Tea storage – that is correct tea storage, is important! However much tea we have at home most tea drinkers can’t resist buying more if we come across something special or we haven’t tried before. And then there are the teas we are given as gifts by friends and family who are aware of our love of tea. This is fine, but tea – especially green tea – is best drunk fresh, and even the most enthusiastic tea drinkers amongst us can only drink so much tea in a day.
Tea will not “go off” or be harmful to you if it not drunk fresh, but if it the basic rules of good tea storage are not adhered to, it will not taste as good as it could.
The five “enemies” of good tea storage:
- Light: Clear glass jars might look pretty but they expose the tea to light and shorten the shelf-life of your tea.
- Heat: Exposure to heat and humidity will damage the quality of the tea, weakening flavour and aroma.
- Odours: Tea absorbs other smells very easily. This is wonderful when we want to make scented teas such as Jasmine Silver Needle, but not so wonderful if you want to avoid your tea tasting of coffee or some other aromatic grocery item.
- Air: Exposure to oxygen in the air increases the risk of oxidization in green tea of your tea absorbing moisture and odours nearby.
- Moisture: Because tea is dry it absorbs moisture in the air very easily. To get the best out of your tea don’t expose your leaves to liquid moisture unless you are brewing it.
Examples of good tea storage solutions:
- We provide our teas in resealable, multi-ply pouches and press out excess air before we seal the bag. Keep the tea in these (re-usable) pouches or transfer them to a tea caddy or other airtight container.
- An opaque tea caddy or container that has an inner lid or an airtight seal is ideal.
- Dark glass storage jars with an airtight lid are fine, but do not use a see-through glass jar unless you can always store it in a dark cupboard.
- Avoid storing tea in humid or warm areas of your home, e.g. on a window sill or near the stove.
- You can keep sensitive green tea in the fridge, but only do so if you are sure your package is completely airtight and there is no danger of exposure to moisture or other odours.
- Do not expose your teas to light or keep them in a warm/moist place.