This is a common question we get from our customers. We also get… Does it really matter how and where you store loose leaf tea? How do you keep loose leaf tea smelling and tasting the best over time?
The simple answer is YES, it does matter how and where you store your tea. And why is that? Put simply, a loose leaf tea is sensitive to oxygen, strong odors, and moisture.
Why keep my tea away from OXYGEN / AIR?
Oxidation is a natural process that occurs in nature. This is the reason fruit or plants turn brown once harvested or picked. Think of avocados or apples turning brown when cut open and exposed to oxygen. Tea leaves also react in a similar fashion. Tea harvesters use this technique with fresh tea leaves to create very different variations of teas that vary in flavor, aroma, and strength, including green teas, black teas, Puerh teas, etc. Once the desired tea is achieved they slow down the oxidation process with different techniques, such as pan-fire roasting the leaves. However, the tea leaves still continue to naturally oxidize so it is important to store them in air-tight containers to prevent this from happening.
All our artisan Tucson Teas are stored in black UV protective and resealable bags that protect loose leaf tea from air exposure. If stored properly, your tea can taste and smell great for 2-3 years. Some of our customers also like storing their loose leaf teas in vacuum-sealed canisters. This also works great and is recommended.
Why keep my tea away from STRONG ODORS?
Many flavored teas are exposed to different aromas to add flavor. For example, our Jasmine Green teas are scented by exposing the green tea leaves with Jasmine flowers over a period of time. The loose leaf tea leaves end up absorbing the aroma from the flowers, giving the tea its great distinct aroma and flavor. Since tea leaves can absorb other strong odors and affect the way tea smells and tastes, it is recommended that tea be stored in airtight containers and away from strong odors. You may also want to be careful of some container materials made of strong-smelling materials, like wood or plastic, that may have strong odors. These odors may be absorbed by tea leaves.
Why keep my tea away from MOISTURE?
Tea leaves naturally release flavor when exposed to moisture, hence why you steep your tea. It is important to keep tea in an airtight container and stored in a dry cool area away from moisture. This will make loose leaf tea last longer and maintain its aroma and flavor over a longer period of time.