Storing tea properly is as important as brewing tea with freshly drawn water.
Tea, just like any of your dried cooking herbs, needs to be stored away from:
Moisture – don’t store it near your coffee machine
Odour – not near your garlic or curry powder
Sunlight – don’t let your packet of tea sunbath on the kitchen bench.
So the best way to store tea is in an airtight container, away from sunlight, in a cool location. Some suggest not to store tea in a pantry as they are too many mixed odours there, as well as too close to where you cook.
Airtight containers are generally best to keep tea – we have found this is particularly importantly for green tea and oolong, as they are more vulnerable to absorbing moisture and smell. Tins are good too if you don’t have airtight containers. Plastic is ok for light tasting tea as long as you have checked it hasn’t inherited any smell from the previous content stored in the containers. Also keep in mind anything with citrus oil (lemon tea, Earl Erey) is best keep in tins as after a long storage the citrus oil may eat into the plastic.
Some may argue tea should be stored in the freezer. We don’t recommend this because you need to return the tea to room temperature before you can use it. Unless you are turning your packet of tea into little bags of single serving tea before chilling it, it means constant chilling and thrawing and that’s not good for your packet of tea.
So remember improperly stored tea will absorb moisture and flavours from its environment, resulting in a duller weak tasting tea.
Although tea can be stored for up to 1-2 years in optimal condition (traditional tea longer than herbal and fruit tea), we recommend consumption within six months after purchase offer optimal freshness; and for this reason, we recommend buying tea in small quantity so you don’t have to drink “old tea”.
To buy Plastic Tins or Metal Tins, visit Teas.com.au. We have a wide variety of tea storing materials.