If you love drinking tea, you are probably keeping a supply of tea varieties at home for you to enjoy any time of the day. If you want to keep them longer without losing their quality and flavor, proper storage is essential. Learning how to store your tea, especially loose-leaf ones properly, will help you get the full value out of each sip, even when you use them months after buying.
Whenever you buy tea and store them at home, always keep in mind that those were mostly harvested or picked by hand and carefully processed, making sure that they are packed and sealed to withstand the long journey to your teacup. Therefore, storing them properly will help in extending your tea’s life.
If you are wondering about the proper storage of tea, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you a guide on how to properly store tea.
General Tea Storage Guidelines
Here are some of the general rules you can follow when it comes to storing different varieties of tea:
- Keep your teas organized.
When storing different teas, try to keep them organized according to a system that makes sense to you. You can store them depending on their kind and on the date that they are purchased. You can also write down the harvest season of your teas if availableso that you are aware of the amount of time you need to consume them all. For easy organizing, you can use tea storage organizers and drawers.
By organizing your teas, it will be easy for you to identify your options and choose depending on your taste preference on certain days and which is the freshest.
- Store tea in a dry environment.
Make sure that your teas are kept in a dry area that is away from excess moisture. The shelf life of your tea might decrease due to dampness and humidity and could even cause mold formation.
- Keep your tea away from strong smells.
It’s important to store your teas away from things that have a strong odor because it can absorb the aroma of anything stored nearby. This means that you should not store your teas in spice cabinets and pantries. Some of the better options are on cupboards and shelves.
- Keep tea bags in the original box.
If you buy tea bags, it’s better to keep them in their original box or store them in a plastic container.
- Place loose tea in airtight containers.
On the other hand, loose tea leaves should be kept in airtight containers that are made of either tin or ceramic to keep the light out. You can keep them in glass jars as long as they are stored in a dark drawer or cupboard.
Guidelines for Storing Different Kinds of Tea
Here are some of the important things you need to take note of when it comes to storing particular tea varieties:
Storing Oolong and Green Tea
Oolong and green tea have the shortest shelf life among all of the different kinds of teas. It’s because they have only undergone minimal processing and are not protected from changes in flavor over time. Here are some of the things you need to remember when storing oolong and green tea:
- Keep them away from sunlight: Always keep oolong and green tea leaves in an airtight container that can block out all light. It is not advisable to store them in glass jars because sunlight can damage the leaves. Keep them in a dark and cool place to avoid changing their flavors.
- Keep them sealed from the air: If you are keeping your oolong and green tea leaves in a pouch, make sure that there’s as little air as possible inside the pouch when you close it. It’s better if you can use a vacuum sealer or use a vacuum-sealed foil bag to extend their shelf life.
- Drink them immediately:If you happen to have fresh oolong and green tea leaves, it’s better to consume them immediately rather than storing them for longer periods. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy their freshness and real flavor.
Storing Dark Oolong, Black Tea, and White Tea
Compared to oolong and green tea, dark oolong, black tea, and white tea can be kept for a much longer period. In fact, many people prefer the taste of aged dark oolong, black, and white tea because the aging process makes their flavor become richer. Here are some of the things you can do to store them properly:
- Store them away from sunlight: Same with oolong and green tea, you need to store them in an airtight container that blocks out all the light. This will prevent sunlight from damaging the leaves.
- Keep them away from smelly things and damp areas: Make sure that you keep the tea sealed away from humidity. Some of the best places to store dark oolong, black tea, and white tea are in drawers and shelves that are far from kitchen smells and basement humidity.
- Keep them in a well-sealed container: These kinds of tea also do not need or want an excessive amount of airflow. If ever you got them in resealable bags with food-safe linings, keep using those bags and keep them sealed after every use.
Storing Pu’er Tea
Pu’er or Pu-Erh is an entirely different kind of tea,and it has its own set of guidelines when it comes to storage. It’s because, over time, its flavor can become more complex. In fact, many people are investing in Pu’er tea to make lots of fortunes. If you want to know more about Pu’er tea, you can check out our post on What is Pu-Erh Tea.
Here are the basic guidelines you can follow when storing Pu’er tea:
- Give them proper airflow: The difference in storing Pu’er tea is that you do not need to store them in airtight containers. If you wish to store them for long-term investment, slow airflow is required to encourage further development on its character. If you purchase loose tea leaves, then leaving the pouch partially open is ideal. You can also transfer it to a ceramic non-airtight jar.
- Keep it in an area with stable humidity: Avoid storing Pu’er tea in extremely wet or extremely dry areas. Wet air will cause molds, and very dry environments can slow down its development. Ensure that it is kept in an area with a stable humidity to prevent disrupting the trajectory of its development.
- Pack the Pu’er tea and forget about it: If you want to store Pu’er tea for long-term investment, you can store them in a big paper or wood box, put it in your closet, and forget about it for a year or two.
- Leave Pu’er cakes in cake form: It is also best to keep them in their cake form if you wish to store them long-term. This way, the original cake or brick form will protect the tea leaves over many years of storage.
These are some of the guidelines we can share on how to properly store tea. We hope that these will help you keep your tea varieties at home safe, fresh, and flavorful even for longer periods of storage.