Can out-of-date green tea make you sick? (+3 Ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can out-of-date green tea make you sick?”, and how do you know If the green tea has gone bad after expiry?

Can out-of-date green tea make you sick?

No, out-of-date green tea won’t make you sick. It just won’t be as flavorful as It was before the expiry. However, If you decide to drink this old green tea, follow the steps below to ensure safety.

  • When brewing tea, the temperature of the water should be at least 175°. Hold the tea at this temperature for at least 5 minutes to kill all the harmful bacteria If any.
  • Brewed tea should not be stored for more than 8 hours. Keep the green tea stored in the fridge within this time frame.
  • Using hot tap water or sunlight for brewing tea is not recommended. It won’t ensure safety because the water would never reach the safe minimum temperature.

Does green tea expire?

No, like other teas, green does not expire. The expiration date is an indicator of safety. Like many teas, green tea comes with a best before date instead of expiry date. To enjoy the peak quality of green tea, it is recommended to drink green tea within 6 months of its printed date. 

The typically available time frame before the best-by date on most green tea packages is about 12-36 months. This applies to both green tea leaves and green tea bags. This shelf-life becomes much shorter If the tea is stored improperly. 

Green tea is enjoyed because of its freshness and remarkable health benefits. Therefore, It is not recommended to drink green tea past the expiry as It won’t provide the same refreshing experience and health benefits. Typically, It is recommended to discard green tea that is past 2 years of the printed date. 

Green tea bags or tea leaves, which expire faster?

Loose green tea lasts longer than store-bought green tea bags. The higher amount of dust or fannings in the tea bags makes it lose its flavor and tannins rapidly due to a large surface area. 

This is also true for matcha tea powder, which should be consumed within 1-2 months. Large and intact leaves of green tea will inevitably last longer than fine green tea leaves.

Green tea expiry in comparison to other types of tea?

Loose green tea loses its flavor and aroma much faster and way before the expiry date If stored incorrectly. If the green tea is exposed to direct sunlight for even 30 minutes, more than 50% of its flavor compounds will be lost.

Expiry dates of flavored green teas 

Due to less oxidation than the black, dark, or rooibos tea, green tea has a much shorter shelf-life than its oxidized counterparts. Similarly, a limited level of fermentation in green tea makes its shelf-life further shorter than other types of tea. 

So, flavored green tea will naturally degrade faster than its pure counterparts. Due to the added flavoring agents, It is not recommended to drink flavored tea past the expiry as It can cause health issues.

Other FAQs about Tea which you may be interested in.

How to pour tea without spilling?

Can sweet tea go bad?

How much Green Tea is in a teabag?

Does green tea go bad after expiry?

Green tea does not go bad in the sense of becoming unsafe for consumption. Instead, It just loses its freshness, aroma, and flavor. 

The expiry date is not like a switch off button. The flavor of the green tea would not be gone immediately after the expiry date if stored correctly. 

But the degradation process will be much faster past the expiry. Moreover, the flavor profile of expired green tea is just not the same as fresh green tea.

How do you know If the green tea has gone bad after the expiry?

  • If the green tea bags or loose leaves develop any kind of mold, discard the tea immediately. 
  • If the tea gives off an unpleasant odor, It belongs in the bin.
  • Similarly, If the green tea develops bugs or feels moist, throw it in the bin.

Additional signs 

If the tea looks and smells fine, pass it through the final test. Brew the tea and give it a sniff. If the brewed tea gives off a pleasant and vibrant aroma, go ahead and drink it. 

If that is not the case, you know what to do. Make sure you brew the tea 194°F (90°C) for at least 3-5. This will ensure safety by killing harmful bacteria.

How to store green tea?

Keep the green tea away from light, moisture, heat, air, and odor. Store the green tea in an air-tight, odor-free, and preferably completely opaque container. 


In this article, we answered the question “Can out-of-date green tea make you sick?”, and how do you know If the green tea has gone bad after expiry?


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