If you love something, you must protect it. This basic rule is applicable not just for relationships but also when it comes to tea. So, yeah, stop treating your tea like a one-night stand and get serious with your business. And if you are actually in a long-term relationship with tea, (then we love you!) and hey, this article is for you.
A good tea is really good when its flavour quality and texture are intact. For all these things to stay intact you have to properly store the tea. The main factors that deter successful tea storage are light, heat, moisture, odour and air.
Light and UV rays can straight up damage your tea. It’s advised not to buy tea from vendors who store tea in plastic containers, that has been exposed to exterior sources of light. You should make it a point to store tea in airtight containers and keep them away from sunlight.
Do not keep your tea next to heat sources such as stoves or ovens. Tea, unfortunately, can absorb water from the air very easily, so it's better to keep it away from humid areas. Also, keep it away from boiling water until you are ready to brew it.
Tea is also very good at absorbing odours, which is actually quite great when you have to scent them and make exotic blends, but then it also means if you are keeping tea near any not-so-pleasant odour-emanating sources, tea might catch it and make it feel at home.
How does tea feel about air exposure? Honestly, not so good, it’s not the best association it can have. Air exposure increases the chances of your tea absorbing moisture. Avoid leaving tea out, sealing it with excess air in the packaging or storing it in porous packaging materials, like paper bags.
Going back again to the relationship analogy, no matter how amazing it was in the beginning, it goes through phases of deterioration. So, you just need to be a little extra loving, that’s all.
When we talk about a tea deteriorating, it basically means oxidation. Teas that are prevented from oxidizing during production and teas that are not heavily oxidized during process will continue to oxidize over time. This is the case for green teas, yellow teas and some white teas.
Ok, so now that you know the tea-killers, you might be wondering how best to store tea then?
This is your checklist to have a long-lasting, loving relationship with tea.
- Store far away from anything with a strong odour.
- Store in a dark cabinet or completely opaque container.
- Keep delicate teas separate from strongly scented teas.
- Avoid storing tea in humid areas of your kitchen and house.
- Be sure your packaging is food safe.
- Glazed ceramics, non-reactive metals and opaque, non-leaching plastics all make great packaging materials.
- Wood packaging may be a workable option, but be aware that many wood containers have odours that can influence the tea's taste.
- Use double lids for the storage boxes
- Use odour-free silicone seals (also common with metal canisters)
Now, you might be wondering, does tea go bad eventually? Well, no. don’t believe? Ask the Chinese, they are experts in aging their tea for years just like wine. The truth is, the packaging of the tea is bound to have an expiry date. That doesn't necessarily mean the tea will be unsafe to consume after the expiry date. It simply means the tea will maintain its freshness and flavour up until the date, ad after that its flavour will remain as strong as it was in the beginning. This is mainly because the natural oils and flavours in the tea will evaporate over time.
All these tea wisdom and you must be thinking but where’s my tea at? Just head over here and browse through our exotic blends of finest tea from the hills of Darjeeling. And get that tea-loving going strong!