Storing Loose Leaf Tea
Storing loose leaf tea is really quite simple and is more about what NOT to do. We briefly cover the basics and offer some tips and suggestions but If you keep your tea in an airtight container, store your container in a cool, dark dry place that is free from strong odors, you will consume it long before any degradation in aroma or taste begins.
Our goal is to preserve the fresh nature of our newly purchased loose leaf tea. Start with farm fresh loose leaf tea from Imperial Tea Garden. Here are five loose leaf tea storage tips that will help maintain your teas freshness:
Keep loose leaf tea free from open air
Tea leaves continue to oxidize over time with to the elements. Even when stored in an airtight vessel, some air remains in between the tea leaves and on top of the tea. Most of our tea manufacturers use nitrogen flushing techniques to vacuum seal our tea to prevent exposure to oxygen during from shipping and storage.
Keep loose tea free from heat sources
Heat speeds up degradation by activating the inner molecules within the tea leaves. Avoid storing tea near your oven or appliances that give off heat.
Keep loose tea away from light sources
Sunlight is a source radiation and can heat up your sealed teas. Also the effects of sunlight can be seen on fabrics and other items that are exposed to sunlight and it will quickly fade your black tea.
Keep loose leaf tea away from strong odors
Tea leaves will absorb odors of their surroundings. This may be beneficial in the production of scented teas such as jasmine green tea, however, this would not be pleasant if your tea leaves come in contact with foods, herbs and spices. Avoid kitchens or musty basements. Also avoid cedar chests and other wooden containers.
Keep loose leaf tea away from moisture
Tea will easily absorb moisture from the air. An airtight storage container is really all you need to block out moisture.
Other Notes about storing loose leaf tea.
- Loose leaf teas that are less oxidized (green tea and white tea) will degrade more quickly than teas that are oxidized during processing such as oolong and black tea.
- Larger loose leaf teas such as white needle and large leaf Orange Pekoe will deteriorate more slowly then broken grades such as BOP black teas.
- You want a closet that smells like tea, not loose leaf tea that smell like your closet.
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