Herbs and Spices
Spices and herbs should be stored in a cool, dry place in air-tight containers. A warm storage area may hasten flavor loss, and a damp environment encourages caking, color change and infestation. Containers should be tightly closed after each use so the volatile oils of the spice or herb are not lost.
Under favorable conditions spices will retain maximum aroma and flavor up to 6 months. Whole spices keep their flavor almost indefinitely. Whole cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks maintain quality beyond 2 years.
Herbs tend to lose flavor more rapidly than ground pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. If herbs are stored in airtight containers and kept in a dark, cool, dry location they will retain flavor and color for 6 months or longer.
Herbs and spices can be stored in the freezer to extend shelf life.
Source: Cupboard Approximate Storage Times, Kansas State University