Does Lipton tea expire? (shelf life of different types of Lipton tea)
In this article, we are going to answer the question “Does Lipton tea expire?” and discuss how can Lipton tea expire, what is the shelf life of Lipton tea, how to know if Lipton tea has gone bad and how to store Lipton tea.
Does Lipton tea expire?
Yes, Lipton tea expires. Tea in the form of tea bags, powdered instant tea and bottled ready-to-drink teas can go bad with time. They have different shelf lives and are susceptible to different deterioration processes, however, they will eventually lose their properties when stored for a long period (2).
The main reason for the loss of the tea properties deterioration processes, which leads to the loss of the antioxidant properties of the tea.
What is the shelf life of Lipton tea?
The shelf life of Lipton tea varies depending on the type of tea. According to the website of the manufacturer, the tea bags have a shelf life of 18 months and the instant teas in the form of powder have a shelf life of 12 months.
The shelf life of bottled tea products varies, depending on the ingredients of each product. The shelf life will be indicated on the package (1).
However, according to studies, the antioxidant properties of tea infusions stored in glass, cans and PET bottles decreased after 6 weeks of storage at a refrigerated temperature (2).
How to know if Lipton tea has gone bad?
To know if Lipton tea has gone bad, you should carefully check for possible signs indicating that the tea has gone bad, which depends on the type of the product. Some signs of spoilage in different tea products are (2, 3, 4, 5):
Tea bags: Signs indicating that tea bags have gone bad are an increase in moisture of the bags. When this is not noticeable, loss or change in the aroma and the flavour of the tea after brewing can indicate the loss of the aroma compounds or their degradation.
Instant tea: Clumping, agglomeration and loss of solubility are signs of spoilage in powdered tea products. When moisture increases, the powder forms agglomerates and is generally accompanied by the darkening of the powder and changes in the flavour of the tea.
Instant tea should not be consumed in this agglomerated and darker form, as the increase in moisture favours microbial growth.
Bottled tea: Indications that the bottled tea has gone bad are loss of flavour or altered flavour/ aroma. Contaminations caused by yeasts or bacteria can lead to gas production and bloating of the bottle, in addition to alcoholic or fermented off-odours and off-flavours.
Can you consume expired Lipton tea?
Yes, you can consume expired Lipton tea if there are no signs of spoilage of the product. Tea bags and powdered instant teas lose their flavour and their properties after the expiration date, but they can be consumed when expire.
However, if they are moist or have altered properties, such as off-flavours, off-odours, clumping or darkening, you should not consume them (2, 3, 4, 6).
Bottled teas can also spoil and develop off-flavours and off-odours and gas. You should not consume products that have indications of spoilage (5).
Other FAQs about tea that you may be interested in.
How to store Lipton tea?
To store Lipton tea, it is necessary to protect the product from heat and oxygen, regardless if it is a tea bag, an instant tea product or bottled tea. In the case of powdered tea and tea bags, they should be protected from moisture as well, as it is also a cause of degradation (2, 4, 5).
Tea contains many antioxidants and compounds which reduce the risks of microbial spoilage. However, this product may carry yeasts, moulds and bacteria or their spores, which develop, when conditions are favourable. High moisture can lead to microbial spoilage (6).
Tea bags and instant tea powders should be stored in a dry and cool place at room temperature, protected from light, and should not be opened till their use. Tea ready-to-drink in bottles (glass, cans or plastic bottles) should be stored in the refrigerator even before opening, to improve the shelf life (2, 5).
In this article, we answered the question “Does Lipton tea expire?” and discussed how can Lipton tea expire, what is the shelf life of Lipton tea, how to know if Lipton tea has gone bad and how to store Lipton tea.
Was this helpful?
Help center, FAQ & live chat [Internet]. Lipton.com. [cited 2023 Sep 8]. Available from: https://www.lipton.com/us/en/faqs/
Kosińska A, Andlauer W. Antioxidant capacity of tea: effect of processing and storage. InProcessing and impact on antioxidants in beverages 2014 Jan 1 (pp. 109-120). Academic Press.
Shamim N, Paul V, Prasad R, Chattree A. The Accelerated Stability Study of Herbal Tea Bag-An Ayurvedic Formulation. UGC Care Group J. 2020;10.
Human C, de Beer D, Muller M, van der Rijst M, Aucamp M, Tredoux A, et al. Shelf-Life Stability of Ready-to-Use Green Rooibos Iced Tea Powder—Assessment of Physical, Chemical, and Sensory Properties. Molecules [Internet] 2021;26(17):5260. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175260
Kregiel D. Health Safety of Soft Drinks: Contents, Containers, and Microorganisms. BioMed Research International. 2015;2015.
Mishra BB, Gautam S, Sharma A. Microbial decontamination of tea (Camellia sinensis) by gamma radiation. Journal of food science. 2006 Aug;71(6):M151-6.