A variety of loose leaf teas in a table

How to Store Tea Long-Term: Benefits and Storage Tips

We all know the feeling of being caught unprepared for an emergency. Whether it’s a power outage, a natural disaster, or simply a busy week where we’ve run out of time to go to the store, it’s always frustrating to realize we don’t have what we need on hand.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to have some long-term supplies on hand, just in case. And one important item to have in your pantry is tea.

Sure, tea might not seem like an essential item, but it can be a real lifesaver in an emergency. Tea is full of antioxidants and other nutrients that can boost your immune system, and it’s also a great source of hydration. Plus, let’s face it: a nice cup of tea can be incredibly calming in a stressful situation.

If you’re a tea drinker, then it’s worth taking the time to learn how to store your tea properly so that it stays fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. Tea should be stored in an airtight container, away from light and moisture. The ideal storage temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

So if you want to be prepared for anything, make sure you have some tea stored away for long-term use. It might just come in handy someday.

How Long Do Tea bags Last?

That depends on a few factors, including the type of tea and how it’s stored. Generally speaking, most tea bags will remain fresh for six to twelve months, but some much longer.

It Depends on the Type of Tea

  • Green tea leaves are packed with antioxidants, which help to keep them fresh for longer. Green tea bags can last for up to a year when stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Black Tea when stored properly, black tea bags can stay fresh for quite some time. They can last for about two years.
  • Oolong tea bags can last for two or more years. This is because oolong tea is partially oxidized, meaning it takes longer for the leaves to break down.
  • White tea is known for being packed with antioxidants. The tea bags can last for two or more years if properly stored.
  • Pu-erh tea bags can last for many years, making them a great value for Tea drinkers. Pu-erh tea bags can retain their flavor and richness for 60 years or more when stored properly.

It Depends on How it is Stored

Here are some tips for storing tea bags to stay fresh for months or even years.

  • First, be sure to keep them in an airtight container. This will protect them from moisture and prevent them from absorbing flavors from other foods.
  • Second, store them in a cool, dark place. Heat and light can damage the delicate flavor of tea, so it’s best to keep them in a cupboard or pantry.
  • Finally, don’t forget to replace the lid on the container after each use.

With proper storage, your tea bags will stay fresh and flavorful for months or even years.

We also recommend reading our guide about storing spices for emergency survival.

Benefits of Storing Tea Long-Term

A cup of grean tea in a table.

Tea is a healthy beverage choice with many possible health benefits.

  • Natural treatment for stress: In a constantly go-go-go world, it’s important to find ways to de-stress and relax. For many people, tea is the perfect way to do this. Not only does it contain anti-anxiety properties, but it also helps to soothe the mind and body.
  • Aids in weight loss: Tea has been shown to boost metabolism and help burn fat. So if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking tea can be a helpful addition to your diet.
  • Fights against illness: Tea contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can help boost your immune system and fight off sickness. So if you’re looking for a natural way to stay healthy, drinking tea is a good option.
  • Improves mental focus: Tea contains caffeine, which can help to improve mental alertness and focus. So if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to coffee, tea is a great option.
  • Reduces inflammation: Tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce swelling and pain in the body. If you suffer from conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, drinking tea can help to alleviate your symptoms.

While there are different types of tea with different flavors, they all have one thing in common: they are made by adding water to tea leaves. This simple process can change the taste of the water, making it more palatable and easier to drink.

There are many benefits of storing tea long-term. Not only does it stay fresh and flavorful for months or even years, but it also has numerous health benefits. So if you’re a tea drinker, keep some stored away for long-term use. It might just come in handy someday.

Best Tea to Store Long-Term

Loose Leaf Tea

Loose leaf tea is generally considered higher quality than tea bags, as it contains larger pieces of the tea plant. This results in a fuller flavor and greater aroma. In addition, loose leaf tea typically contains fewer additives than tea bags.

For those interested in natural remedies, loose leaf tea is also a good choice, as it is less likely to contain chemicals or other additives that can interfere with the effectiveness of the herbs. In terms of storage, loose leaf tea lasts longer than tea bags.

This is because loose leaf tea takes up less space, allowing oxygen to circulate freely and preventing the leaves from drying out.

As a result, loose leaf tea is the best type of tea to store long-term.

Tea Bags

Tea bags are made of lower-quality leaves broken into small pieces. This results in a weaker flavor and aroma. In addition, tea bags often contain added ingredients, such as flavoring agents and colorants.

