Does Matcha Powder Ever Expire?

If you're someone who loves using matcha for cooking or drinking at home, then you almost certainly have a container of matcha powder in your kitchen. So, it's time we address one very important question: Does matcha powder ever expire? Long story short, matcha powder can last a very long time. Most expiration dates listed on matcha powder containers will give a time frame of one to two years. 

However, matcha powder will taste its best within the first month after it's been opened. After that, it will begin to lose flavor and even its health benefits. You can still safely consume the matcha powder after its expiration date, it just won't taste nearly as umami-rich or flavorful. In order to keep your matcha powder as fresh as possible, you need to know how to store it properly. 

First things first, store it in an airtight container. From there, keep it away from direct sunlight, excessive heat, or humidity, as all of these elements will degrade your matcha, making it taste more metallic. The ideal storage spot will be both cool and dark— such as in your refrigerator. But if you're going to keep it in the fridge, make sure the container is properly shut so that the matcha powder doesn't absorb any unwanted odors.

How to tell if matcha powder is no longer fresh

The goal is always to have the most delicious matcha possible, which means you need to utilize fresh matcha powder. But how can you tell if matcha is still good? Take a close look at its color, texture, and aroma. Matcha powder should be a bright green color — if it looks dull, potentially closer to yellow or brown than green, then it's losing its flavor. If the color has dulled, it's likely still okay to consume, it just won't taste as good. Additionally, when you smell the matcha, it should have a strong earthy and grass-like odor.

Finally, the texture should be free of any lumps and even be quite fluffy. If you've had your matcha powder for longer than one or two months, but you've stored it properly, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. You can always replace it when you start to notice that the flavor is losing its potency. However, if it's been improperly stored, the matcha powder can actually go bad — to the point that it becomes inedible. Namely, the moment you spot mold, it's time to throw it out.