than other teas, so they can use used for more than two years.

How to Tell if Tea Leaves Have Gone Bad?

One does not have to worry as there are many ways to tell you about tea leaves’ condition.

Those are as follows:

  • Smell .

There are various tea types, and each has its own aroma.

You can quickly identify by the smell which tea leave is this.

However, it will slowly lose its aroma once the tea goes bad.

Suppose you find an old jar of tea leaves, and it is no smell, then throw it out as it has gone bad.

  • Taste.

When you buy a new pack of tea leaves, then the taste is amazing.

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But as time passes, the flavor will reduce because external factors will interact with the leaves, which will develop specific changes in the taste of your leaves.

When the leaves become unable to offer you a taste, then they have gone bad.

  • Color .

You can easily examine the leaves’ color to find bad ones.

As mentioned earlier, leaves will be vibrant and bright in color when they are fresh.

But when they lose all the nutrients from them, they become dull.

Dark teas change their color to grey, and tea leaf of light color turns yellowish over time.

How to Store Tea Leaves?

  • Container .

The container you are selecting for storing your leaves should be appropriately sealed and not allow air to enter.

Tea leaves should be preserved from air and oxygen.

Therefore, the container should be of good quality.

You can use stainless steel containers, glass jars, or airtight containers.

  • Add Paper Bag.

You can also add a paper bag to a container for more protection.

Once moisture enters the container, you will be unable to stop the spoilage.

However, adding another layer of paper will prevent spoilage as the paper will absorb all the moisture, and tea leaves will be safe from any damage.

  • Prevent Direct Sunlight .
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While storing, you need to check that the leaves are not disclosed to direct sunlight.

Excessive light can make the temperature of leaves high, and they will perish in no time.

Storage must be done in a cool and dry place to maintain the proper temperature for leaves to retain their flavor.


Tea leaves cannot tolerate moisture.

Thus it will be helpful to keep them away from water and other liquids.

Using the above-provided information, you can see that it is easy to identify bad leaves.

One can keep the leaves in the pantry if it is free from pests and bugs.

Be sure that the surroundings of tea leaves must not contain food items with strong essence and aroma.

It can make your leaves lose their authentic flavor and smell.

Yield: 1 Serving

How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do They Go Bad?

How Long Do Tea Leaves Last? Do They Go Bad?
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Tea leaves
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  1. Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  2. If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  3. Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
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