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Verjuice

Old or expired tea

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At the risk of sounding incredibly ignorant...

I am traveling with a Ziploc baggie of PG Tips that I packed at home in the US three weeks ago. Since I've been visiting family in the Emirates, I bought a new box of PG Tips upon arrival for drinking here. I worked my way through 40 tasty cuppas, then ran out last night. This morning, I didn't feel like heading to the market for a new box, so I dug into my Ziplog baggie of tea bags from home and brewed it the usual way.

But something was definitely wrong with the flavor and aroma. How can I describe it? It tasted metallic, bitter, musty... smelled a little rusty and very faintly like raw egg. A little fishy, even, after the milk was added.

Thinking it might be the milk, I tossed it and brewed another cup a few minutes later, adding fresh bottled milk this time: same thing.

I am completely grossed out. The tea bags I packed were from a brand new box of tea that I had just opened at home. Are these the typical taste markers of tea that's way past its prime, or are my taste buds playing tricks on me?

Thanks for any help figuring this one out. :smile:

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I have never run into a tea that was "metallic, bitter, musty... smelled a little rusty and very faintly like raw egg. A little fishy, even, after the milk was added." But I am curious too, so I am bumping this up just in case anyone else has any ideas.

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I just threw out a small box of Chinese green tea. It definitely went bad. Not bad as in stale or old, but definitely off in a rancid kind of way. Tasted extremely bitter, oily, a little bit like how nuts and oil go rancid. I've never had tea go rancid on me before, but I guess it's not unsual given the naturally oils in the tealeaves. :angry:

Anyways, the fishy raw-egg tasting tea mentioned above - I'm wondering if it got moldy or damp when it was sitting around in a warehouse before retailing. Or maybe that particular batch hadn't been fired or dried properly.

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If it has bergamot in it... you'll know.

I had some old earl grey in a tin, and the bags were completely dry and the oils had drained out of the bags over time or -something- and rusted in the tin... It was weird and horrible!

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2 hours ago, chenyswhite said:

For the expiration date of tea I'm not sure, of course it still has certain deadline as foods I think.
But when I saw the shelf life of dark tea with the longer the better, I have some questions. Is it true?

Many teas are deliberately aged. If kept in airtight containers, with absolutely no moisture, tea can last for years.  I have numerous teas from many different vendors/brands and none have expiration dates, not even the ones that contain dried fruits & etc.

I have black teas, oolongs, greens and whites.  Single varietals, blends, blends with flowers or spices, herbs and fruits.

I have a Russian Caravan tea that I purchased in a large tin about 25 years ago and it is still good.

Consider that at one time it took years to bring tea to markets in Europe and the Americas. The tea survived that so it can pretty much survive anything if care is taken to keep it dry and away from the air.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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On 6/28/2017 at 6:43 AM, andiesenji said:

Many teas are deliberately aged. If kept in airtight containers, with absolutely no moisture, tea can last for years.  I have numerous teas from many different vendors/brands and none have expiration dates, not even the ones that contain dried fruits & etc.

I have black teas, oolongs, greens and whites.  Single varietals, blends, blends with flowers or spices, herbs and fruits.

I have a Russian Caravan tea that I purchased in a large tin about 25 years ago and it is still good.

Consider that at one time it took years to bring tea to markets in Europe and the Americas. The tea survived that so it can pretty much survive anything if care is taken to keep it dry and away from the air.

Yes! I agree. Tea must be stored in air-tight containers and must be kept dry. I would also add that they must be kept away from things that have strong scents/smells. If stored this way, teas should keep for a very long time.


"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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