Did you know that tea’s storage can significantly impact its aroma and taste? It doesn’t matter if you have a small or large collection. How you store your tea is important. This applies to loose leaf tea, tea bags, and other teas. It doesn’t matter whether it’s jasmine or chamomile, earl grey, hojicha, chamomile, or chai. It doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming to store tea properly. It is worth organizing the teas in your home and learning to keep them fresh. Let’s talk about how to store tea properly!
Tea Storage: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions before we get into the 5 tips for storing tea correctly and ensuring that your tea collection lasts longer.
Does tea expire? Teas should be labelled with a best before date. The tea’s flavours should not change after that date if stored properly. Tea can become stale with time, losing its flavours over time.
Is loose leaf tea more effective than tea bags?
You can. It can, especially if you use smaller tea leaves or dust. Smaller tea leaves can be more difficult to use.
This is also true for tea powders (i.e. matcha and hojicha). Finer particles are more prone to lose freshness. Tea powders should be used within a couple of months of opening.
Is tea bad for you?
Tea can be ruined by time, but that doesn’t mean you should stop drinking it.
Although most teas can be consumed after the best before date, they might not taste as good as when it was first consumed.
This is only true if the tea smells and looks good. The leaves should not have mould growth. If tea leaves or bags smell strange or mouldy, throw them out.
Can I freeze tea?
It is possible to freeze brewed tea ( Iced Tea, anyone?). However, it would help if you did not freeze tea bags and leaves. Tea that is stored in the freezer will not preserve it. It will lose its natural flavours.
What do I do about tea that isn’t used anymore?
It may not be as enjoyable as tea, but you can try making tea with it or roasting the leaves for a new flavour.
Expired tea leaves are also available. You will be a blessing to your garden!
Composting tea bags: Please double-check that they are compostable. Tea leaves are compostable, but sometimes the tea bags’ material and string may not be.
Tea Shelf Life
Every tea has a different shelf life. The shelf life of teas can vary depending on the quality and type, but these guidelines should be followed if they are properly stored.
The shelf life of green tea and white tea is approximately 6 months to one year.
Oolong tea lasts 1-2 years, while black tea can be enjoyed for up to 2 years.
Long-term ageing is possible with dark teas (such as puerh)
How to store tea properly.
Tea will last longer when it is kept out of oxygen, heat, light and moisture. These tips will help you store your tea correctly to enjoy it for many years.
Keep tea fresh in an airtight container.
Tea leaves can continue oxidizing when they are exposed to oxygen or air. This can greatly impact the taste of tea.
Green teas, for example, are less likely to be oxidized than other types of teas. The leaves’ colour and freshness will also be affected. The colour of green tea is usually green, but leaves can turn brown if left to air for a long time.
Tea leaves and bags should be kept in an airtight container to limit exposure. You can use a resealable container or pouch.
Keep your tea cool and dark.
Tea bags and loose leaf tea should be kept from direct heat and light. Because heat and light can cause the tea to lose its freshness, you must keep your tea bags away from direct sunlight.
You should keep your tea away from heat-producing appliances, such as stoves and microwaves. Stoves and microwaves.
Closed cupboards or pantries are the best places for tea storage to keep it cool and away from sunlight.
Keep tea away from strong odours.
Although a pantry or cupboard may be a great place to keep your tea from the light, it should not be near any other items that could give off strong aromas.
Tea absorbs any odours around it. Avoid storing tea near coffee, herbs, and spices. Otherwise, your English breakfast black tea could taste like chilli powder.
Keep tea dry and out of moisture.
Tea bags and tea leaves should not be wet during steeping. Tea should be stored dry when it is steeped.
This is why you should not store tea in the fridge or freezer. Condensation will result in moisture that tea can absorb.
Matcha is an exception to this rule, but it should be kept away from other tea powders emitting strong odours.
You can buy fresh tea in smaller amounts.
Tea from the most recent harvest will last longer. Before buying tea, find out its age so you know how long it will last.
The sale might tempt you to buy more tea, but it could not be as beneficial as you think.