How long does loose tea last?

Ivylad was cleaning out his parents’ garage, and he brought home a bunch of loose tea, sealed in boxes, that had been in his grandmother’s house. She died three years ago, and I have no idea how long she had had them. Knowing what little I do of her, possibly decades.

Three of them are in sealed boxes, and another five are in the sealed plastic bags, but stored in old margarine containers, neatly labeled with the flavors.

Now, as much as I would love to try a cup of chocolate mint or jasmine tea, I am afraid as to the health and taste of these old teas. From what Ivylad has told me, after his grandmother died, her house was positively filthy. She was going blind and was a stubborn lady, and wouldn’t let anyone in her house. Ivylad and his parents staying in the house for a couple of days after the funeral, just to get it cleaned up, and they all came down with sore throats.

Should I pitch the tea, or is it still good, even after all these years?

The three seald ones shuold be ok. Also, if the five that were sealed in a plastic bags were kept in air tight containers, then things should be ok. Tea, AFAIK, does not deteriorate too much over time.

What about the potential for mold growth within a plastic bag?

Usually, loose bagged tea is pretty damn dry, especially sealed in a baggie. The oldest tea I’ve had was about 2 years old, kept in a kitchen cupboard the whole time, and it was fine. Maybe a little stale, but it wasn’t harbouring disease or anything.

The key word here is ‘airtight’ I have 14 years old loose tea in my house, and its still drinkable.

All right, I’ll give it a whirl.

I’ll let you know if start vomiting blood or anything. :wink: