Tea Storage is very important in maintaining the flavor of your purchased tea. Whether you choose tins, a wooden chests, a ceramic or glass container, it is vital to choose an air tight container. A little planning and forethought will help to keep your tea as fresh as the day you bought it.
As you know, the leaves you use to brew your favorite tea are oxidized and dried. Air, heat and humidity are enemies of loose leaf. These elements rob them of their flavor and aroma. Why is air an enemy of dried tea leaves?
Even though it is a dried product there is still a small amount of moisture in the leaves. So if left exposed to air they will become dryer. Then when you go to brew your favorite tea it takes longer to rehydrate the leaves. The result can be a very flat, unpleasant cup of tea.
The best way to store you leaves is in a glass jar. For one, the glass does not hold onto odors and is easily cleaned of odors as well. A drawback to glass is that it lets light in.
Sunlight and bright indoor lights can do just as much damage to the delicate leaves as letting air in. If your choose to store in glass, please keep in a dark closed cabinet.
If you like to display your teas in a glass fronted cabinet or on your counter top, choose air tight tins or containers made of porcelain or unglazed clay.
Just remember that unglazed clay will hold and absorb odors. Always store the same type of leaves in unglazed clay containers.
You can purchase many of these containers online.
This comes from personal experience.
Most people know not to store food items close to onions and garlic, because these odors are quickly transferred to other foods. But
Never store a strong aroma tea next to a lighter tasting one. I did this with an aroma black next to an Assam. The Assam took on the flavors of the aroma tea. So because of this storage method I wasted the money I spent on the lovely Assam.
The tea I bought was package in foil bags. This still did not prevent the odors from being transferred into the other foil bags. Just wanted to let you know this so you would not make the same mistake I did.
It might be a good idea to buy a tea storage container when you order a strong aroma blend to keep it seperated from tranfering flavors to your other stock. This is a good way to start your collection of containers.
Personally I prefer the air-tight tea tins to most other storages devices. But please do not let me influence you into a specific type of container.
Tea leaves love to be stored in constant cool temperatures. So you may ask? Can I store it in the fridge or freezer? NO!
Sorry for yelling, but a fridge can add moisture and odor to the leaves. A freezer can dry the leaves out more. The best thing for tea storage is to store them in an air-tight container at ambient temperatures.
The shelf life of tea depends on the kind of leaf being stored and the type of tea storage method being used.
The best rule of thumb, look at the way your loose leaf has been package after it arrives at your doorstep. Then do the same. Most are shipped in airtight foil packages. You can mimic that with the containers listed below.
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