How long does black tea last?

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

How long does black tea last?

Postby Michael_C » Nov 7th, '07, 14:00

I had some of my trusty Irish Breakfast this morning and it tasted... well, a little off, maybe stale. I've been drinking green every day for the past three months or so, but wanted to try the black again. I recall buying this about ten months ago from Adagio, and storing it in a nice tea canister (not the one it shipped in). Is there a 'best by' date for black teas?

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Postby bambooforest » Nov 7th, '07, 14:22

It is my understanding black tea can remain fresh for 2 years. Maybe some varieties even longer.

Is your tea canister as close to air tight as possible? I think some canisters simply let too much air in and even black tea will be effected after some time.

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Postby Wesli » Nov 7th, '07, 14:35

Yeah, black teas only last so long. They're not nearly as picky as other teas, they can easily last over a year. However, if the leaves get too much air flow, then they will degrade much faster. I've never tasted a "stale" black tea, so I'm no help in identifying your tea's quality.

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Postby Michael_C » Nov 7th, '07, 20:04

It's an airtight container. I think maybe I've just readjusted my palette to greens and whites. It could have been normal black-tea bitterness. I will order a sample from Adagio, but it seems as though my love of greens has put me off of blacks (and maybe reds). Hmmm.

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Postby Wesli » Nov 7th, '07, 20:26

That must be it. :wink:

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Postby skywarrior » Nov 11th, '07, 16:02

Michael_C wrote:It's an airtight container. I think maybe I've just readjusted my palette to greens and whites. It could have been normal black-tea bitterness. I will order a sample from Adagio, but it seems as though my love of greens has put me off of blacks (and maybe reds). Hmmm.


Try less and with less brewing time.

Irish breakfast is one black tea that is too strong for me. I've actually gotten sick off it, so I stay away from it.

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Postby tomasini » Nov 11th, '07, 21:44

a monkey picking some oolong once told me back tea lasted for 100 years. But hey, he was just a monkey.

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Postby Michael_C » Nov 12th, '07, 10:24

skywarrior wrote:Irish breakfast is one black tea that is too strong for me. I've actually gotten sick off it, so I stay away from it.


That's the reaction I had to the Tazo Iced tea sold at cooking.com the first time I made it. I got woozy and a little nausea kicked in... I think it was overly caffienated. I know it's sold at Starbucks as their house iced tea, so that would make sense.

When I was at the airport in Kansai Osaka, Yuki bought me one from a Starbucks and I was suprised that it tasted exactly the same as what was in my cupboard back in the states (it was about $3 for a little plastic cupfull). I don't know why it was suprising, but it was.

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Postby skywarrior » Nov 15th, '07, 13:38

Michael_C wrote:
That's the reaction I had to the Tazo Iced tea sold at cooking.com the first time I made it. I got woozy and a little nausea kicked in... I think it was overly caffienated. I know it's sold at Starbucks as their house iced tea, so that would make sense.

When I was at the airport in Kansai Osaka, Yuki bought me one from a Starbucks and I was suprised that it tasted exactly the same as what was in my cupboard back in the states (it was about $3 for a little plastic cupfull). I don't know why it was suprising, but it was.


I'm pretty good with most black teas (in fact I drink black tea regularly), but some of the really strong breakfast blends I just can't stomach.

I've had bottled Tazo and it works fine for me. I haven't bought Tazo for my home enjoyment because, to be honest, I can get other teas I prefer. I love Adagio's Oriental Spice as an iced tea with a little raw sugar.

Well, I'd be surprised more if the Tazo tea didn't taste the same in Japan. That's one of the big positives to franchises and to brands. (It's a negative too in many ways). You get what you expect every time. Or should.

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