Does tea truly go bad?


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Does tea truly go bad?

Postby Crafty_Mom » May 3rd, '11, 08:45

While going through my stash, I've been finding teas that I bought some time ago and forgot about. Some of them I just wasn't fond of, others merely slipped my mind. My question is this: Does tea truly go bad, as in it is a really bad idea, or does it go "bad" as in loose flavor?
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Re: Does tea truly go bad?

Postby Chip » May 3rd, '11, 09:34

Yes, time can be an enemy of tea, it really can go bad over time. Though is time the direct factor ... or is it oxygen, humidity. Each situation may be a little different.

Of course time can improve some teas as well if stored properly, but even there, there is generally a point of diminishing returns. And eventually time will be its enemy as well.
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Re: Does tea truly go bad?

Postby Crafty_Mom » May 3rd, '11, 10:11

Well, I opened some orange spice today (loose leaf, of course). I've had it for several months. It was in an airtight jar out of light. Well... the rest is getting tossed out.
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Re: Does tea truly go bad?

Postby debunix » May 3rd, '11, 11:07

I've opened factory-sealed 2 year old packages of green-style oolongs that were in great shape, but one opening a package that was not so well stored, I'd be quick to dump it if the tea seemed less flavorful.
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Re: Does tea truly go bad?

Postby iannon » May 3rd, '11, 17:55

and lets not even mention Matcha.....
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Re: Does tea truly go bad?

Postby tortoise » May 4th, '11, 00:24

iannon wrote:and lets not even mention Matcha.....


If I remember correctly, it practically turns brown, doesn't it? Been a long time.
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Re: Does tea truly go bad?

Postby entropyembrace » May 4th, '11, 00:39

tortoise wrote:
iannon wrote:and lets not even mention Matcha.....


If I remember correctly, it practically turns brown, doesn't it? Been a long time.


yep, it turns brown and tastes sour when it gets old :?
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Re: Does tea truly go bad?

Postby Drax » May 4th, '11, 07:14

Here are some examples of some old (non-pu'erh) teas....

A 70s oolong.

An 80s black tea.

They're both spectacular... and unfortunately both out of stock.

But yes, if properly stored, some teas can get better. For pu'erh, this means storage in open atmosphere. For other teas, it appears to mean air-tight storage.

I'm not sure if any of that applies to greens (or at least, I'm not sure I've seen decades old green tea, whether Japanese or Chinese).
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