How long does loose leaf tea last? it really depends how long your tea is exposed to the air.
If you don’t use your tea very often and keep it in its container (usually a tin) and you don’t live in a very humid climate like the “Rain Forest” it will last for years.
But if you open your container a lot, oxidization and moisture will reduce its shelf life. But even then, it will remain strong and tasty for years.
Properly stored, loose tea will generally stay at best quality for about 18 to 24 months.
Loose leaf tea does not spoil; however, it can start to lose its potency and flavor over time
When storing your tea stainless steel containers should be your first choice. This will keep your tea away from the sunlight. loose leaf tea can become stale quickly if it is subjected to light. If you do not have steel containers, you can use a colored glass container to keep your tea in. Clear glass is not as good because the sunlight can still affect the leaves.
If you buy your tea and it comes in a paper bag, just remember to repack it into one of the container specified above. And just remember to keep it as airtight as possible.
You also want to remember to keep your leaves away from any heat sources. Things like ovens, home heaters and sun can speed up the oxidation process that can damage your tea.
You will also want to keep your leaves away from excessive cold temperatures. You do not want to put your tea leaves into the freezer or refrigerator. The changes in temperature will also affect the leaves. So, it is always best to store your tea at room temperature. This is the best way to keep its original taste and flavor.
Another thing to remember is to keep tea away from odors as tea is very absorbent. It will soak up odors from other foods around. Especially things with strong odors like onions
Finally, When you are asking how long does loose leaf tea last, remember the obvious. You want to keep your leaves dry until it is time to brew.
If you do all these things you can rest assured that your tea will last a very long time. But is still use the 18 to 24 months as a good guideline.