The Five Deadly Sins Of Loose Leaf Tea Storage
You put a lot of thought into choosing your loose leaf tea. The taste, the ingredients, the quality, the benefits... And the way you store your tea should be just as intentional.
How you store your tea not only affects how fresh it stays, but can impact it’s taste as well.
There are 5 things you’ll want to protect your loose leaf tea from in order to preserve its quality: light, odor, heat, moisture and air.
How do you best store and protect your tea, then? Let’s take a few minutes to cover the best- and worst- storage options for your loose leaf teas, and how they can alter your tea blends.
We’ll start with the least favourable option.
#1. Keep Your Loose Leaf Tea Away From Plastic
We highly recommend you keep your loose leaf teas away from plastic containers. Plastic contains harmful chemicals that will leach into your dry tea leaves and because plastic is often clear, it leaves your tea vulnerable to light sources.
#2. Paper Bags And Loose Leaf Tea Don't Mix
Paper bags look very cute but provide extremely little protection for your teas. Because paper is porous, it exposes your tea to air, moisture, and light. If you have your tea stored in a cupboard with spices, the odors can easily penetrate your paper bags and alter your tea as well.
#3. Foil Bags Are A Temporary Option For Loose Leaf Tea Storage
When you buy loose leaf tea online, it’s very likely to arrive in a foil bag. These can sport cute patterns and are inexpensive for the supplier, making them ideal for the journey from the distribution center to your home. But you should exchange them for a more suitable “long term” storage option once your tea arrives, as they provide minimal protection from moisture and air.
#4. Choose The Right Glass Container
Glass is a conflicting storage option, as it’s great at protecting your loose leaf tea from moisture and air. There are so many options to choose from, and most glass containers provide air-tight lids. Although it’s handy to see your tea blends through the glass, glass is generally clear, thus not effective at protecting your tea leaves from light sources. I’ve heard of people housing their teas in amber glass instead, though amber jars can be difficult to find. If glass is your only option, I recommend keeping your jars in a dark cupboard to help protect them from the light.
#5. Don't Put Any Stainless Steel Storage In Direct Sunlight
Stainless steel storage options have gained popularity and are one of the most popular storage options for housing your tea collection. It’s effective at keeping out moisture, air, light and odor. The one downfall is that if left in direct sunlight, or near a heating source, it will cook your loose leaf tea. It’s important to store it somewhere cool and away from any heat sources.
#6. Ceramic Is Your Best Option For Loose Leaf Tea Storage
We consider ceramic to be the best storage option for your tea collection! It’s great at protecting your tea from heat, air, moisture, odor and light, keeping your loose leaf teas fresh. Ceramic storage jars are easy to find and are so versatile. Sometimes, ceramic container lids have small gaps between the lid and base, but this can be easily rectified by placing some cloth between the two to create a better seal.
My favourite thing about ceramic storage options, though? Finding fun vintage ceramic jars and fawning over the gorgeous hand-thrown options by local makers! There are some incredibly talented people right here in your community.
Loose Leaf Tea Storage Tips From A Pro
Regardless of which type of container you use, here are some storage tips to keep in mind:
- If you buy loose leaf tea in bulk, keep the majority of your tea in a large container and have a separate, smaller container for everyday use. This will limit your teas exposure to air.
- If you’re reusing containers and jars, ensure that you allow them to air out completely before filling with a new loose leaf tea. This will help you avoid transferring scents from the previous teas you stored in that jar.
- Avoid storing your tea near aromatic foods and ingredients. Even storing your jasmine green tea near your chai can impact taste.
- Avoid storing your tea in the fridge or freezer. The rapid change in temperatures can create moisture or freezing issues.
Author: Michael Dehoyos, a content marketer and editor with PhD Kingdom and Academic Brits, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs develop their companies and grow their customer base. He is a frequent contributor to many websites and research and development. In his spare time, he writes for Academic Paper Help.