An image of expired green tea

Does Green Tea Expire? 5 Brilliant Ways To Use Expired Green Tea

When did you last check the expiry date of your green tea container? Don’t feel guilty. Most of us never did and have kept the green tea on our kitchen shelves for as long as we remember.

But does green tea ever expire?

The longevity of the tea can vary greatly depending on the quality of leaves purchased and the packaging provided.

We investigated all about green tea contamination, expiry, and even its side effects of it.

Let’s see what to do with the box of green tea that’s sitting on your counter for more than 2 years. Is it still useable?

Do Green Tea Leaves Expire?

Yes, green tea leaves do expire as it is a perishable product and turn hay after some time. It has an expiry date of usually 12-36 months.

Green tea has a long shelf life and does not go bad till 2 to 3 years if stored properly.

However, green tea does lose its taste and color over time due to exposure to moisture, air, and light.

Although green tea rarely spoils if it is stored in an airtight container it does go dull or stale with time.

It should be finished within the due date to enjoy freshness benefits and flavor. You should not attempt to drink it beyond the expiry date.

Why Do Green Tea Expire?

Green tea expires because it is oxidized when exposed to light and heat.

This is the reason when it is manufactured the marketers store it right away within a specific period. Thus, it is preserved in the most natural form and keeps fresh for a long period.

image of dry green tea

There is a conception that green tea generally doesn’t expire. It does stay fine to drink long after its expiry date but starts losing its freshness, flavor, and color.

However, if there are mold, smelly, or months on the green tea it means it has expired and you need to throw it away.

Tea Bags or Leaves – Which Expires Faster?

The teabags are fine and powdered particles of tea, they expire much more quickly than the green tea leaves. Why?

Because they release their flavor and tannin faster than loose leaf tea and they also have dust and fanning during the manufacturing process.

Green tea leaves have long expiry than teabags but they need to be stored properly. Otherwise, they lose their aroma, color, and flavor. The green tea brands that have big whole leaves can be used for a longer period and have more shelf life. Fine and small tea leaves will have a shorter life.

Therefore, all powdered green tea expires shortly, matcha comes in this type too.


Fresh green tea placed under direct sunlight in summer may change the color, flavor, and smell within 30 minutes.

A cup of green tea with teabag

Thus, it is important to pay extra attention to tightly sealing all packaging after use because oxygen will ruin them if it gets moisture.

What Happens If We Drink Expired Green Tea?

Green tea lasts for years. Most un-flavored real green teas do not get bacteria but if it does, it does not multiply when kept for a long time.

So, if you drink expired green tea there is no health risk that is dangerous for your body. However, the tea will lose its taste and smell. This is for expired green tea that has gone dry and is without mold.

There are no known reports, or evidence of deaths or long-term severe illnesses from drinking expired green tea.

Don’t brew green tea that contains visible signs of moths and mold.

How Do You Know If Green Tea Is Spoiled?

The most distinct thing about green tea is its fresh color, its taste, and smell. So, to know if green tea has gone bad it’s best to use your senses.

Spoiled green tea’s natural oils evaporate with time and it turns less flavorful.

A spoon with expired green tea in it

Also, there are visible signs of mold and months on the green tea which is exposed to bacteria. This one should be thrown right away.

Checking the label and expiry date also confirms the spoilage and expiry of the green tea.

If it’s past the due date and smells fishy just get rid of it. But if it has gone dry and still has a bit of smell then you can make use of it using the methods we explained below.

What To Do With Expired Tea Leaves?

Green tea is even useful when expired. It’s not wise to drink green tea that has expired so you can put it to many other uses. We have a few ideas for you:

1) Get Rid of Odors

Green tea is an excellent absorbent. You can get rid of any bad odor by putting dry green tea in an open bowl.

It will absorb the bad odor coming from your fridge. Also, putting green tea in the cupboard will absorb moisture and you will have fresh smelling clothes.

2) Treat Puffy Eyes

Put expired green tea bags in the fridge and cool them a bit. You can use them to put it on eyes to treat puffy and tired eyes.

Alternatively using them as an eye compress by soaking in cold water or making a hot compress, is a great idea.

3) Uses For Face and Skin

Green tea has excellent uses for hair and skin.

Brewed green tea makes a good toner and can be used for skin with cotton pads like any other commercial toner.

Expired green tea bag being used as hair remedy

For hair make a green tea rinse with brewed green tea, this will give them shine and promote hair growth by making the hair follicles stronger.

4) Make A Fertilizer

Put the expired green tea leaves in the garden’s compost bin. This will make a good organic fertilizer to be used for plants.

This is environment friendly and your green tea won’t go to waste.

5) Foot Soak

Make a foot soak with warm water and green tea leaves.

Soak your feet in it for 20 minutes. This will repair your feet’ skin and get rid of smelly feet problems. You can add salt and a bit of shampoo to this mixture too.

How To Prolong The Shelf Life of Green Tea?

You cannot change the expiry date of your favorite tea but what you can do to prolong the shelf life of green tea is mentioned below:

  • Although huge packs are economical try buying smaller green tea pouches that you can finish just in time.
  • Seal the pouch right after using it.
  • Keep your green tea away from sunlight, heat, and places with moisture.
  • Never use wet spoons to take out green tea leaves for brewing.
  • Don’t put unopened green tea in the fridge as it absorbs smell and moisture from food.
  • You can store an unopened green tea pack in the freezer to prolong its life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some green tea expiration answers that are asked by people frequently. Let’s, check them out for more information.

How Long Does Green Tea Last After Expiration Date?

After the expiration date, you can still drink it until it goes dry and molds start to appear. Green tea has a long life if stored properly.

Expired green tea has less flavor and aroma when brewed. So, how long it lasts depends upon how well it’s stored and kept away from light and exposure.

What Are the Side Effects of Expired Green Tea?

There are no studies that show any adverse or dangerous side effects of green tea. Green tea is safe to use as it is or even when it expired. Make sure there is no bacteria or mold when brewing, you can use notice that easily.

To Wrap It Up

Green tea is a healthy drink with a lot of benefits so buy it and drink it every day. Don’t let it sit on the shelf for too long. Fresh green tea has a delicious aroma and taste.

If it expires you can still put it to use by following our guide of what to do with expired green tea above. Also, you can prolong your green tea leaves life by properly storing them in airtight containers away from moisture and light.

Saul Smith
Saul Smith
Articles: 167

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