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Does Matcha Powder Expire?

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Matcha has become the preferred energy source for many people.

Have you gotten into making your matcha tea at home too? Then you should certainly know everything about the storage conditions and shelf life of this green tea powder. The most frequently asked question is how long matcha lasts.

Does matcha powder expire? Matcha powder does not expire past safe use but will deteriorate in flavor and aroma with time. It retains its best quality for 1-2 months and is generally fit for consumption for about 12 months, if stored properly. Expired matcha is generally safe, but stale.

In this article, you will learn how to store matcha powder properly to preserve its qualities longer. You will also learn how to detect matcha powder that is no longer fresh. 

Does Matcha Powder Go Bad?

Matcha is a type of Japanese green tea. The leaves are finely powdered to get a powder – matcha powder.

This bright green powder has been becoming more and more popular in recent years. People use matcha not only for drinks but also for baking and making various sweet treats. 

Matcha powder falls into the category of dried goods. Many of these, last a long time or don’t really go bad at all so long as you provide proper storage conditions.

But what does happen to matcha powder is that its aroma and flavor deteriorate with time. 

With this being said, matcha powder always comes with a ‘best by’ date printed on the packaging. These dates are typically the manufacturer’s estimation of how long the powder will maintain its best qualities given proper storage conditions. 

How Long Does Matcha Powder Last?

How long matcha powder will last depends on the storage conditions as well as on the packaging type and if it has been opened or not. 

After opening, it is best to use the matcha powder within a month or two if you want to experience the most vibrant flavor and aroma.

The powder will gradually lose its flavor qualities but it will be good for making drinks for up to 12 months so long as it is not exposed to moisture. 

You can use the powder past this time too. However, oxidized matcha powder doesn’t have the same health benefits as the fresh powder does. Nor does it have the same flavor and smell. 

The type of packaging plays a key role in how long the powder will maintain its potency. Airtight packaging is the best when it comes to matcha powder. 

Additionally, avoid buying matcha in clear packaging. Light is one of the factors that speed up the degrading process of the powder.

Matcha powder is often sold in paper packaging. Even if it is sealable, transfer the powder into another container as paper easily absorbs moisture. 

Storing matcha in tins or dark glass containers with tight-fitting lids is the key to keeping it fresh for weeks. 

How Long Does Matcha Last Unopened?

Unopened matcha powder will certainly maintain its potency for much longer than an opened container or bag of matcha powder. 

If the original packaging is sealed, airtight, and kept somewhere dark, cool, and dry, it will keep the powder vibrant for around 12 months

Some matcha powders come with a 2-year expiration date from the production date.

While it is true that matcha powder can last this long and be completely safe for consumption for 24 months (or much longer), the expiration date is not something to look for on a matcha powder packaging. 

What you should be looking for is matcha powder with the freshest production date, since your matcha is best used as soon as possible.

How to Store Matcha Powder

Good matcha powder is not cheap. The high price of this green powder has to do with the labor and time it takes to make it. 

Thus, if you are someone that buys matcha powder, you should get your money’s worth by storing it in a way that the powder maintains its best qualities for as long as possible. 

As we have already told you, matcha powder doesn’t go bad. However, its flavor deteriorates over time. 

There are a few key rules to follow when it comes to storing matcha powder:

1. Keep it away from moisture and humidity.

There is one thing that can make dry goods go bad quickly, and that’s water. So make sure to store matcha powder in a place where there is no chance of water getting into it.

Additionally, store matcha in a cabinet away from the stovetop as the steam from cooking is certainly not good for the powder especially if the container you are keeping it in doesn’t have a tight lid. 

2. Keep it airtight.

Matcha powder exposed to air will quickly lose its flavor and aroma if stored in a container or bag that doesn’t seal properly.

If the original matcha packaging isn’t airtight, transfer the powder into another container that you can seal tightly and prevent oxidation. 

3. Keep it dark and cool.

As we said before, constant light exposure is not great for your matcha, or many dried goods.

When in doubt, you can keep any dried goods somewhere cool, dark, and dry – like the cupboard.

Can You Store Matcha Powder in the Fridge?

Storing matcha powder in the fridge is a good idea if you live somewhere humid and hot.

The fridge will slow down the deterioration process of matcha powder. It will keep the color bright and the flavor vibrant longer than storing matcha at room temperature would. 

However, there is one thing you should keep in mind when storing matcha in the fridge.

The container should be airtight. If the original packaging of your matcha powder is not airtight, transfer it into a well-sealed bag. An airtight container will also prevent the powder from absorbing odors from the fridge. 

Can you store matcha in the freezer?

As for the freezer, it is not a good option for matcha powder. There is a high risk of condensation as soon as you try to thaw and use the powder.

Signs That Matcha Powder Has Gone Bad

The only sign of truly bad matcha powder is mold. This happens whenever you leave matcha powder in a humid environment or when water gets into the container.

Matcha powder goes stale more often that it goes bad. Here are the signs that indicate that your matcha powder has been sitting around for too long and it is no longer fresh. 

  • Color changes. We all love the bright green color of matcha powder. The color of stale matcha powder is not as bright. With time, the powder fades and may acquire a yellow or grey tint. 
  • Flavor changes. The flavor of fresh matcha is rich, vegetal, and creamy. The longer you keep matcha the more bland its flavor becomes. Matcha that is too old can also be very bitter and sour. 
  • Loss of smell. The smell of fresh matcha powder is not always strong. However, it is certainly there. Fresh matcha powder has a unique vegetal smell. With time, matcha powder loses its aroma. 

While you can decide whether matcha powder is fresh or not just by looking at it and smelling it, there are other ways of testing the freshness of matcha. 

Try making matcha tea. If whisking matcha makes it froth and bubble nicely, then your matcha powder is fresh. 

But take this sign with a grain of salt, as there may be other reasons why your match may not froth properly, such as using too much water or water that is too cold, as well as not sifting the powder before using it. 

Another thing to pay attention to when making matcha is the texture. If the tea ‘feels’ fluffy and soft, then it is still fresh. 

Is It Safe to Drink Expired Matcha Powder?

Using old matcha powder won’t harm you. But it won’t be ideal either. Old or expired matcha won’t have the flavor qualities you are looking for in matcha and the aroma won’t be there too.

So long as your matcha powder hasn’t been exposed to moisture and humidity and hasn’t gotten moldy, using it will not cause you any health issues. 

If the matcha powder is old, i.e. it has been sitting in your cupboard for many months and has become too bland to make a drink using it, there is a clever thing you can do. 

So long as the powder hasn’t gone bad and moisture hasn’t got into the container, you can try using it for baking or making sweets

Some people don’t like matcha-flavored baked goods and sweets as they consider the green tea flavor to be too harsh and invasive. With matcha powder that has gone slightly bland, your treats will turn out perfect for these people.

Matcha powder is not cheap. Using a bag of expensive matcha powder for baking may not be something you’d like to do, especially if you are doing it for the first time.

But once your matcha powder has already lost its vibrancy and bright flavor, you might as well make use of it for baking!

Don’t use matcha powder for baking if it has become too bitter with age. In this case, it is best to discard it and buy a new bag. 

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