Spoonful of tea blend with rose buds, hibiscus leaves, echinacea flowers and cinnamon sticks on black rustic background
Food - Drink
Which Type Of Tea Stays Fresh The Longest?
Assuming that it's been stored correctly, dried tea will stay fresh as long as a couple of years. Although tea does lose some of its flavor and nutrients over time, it doesn't really expire — at least, not in the sense that you will get sick from it — but some types of tea will retain their freshness longer than others.
Once tea leaves are harvested, the oxidation process (or exposure to the open air) determines whether they will be a black, green, or white tea, as well as the longevity of a tea: the more oxidized, the longer a tea will stay at peak freshness. Black tea, being the most oxidized, is the longest-lasting (aside from fermented pu'er tea).
Made up of herbs, flowers, and dried fruits, herbal tea can last about 1 to 2 years before starting to degrade. However, because herbal teas may contain ingredients that are prone to absorb moisture, they are far more susceptible to mold than regular tea, so storing them properly is crucial to their longevity as well as your safety.
Pu'er tea is in a class of its own, differing from all other varieties of tea in that it is made from much larger and older leaves grown in the Yunnan province of China. This tea undergoes a fermentation process, and some pu'ers maintain their peak freshness for up to fifty years, but you’ll have to taste it yourself to decide if it wins over black tea.