Different teas have different shelf lives and you need to protect them from common elements that could easily ruin a perfectly good tea.
And it is not only loose leaf tea that needs proper storage, you should also take care of your collection of tea bags.
Does your tea taste funny? Do the dry leaves have a moldy smell?
Even if a tea is within the “best by” date, it could begin to go bad, taste and smell strange if it is not properly stored. This is a pity because a tea, if stored well, can last a very long time.
Certain elements can damage your tea leaves and ruin the flavor of the brewed tea. Let’s take a look at the most important ones:
Proper tea storage will ensure that your teas deteriorate at a much slower rate, lasting a long time without actually going bad.
What is the average shelf life of different types of tea?
Although it may vary from tea to tea and you should always follow the recommendation given to you by the tea vendor, here are general guideline for average shelf life for each type of tea:
And while no one will blame you if you don’t wish to drink a tea past its “best by” date, as long as the tea leaves retain their smell, feel dry to the touch and show no signs of mold or other bacteria, you can always brew a cup and taste your tea.
So now let’s talk about tea storage!
Buy tea tins for your teas now!
Tea bags usually come in a box and storing all those different boxes can be a nuisance particularly when you only have a couple of tea bags inside each box. Here are some tea storage tips specific for tea bags:
Purchase a chest for your tea bags and keep neat and tidy!
Some tea shops will recommend that you store your tea in the fridge or the freezer while others will rage against that.
The problem with storing tea leaves in the cold is when you take them out of the fridge, condensation occurs as your tea container comes into contact with air at room temperature.
As you will likely not be using all of the tea leaves in the container, condensation that reaches the unused tea leaves will cause them to become moist and spoil at a much faster rate.
If you insist on using the fridge for tea storage, then perhaps it would be a good to divide the tea up into small portions so that you only take out as much teas as you need.
Worried about space for all your tea tins and about expiration dates behind each one?
A good idea could be to purchase for sampler boxes instead of regular sized tea tins. These boxes come with smaller amounts of each tea and more variety so that you can explore more flavors.
Search for tea stores that will sell tea in smaller amounts or even ask if they give out samples in small pouches that you can store along with your tea bags in your tea chest.
Care for your teas and you will have good tasting teas for a long time!
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"Thank God for Tea! What would the world do without tea? -- how did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea." - Rev. Sydney Smith (1771-1845), English clergyman and writer
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