Just like storing your coffee, storing your tea the right way essential, as it preserves its shelf life, flavor, and quality. But, how to store tea leave for reuse? In this post, we shall give you easy storage tips that will help you keep your tea fresh and flavorful.
Storage conditions that you should avoid
Avoiding the following five storage conditions can make a big difference in the quality, flavor, and shelf life of your tea. These conditions include:
- Light and UV rays – these can damage your tea very quickly. Thus, you should avoid storing tea in clear containers, unless you keep it in a dark place. Also, you should avoid buying tea from sellers to store their tea in clear plastic or glass containers.
- Heat – this is another condition that can degrade your tea. Never place your tea in the sun, or near heat sources such as ovens and stoves.
- Moisture – moisture can also cause problems to your tea. Generally, tea is shelf-stable since it’s dry and can easily absorb water from the air. Thus, you should keep your tea from hot water unless it’s time to brew it. Also, you should avoid storing your black tea leavesin other humid places, like in the fridge, or above the vents of a dishwasher. But, the rule is to avoid exposing your tea to liquid moisture, unless you are brewing it.
- Odor – tea absorbs odor very easily. This is a trait that allows the production of different scented teas, like Jasmine Pearls. Thus, you should avoid storing your tea close to your spice cabinet, trash bin, or any place with odor.
Lastly, it’s essential to note that exposing your tea to the air increases the chances of your tea absorbing odors and moisture. Therefore, you should avoid leaving your tea exposed to the air, sealing it with excess air inside the packaging, or keeping it in porous packaging material, such as a paper bag.
How to properly store your tea
Avoid storing your tea in the conditions we’ve discussed above. That means you need to consider where you store your tea, as well as the packaging mechanism and material you use to store your tea. The following are the best practices for storing your tea:
Store your tea:
- Far from places with strong odors
- In a completely opaque container or dark cabinet
- In humid areas of your house and kitchen
- Separate delicate teas from teas with strong scents
Storing your tea
- Always use opaque packaging, even when keeping your tea in a dark place
- Ensure that you use food-safe packaging
- Non-reactive, opaque, non-leaching plastics and glazed ceramics are the best packaging materials
- While wood can be an ideal storage solution, you should be cautious since most wood storage containers have an odor that can affect the taste of your tea.
- Please note that the bags that vendors use to sell tea are of different quality. Therefore, ensure that the bag you use is a multi-ply storage bag, with an inner layer of glassine or foil—this prevents contamination by air, water, or grease.
Tea storage options
A tight seal is essential when storing tea. Now, if your container can hold water, it means it can protect tea. Some of the best storage options include:
- Multi-ply bags, with resealable plastic zippers
- Odor-free silicone seals—these are very common in metal canisters
- Double lids—also common with metal tea containers
Extra storage tips
- In case your seller doesn’t use sufficient packaging material, avoid the temptation of storing your tea poorly. It’s always a good thing to invest in quality packaging materials.
- Avoid buying tea in large quantities. In case you have a challenge in finding good tea where you live, find a good vendor, and ask them whether they provide shipping services.
- ● Always open what you can brew in the next few weeks. Unless well-stored, both aged oolongs and pu-erhs flavors don’t hold onto teas for long. Rather, consider drinking them when they are fresh—that’s how you are going to enjoy them.