For those interested in natural remedies, tea bags may not be the best choice, as the added ingredients can interfere with the effectiveness of the herbs. Also, regarding storage, tea bags do not last as long as loose leaf tea.

This is because tea bags take up more space, which prevents oxygen from circulating and causes the leaves to dry out. As a result, most tea bags only have a shelf life of six to twelve months.

Pu’er Tea Bricks

When storing tea for the long term, pu’erh tea bricks are a great option. Pu’erh is a fermented tea that gets better with age, and tea bricks are compressed blocks of pu’erh leaves that can be stored for many years.

When pu’erh tea bricks are first made, they are typically bitter and strong-tasting. However, over time the tea develops a smoother flavor, with notes of earthiness, mushrooms, and tobacco. Tea bricks can be stored indefinitely and continue to improve in flavor as they age.

As such, pu’erh tea bricks are an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy a high-quality tea now while also laying down a few bricks for future generations.

Storing Tea vs. Cultivating Your Own: Pros and Cons

A plantation of tea in Asia.

When it comes to tea, there are two main ways to get your hands on the leaves: buy them already packaged or grow them yourself.

There are pros and cons to both methods. For instance, store-bought tea is typically more affordable than homegrown tea. It’s also more convenient since you don’t have to worry about planting, watering, and harvesting the leaves.

On the other hand, store-bought tea can be lower quality than homegrown tea and may not be as fresh. Cultivating your own tea leaves also has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s more work than simply buying tea, but you’ll have complete control over the quality of your finished product. You’ll also be able to choose from a wider variety of tea varieties when growing your own.

Best Storage Methods for Tea

  • Mylar bags are great for storing tea because they keep it fresh and protect it from moisture. Just put your used tea bag in a mylar bag and seal it up. Then, you can store it in the fridge or freezer, which will stay fresh for months. Then, when ready to use it again, take it out of the bag and steep it as usual. It’s the perfect way to reduce waste and enjoy your favorite beverage simultaneously.
  • Mason jars are a popular choice for storing tea. They are airtight and can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Mason jars come in various sizes, so you can choose one that fits your needs. You can also decorate them to match your kitchen decor. When selecting a mason jar for storing tea, get one with a tight-fitting lid. You don’t want your tea leaves to get stale. You can also add a label to the jar to know what kind of tea is inside. Mason jars are a great way to store tea and keep it fresh.
  • Metal tea canisters are a great option because they keep out light and oxygen, both of which can degrade the quality of your tea. They also have a tight seal that prevents moisture from getting in and making your tea leaves stale. And because metal is non-porous, it won’t absorb any odors from the surrounding environment.
  • Freezing tea can help to preserve its flavor and freshness for months. And the best part is that it’s super easy to do. First, place your tea leaves in an airtight container and pop them in the freezer. Then, when you’re ready for a cup of tea, remove the leaves from the freezer and allow them to thaw for a few minutes before brewing. You’ll be amazed at how much fresher and tastier your tea will be!

How to Tell if Your Tea Has Gone Bad

Many of us are guilty of hoarding tea bags long after their expiration date. But while expired tea may not be harmful, it can be unappetizing. Here are a few ways to tell if your tea has gone bad:

The first thing to do is look at the tea bag itself. If it’s discolored or covered in mold, it’s time to toss it. Another telltale sign is a change in smell – if your tea smells musty or off, it’s best to throw it away. Finally, give the tea a taste. If it tastes different than usual or has an unpleasant taste, it’s probably time to get rid of it.

While drinking expired tea won’t make you sick, it will not taste very good. So next time you’re rummaging through your pantry for a tea bag, check the expiration date first!

Other Uses of Tea Bags

Have you ever wondered what to do with used tea bags? While many people throw them away, there are several ways to reuse them. For example, tea bags can be added to compost piles, which will help to accelerate the decomposition process.

Used tea leaves also make excellent tinder for starting fires. Simply allow the tea bag to dry, and light it with a match. The dried leaves will ignite quickly, giving you a boost when trying to get the fire going.

So next time you finish your cup of tea, don’t toss the bag in the trash – put it to good use instead!


Sure, you can buy tea bags at the grocery store, which will last a long time. But if you want to get the most out of your tea, it’s worth investing in some quality loose leaf tea and storing it properly. Not only will you be able to choose from a wider variety of tea varieties, but properly storing your tea will help it stay fresh longer.

With just a few simple steps, you can enjoy fresh, delicious tea for months or even years to come!

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