How do you know how fresh your tea is? Smell it.
Smelling the dry leaf is the best indicator of how fresh a tea is. This is the basic rule for all teas, including scented ones. There should be a smoky or toasty quality.
If you can, also test the steeped quality and freshness of the leaf.
Add boiling water and and it will enable you to really discover the freshness. This, of course, takes a bit of practice.
You can tell a lot from the look of steeped tea leaves – and I don’t mean telling the future. I mean the scent, saturation and colour of the leaf are all good indicators of the tea’s freshness.