If you are shopping for an imported brand of tea (such as Barrys, Lyons, PG Tips, etc), here are some tips.
First, look for a “Best By” date for the tea you are buying. Most brands put a “Best By” date for their tea on the packaging. It is usually located on the bottom, but sometimes on the side. A few brands of tea do not include this date on this box, but most do. Try to get a box with the “Best By” date at least a few months in the future.
Tea does not go bad. If you store tea properly, it will last a long time. The “Best By” date is placed on the box during the production process. Tea can safely be consumed after the “Best By” date. The “Best By” date is totally different than the “Use By” date. The “Use By” date means foods should not be consumed after this date.
Make sure you get authentic brand of tea. For example, PG Tips is still made in Manchester, England. For this, deal with a merchant you trust.
But, most importantly, enjoy your cup of tea.