How to store your tea and keep the fine leaves crisp and fresh? What types of tea are suited for ageing? Our Tea Storage Guide is here to help you with these questions. Every tea lover will at some point encounter this topic. In the following lines you will find easy rules for all the tea types available in our online shop.
Basic tea storage rules for all tea types
Before we discuss the specificities of the different tea types, here are some basic guidelines that are relevant for storing all tea types:
- The place where you keep your tea should be clean and free from smells. Any impurity would impregnate your tea and alter its taste.
- Avoid sunlight. Wherever you keep your tea leaves, they should not be in direct contact with sunlight. This means, for example, avoiding glass vessels.
- Avoid moisture. A prolonged exposition to too much humidity can ruin your tea for good.
Green & yellow tea storage rules
These two tea types are the most delicate. They fear oxidation and do not benefit from ageing:
- They should be kept in a sealed package with no contact to the outside.
- Ideally, you should store your green and yellow tea in a cold environment like a refrigerator (not a freezer). If you keep it with other foodstuffs, make sure it is properly isolated from their odours.
- If stored correctly, green or yellow tea can still be enjoyed after one or two years. It will have lost some of its greenness, but will still be enjoyable (some people prefer it that way).
Red tea storage rules
This is probably the tea type that is the easiest to store:
- Keep your leaves in a clean package and adhere to the basic storage rules mentioned above.
Dark tea storage rules
If stored correctly, all variations of dark tea have the capacity to age and mature with time (through fermentation). The maturation process is carried out by favourable microorganisms, present due to some of dark tea’s particular production steps (steaming; compressing).
The key for making your dark tea age nicely is to not disturb the microorganisms and let them do their fermenting work:
- Avoid below zero temperatures. Freezing temperatures will kill the microorganisms and thus stop the fermenting.
- Be careful with humidity. Humidity (especially combined with warm temperatures) will make the microorganisms proliferate and accelerate the fermentation. However, it also creates the risk of your tea catching mold, which would ruin it completely. In a dry environment your tea will age more slowly, but you don’t have to worry about it becoming undrinkable.
- Not too much oxygen. The microorganisms responsible for the fermentation need an environment which is poor in oxygen to let the fermentation take place. This is why they like the tea leaves to be pressed together. It is therefore better to keep your tea in a clean packaging or container rather than unpacked. Ideally the packaging should closely wrap around the tea and yet allow it to “breath”, by which I mean react to changes in temperature, climate, etc.
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