What is the shelf life of teas?


Healthy herbs, rooibos, honeybush, decaf tea, and yerba mate.

What is the shelf life of teas?

Postby Jasmin » Feb 26th, '09, 13:50

I discovered yesterday a bag of roibos (organic,red) from MountainRoseHerbs.
Somehow I had forgotten about it. It is still in the bag it came in. The label says that is was packed exactly one year ago. Usually tea doesn't last that long with me. No more than a couple of months.
What is the shelf life of teas?
Especially of those loose teas that are in the paper bags, but if you know tell me about the one in tins also, please.
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Postby Sam. » Feb 27th, '09, 02:06

I'm not sure how long rooibos lasts, but for the next person who comes along and and answers, they should know that the MRH bags are paper lined with cellophane, the ones that you fold the top over a few times then push the little metal tabs back to lock the paper folded over. They're not super airtight like some metal container.
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Postby silvermage2000 » Feb 27th, '09, 18:03

I am not totally sure but I owuld say 6 months to a year. I assume It can vary abit though.
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YMMV

Postby Intuit » Feb 27th, '09, 22:35

Quickie search of the net shows a shelf life of 3-5 years with some sellers claiming as long as 7 years, depending on storage conditions.

I would think it should still be usable- the cellophane/waxed paper bad ain't the best option for storage, but you didn't open it, so in theory, it's OK (several sites suggested in these bags, 2 years as long as you close it tightly after each use.
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Postby Jasmin » Feb 28th, '09, 00:16

Thanks for all the info Intuit :D
I tried the tea and it tasted a bit mild. But maybe that is how it is or I have to brew it stronger.
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Postby Sam. » Feb 28th, '09, 18:30

Wow, that's a pretty long time. So I guess rooibos lasts longer than real tea (Camellia sinensis)? As long as it doesn't smell funny or brew any weird tasting liquor, I'd drink it. :)
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Gobsmacked!

Postby Intuit » Mar 1st, '09, 20:10

I was astonished to read of the exceptionally long shelf-life for rooibos teas as I pitched a bunch of it recently on my TC-inspired 'tea shelf cleanout'. That organic tea (supposedly high quality) was all of a year old and when cupped, it tasted quite bland - but then again, it never did taste very good to me.

*sigh* It never occurred to me to check on the reported shelf life; I figgered 6 months to 1 year, tops.
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Postby silverneedles » Mar 3rd, '09, 22:07

i had a couple flavored rooibos in metal tins, finished them in 1 year not much flavor difference (but that was at the start of me and teas, also used sugar with these) when they were almost finished i remember saying how they still smell just as fresh as new.

i have a yunnan green* that i keep drinking from, got it in october 2007. stored in a airtight plastic container now its rather bland in flavor but still enjoyable (the start flavor was too funky strong for me)
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