Moldy Tea Bags – Causes and Prevention

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Written By Muhammad Shaban Shoukat






Tea is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, but it’s important to know that mold on tea can be dangerous. Mold on tea can make you sick and lead to a variety of long-term health complications if not properly addressed. Let’s take a look at why mold grows on tea in the first place, what types of mold are common for tea, and how to prevent and treat moldy tea.

Why Does Mold Grow on Tea?

Mold isn’t just found in damp basements and old food – it can also grow in our teacups! Most molds thrive in warm and moist places, which is why your kitchen cabinet is one of the places which you should pay extra attention to. If you don’t store your tea properly, or if it gets wet from condensation or humidity, then mold spores may start growing.

Mold spores are microscopic and often invisible – so much so that many people don’t even realize they have been drinking moldy tea until they start experiencing symptoms like nausea, headaches, or digestive issues.

Common Types of Mold On Tea

The type of mold that grows on your tea will depend on the environment where it was stored. Commonly found molds include Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium chrysogenum, Cladosporium herbarum, and Fusarium sambucinum. These molds give off mycotoxins which can cause serious health problems when ingested over time.

How To Prevent & Treat Moldy Tea

The best way to prevent mold from growing on your tea is by storing it in an air-tight container away from humid environments such as bathrooms or kitchens with poor ventilation. Keep your containers away from direct sunlight as well, as this can speed up the growth process for certain molds.

If you are dealing with a particularly stubborn patch of mold, try using a mild soap solution or bleach-free cleaning agent to remove it from the surface of your mug or cup. Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterward! If you suspect that there might be some hidden pockets of mold inside your cup or mug (which could be difficult to spot!), soak it in hot water with vinegar for about 10 minutes before rinsing again with clean water. This should help remove any traces of mold inside the container too!

How Do Mycotoxins Get Introduced in Tea?

Mycotoxins are the byproducts of fungi, which can build up in tea over time. Poor storage conditions or improper brewing techniques often cause this. If your tea has been exposed to high levels of humidity or heat, then there is a chance that mycotoxins may have developed along with the moldy patches. It is important to take note of any off-smells or strange colors in your tea and always discard any tea that has been stored improperly.

Types of Mold Infestation in Tea Bags

Sometimes, even if you store your tea properly, it can still become infested with mold. This is especially common in sealed tea bags that have been stored for too long. These molds will often be different than the ones found on fresh teas and may include Aspergillus oryzae, Mucor sp., Rhizopus sp., and Fusarium oxysporum. If you notice any suspicious-looking tea bags, discard them immediately to prevent any health complications.

What Happens if You Drink Moldy Tea?

Drinking moldy tea is not ideal, as it can cause health complications such as allergies, headaches, and nausea. If you think that you may have been drinking moldy tea, contact a doctor or medical professional immediately to get checked out.


Q: Does boiling tea get rid of mold on tea?

A: Boiling your tea can help to kill off some of the mold present, but it may not be enough to remove all traces. It is important to thoroughly inspect the tea and discard it if necessary.

Q: Can you reuse a cup or mug with mold on it?

A: It is not recommended to reuse a cup or mug with mold on it, as the mycotoxins from the molds can still be present and will cause health complications if ingested.

Q: How long does it take for mold to grow on tea?

A: The exact amount of time it takes for mold to grow on tea will depend on the environment, but generally speaking it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks for spores to develop.

Q: How do I detect mold on tea?

A: Moldy tea often has an odd smell and may contain visible patches of mold or discoloration. If you notice any of these signs, dispose of the tea immediately.

Q: Is it safe to drink tea with mold on it?

A: No, it is not safe to drink tea that has visible patches of mold or smells strange. Discard the tea immediately and seek medical advice if necessary.

Q. Can tea bags grow mold?

A: Yes, tea bags can grow mold if they are stored improperly or for too long. Always inspect your tea bags before using them and discard any that appear suspicious.


Nobody wants their morning cup of tea ruined by an unexpected patch of mold – but unfortunately, this happens more often than we’d like! Luckily, there are ways to prevent and treat any potential patches of unwanted fungi growth before they do any real damage to your health. Make sure you’re permanently storing your teas away from humid environments and out of direct sunlight – plus keep an eye out for any unusual discoloration or musty odors coming from them too! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy all those delicious cups of joe without worrying about hidden dangers like moldy teas ever again!


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