by Ali Evans on August 10th, 2016
Ali, our head of tea, shares her three tips for how to keep your tea remaining fresh and at its best:
1. Dark and airtight
Exposure to oxygen allows the tea leaves to continue to oxidise, which can change the flavour. To avoid this, store your tea a cool, dry, dark environment in an airtight container.
You don’t need to invest in fancy storage for your tea. Yes, an airtight tin or tea caddy makes it a little easier, but a snaplock plastic box, or kilner jar work equally as well providing you keep them in the dark. Tea can also be stored in its foil pack as long as this is sealed with an elastic band or bulldog clip. Just remember to squeeze as much air out of the bag first before sealing.
Handy hint: You can reseal most foil tea bags with a cheap pair of electric hair straighteners.
2. Cool and dry
Tea can absorb moisture and food odours, and heat also speeds up the oxidisation process, so store your tea away from your cooker and never in the fridge.
3. Consistency is key
Avoid storage areas that suffer from big changes in temperature, either through sunlight or central heating.
The only exception to these rules is puerh, which needs to be exposed to the air to encourage the aging process that is unique to this tea. Porous Yixing tea storage pots are the best way to store loose puerh. Puerh cakes are best stored on a wooden shelf in a cool, dry, dark room with some ventilation and a constant ambient temperature.
Properly stored, green tea should stay in good shape for between 6 and 18 months. Oolong and black teas last longer, some dan congs are deliberately aged. Raw and good quality cooked puerh will improve with age.