Have you ever felt so disappointed upon opening your tea package and realizing that the flavor has already faded? Well, you’re not alone. Situations like this make you realize how storing tea in the proper manner is really important. In this guide, I have rounded off all the tips and tricks you can use to ensure that you can lengthen your tea’s shelf life.
Bonus Reading: Best Tea Kettle for Gas Stove – Top Five Recommended
Why storing tea is properly important?
First up, what exactly makes proper tea storage crucial? Most people think that tea is not that high maintenance. Wrong. Carelessness and ignoring the main five tea killers are exactly what cause tea to go bad easily. And once it goes bad, it loses its flavor. The tea will then just go to waste. That said, it is essential that you must observe the proper measures to prevent this from happening. Just to provide a brief overview, the factors you have to always keep in mind are proper location, the right packing mechanism and the proper packaging material.
How long can you store tea?
Now before we move onto the nitty gritty details of how you can exactly store tea in a proper manner, let us first find out how long you can preserve it before it finally loses its taste.
Let us first take a look at tea bags. Generally, tea bags can last for over one to two years, but usually only with the proper measures taken. General things to keep in mind is to make sure that they are kept away from factors that could take away their flavor such as too much heat, water as well as air.
How long can you store loose leaf tea?
Next is loose leaf tea. Compared to tea bags, loose leaf tea have longer shelf life. In fact, they can last for up to longer than two years. In addition to that, they also stay fresh for a relatively longer time than tea bags. As such, they also have a more robust and full-bodied flavor.
What You Need (tools)
Where not to store tea?
In this section, I will reveal every single item you will need for this tutorial, most especially including storage materials you will need. But before that, let us first find out where not to store your tea.
- Sandwich bags. One of the many rules you have to keep in mind is to keep tea away from light as light has certain components that can degrade the flavor as well as quality of tea. For this reason, it is essential that you do not use sandwich bags for storing tea as these are transparent. As such, light can easily pass through.
- Wooden containers with odor or containers with strong rubber smell. There is only one principle to remember with this item. And that is that tea must always be kept away from places where this is a strong odor. This is most especially because tea can absorb the scent from around it really easily.
- Areas in kitchen near heat. Aside from light and odor, tea must also be kept away from heat. This is because heat ramps up the process of oxidation and oxidation causes tea to lose its flavor. As such, it is best to store tea in room temperature.
Top tea storage ideas
Below are the top three storage items I highly suggest you get to be able to store your tea properly:
As stated, tea must be kept from heat, light, odor and even moisture. For this very reason, the tea tin by Over the Counter is highly recommended. The seal is tight enough to make sure the flavor of your tea is kept intact.
This one is a classic favorite. What you might also like the most about this is the fact that it has a lot of compartments. This is most especially apt for those who have numerous tea collections of different brands. This tea box also comes with an efficient magnet system that seals the box tightly without making it hard for you to open it.
Another tea tin, this canister set is highly suggested for your loose tea leaves. Storing tea leaves requires an airtight container to make sure that your leaves will not lose its flavor easily. One of the things I like about this set is that it ensures that your tea leaves are kept away from heat, light and moisture.
The good thing about proper tea storage is you can just do it easily in two steps. Here’s rundown on how exactly you can do it.
How to store loose leaf tea?
Step One: Choose the proper container. The first thing you have to prioritize in the right storage material. You may refer to what I have written above for ideas but generally the two characteristics that your storage must have is that it has an airtight sealing system as well as a mechanism that blocks the sunlight efficiently. Good example of the latter is stainless steel tin containers.
Step Two: Place the container in the right area. Proper tea storage does not just stop at deciding on the right container. This is most especially crucial for loose tea leaves. You have to ensure that you your tea container is kept away from the window where there is a possibility that sunlight will reach it; you must also keep it away from the refrigerator as loose tea leaves must be kept in room temperature at all times.
How to store tea bags?
Step One: Prepare your tea cabinets or tea boxes. Unlike loose tea leaves, tea bags are better off with tea boxes especially those with compartments instead of stainless tin cans. This is especially because with boxes or cabinets, tea bags can easily be organized and stores. Just make sure your tea boxes are also airtight.
Step Two: Store your tea boxes in a dark cupboard or drawer. Much like with loose tea leaves, tea bags must also be kept from places where light can reach them. Light can be fluorescent or sunlight—but whatever source the light is coming from, light in general has the potential to make a tea lose its flavor. This is most especially true for tea bags where its shelf life is much lower than loose tea leaves.
Now that you know how to store tea properly, here are some additional tips that can help you preserve your tea’s robust and rich flavor and quality.
How to keep your tea bags fresh?
- Avoid moisture. To keep tea bags fresh, the things you have to keep in mind are more about what to avoid or not to do. One of the reasons why an airtight container is crucial is because moisture must be kept away from tea bags since they affect its flavor.
- Keep away from stove. Or from anything that is a source of heat, including windows. Heat degrades quality of your tea bags. Remember to always keep your tea bags in room temperature.
- Refrain from storing it with spices. Aside from moisture and heat or light, odor also affects flavor of tea bags. The thing with tea is it easily absorbs the scent of its surrounding. As such, it is best to store it where there are no nearby spices, especially those with strong odor.
How to organize your tea?
- Buy your tea in less quantities instead of in bulk. This is mostly to make sure your tea bags or loose tea leaves are kept fresh all throughout. Tea bags, especially, have limited shelf lives.
- Take note of your purchase dates. One of the best things you can do to keep your tea organized is to write down when you purchased your tea. This is so that you can monitor their shelf life.
- Label your containers. If you are not using transparent tea boxes, it is better to label your canisters so you don’t get confused. Keep in mind that exposure to air degrades tea quality as well. With labeling them, you don’t have to constantly open your containers to see what’s in it.
How to make the perfect pot of tea?
Step One:Bring water to a boil. Using a kettle, heat up your water on the stove. You may also use an electric kettle
Step Two: Pour water to your teapot. Just swirl your pot for the purpose of keeping the pot warm then drain afterwards.
Step Three: Add the tea leaves. Remember the rule of thumb—one teaspoon full of leaves per person. Then pour back your water.
Step Four: Stir your tea. Let your tea steep for around five minutes. Afterwards, you may now stir it.
Proper tea storage is indeed crucial to making sure you make the most out of your tea. It may seem hard but in just two steps, you can certainly maximize your tea’s shelf life and enjoy it for a couple of years.
So there you have it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this article. Should you have any other suggestions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to leave them down below. I’ll see you on the next article!