In Asian countries such as Japan and China, green tea is a popular beverage they have been consuming for centuries. Due to its many health benefits, the consumption of green tea is becoming a global phenomenon.
Apart from Camellia Sinensis, other plants like mint, tulsi, chamomile, matcha, etc., are dried and consumed for their fragrance and medicinal properties. Sipping green tea can instantly soothe our minds and rejuvenate our bodies.
Since green teal is less processed and is made from unoxidized leaves, it contains the most antioxidants. It has a rich amount of compounds called polyphenols and flavonoids, which boost immunity and help fight the common cold, cough, and flu.
According to Medical News, studies show that consuming green has positive effects on several diseases, including cancer, type 2diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease.
According to WebMD, catechins in green tea are a powerful antioxidant that prevents cell damage. It improves blood flow, lowers cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, and may improve cognition.
How Long Does Green Tea Last? Does Green Tea Go Bad?
Have you stocked up on more green tea than you can consume and wondering if you will have to toss them in the bin?
Well, here's good news. Green tea does not expire like other food. So you can keep it for a longer time than its cover indicates.
Green tea generally comes with a “best before date” of 12 to 36 months from the date of manufacture. But if you preserve it following all the proper storage techniques, you can still consume it after the expiry date has lapsed.
But of course, that doesn’t mean green tea cannot get spoilt. Green tea is less processed and less oxidized compared to tea leaves.
So, it has comparatively more chances of going bad if it is not stored correctly.
Once you have opened the can or cover, chances for spoilage will increase. Hence, it is essential that you seal the packet after each use. Use clean and dry spoons for scooping out the tea, and do not leave it open.
The best way to store green tea is to keep in airtight plastic bags or place it in a thermos and seal it with wax. If it comes in contact with high humidity, the green tea will get oxidized.
Store it at a temperature below 5 degrees Celsius as the higher temperature can decompose essential substances in the tea.
Exposure to air and sunlight can also change the healthy chemicals' composition in your green tea and render it ineffective.
Plus, its taste and fragrance will diminish so that you can no longer enjoy the distinct flavor of your green tea. A stale tea, as you know, is not worth drinking.
You can put cold green tea in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Keeping it sealed will prevent contamination by microbes as well as fend off odors.
How to Tell if Green Tea is Bad?
Past the expiry date, green tea is still safe to consume, but the quality will undoubtedly diminish. So here are some signs that you should probably stop drinking it.
- If it has become discolored or has fungal growth, you shouldn’t use it.
- If the green tea leaves' color becomes red and the brewed tea turns to red or brown color, it indicates that it is spoilt.
- If the green tea has lost its freshness and aroma and has a stale taste, you should probably throw it.
According to a study, fungal contamination of tea leaves at any processing stage can pose a severe health risk. The fungi on green tea produce toxic chemicals, which can lead to food poisoning.
The danger of contamination comes from improper storage. Hence, you must store green tea hygienically in airtight containers to prevent exposure to fungi or bacteria.
If you notice any mold, you need to discard it immediately to avoid any risks to your health.
But it is also noteworthy that green tea also has anti-microbial effects, and a study, according to NCBI, suggests that green tea can be used for therapeutic purposes.
Hence, as long as the leaves are not too old or moldy, you need not panic.
Green tea has been consumed for centuries; it is suitable for health, and studies back that fact. So, you can keep drinking your favorite flavor of the soothing and rejuvenating low-calorie drink to get you through the day.
Unless you observe a significant change in the taste and color of the green tea or notice molds, you can drink it even months and years after its best before date.
However, the key to enjoying your green tea is to buy it in smaller amounts and consuming it as close to the manufacture date as possible.
Add a little juice of a lemon to your cup of green tea, and Vitamin C will help your body absorb catechins more effectively.