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Tea Leaf Storing Technique- Here’s what You Need to Know

Everything requires proper storage. Be it your clothes, shoes, food, accessories, electronics or anything that you want to maintain and use it for a longer time. Without proper storage, nothing can last for long, especially tea. Much like coffee which needs good storage, thereby keeping it away from air and moisture to prevent its solidification, proper storage of loose tea leaves is imperative. If you want to learn how to keep your tea fresh, thereby maintaining the shelf life, quality, and flavor of your drinks, these easy tea storage tips will help you with the same. 
 
Tea Storage Conditions to Adopt
 
How to Store Tea Properly?
To store your tea leaves properly, be it Assam tea leaves or any other form of loose tea leaves, you have to consider factors like location, packaging material, and packaging mechanism. Here are the best practices that you must follow. 
 
Location
  • Keep your tea leaves, especially the organic tea leaves far away from anything with a strong odor.
  • Store the tea leaves in a dark cupboard or completely darkened container. This is useful for Assam tea leaves. 
  • Keep delicate teas, like Assam green tea leaves, away from strongly scented teas.
  • Avoid storing tea in a wet or damp area of your kitchen or house.
 
Tea Storage Materials
  • Use opaque containers if possible. 
  • Be sure that the container you are using for storing the loose tea leaves is food safe. For example, don't use a pencil case to hold tea.
  • Glazed ceramics, non-reactive metals, opaque and non-leaching plastics make great packaging materials.
  • Wood boxes can act as a good option to store organic green tea leaves. However, be aware of the fact that many wood containers have odors that can alter the tea's taste.
  • The bags in which the suppliers sell loose tea leaves vary widely in terms of quality. For long-term storage, make sure that the bags are multi-ply with an inner layer of foil or glassine (a substance similar to wax paper). This avoids contact by water, air or grease.
 
Tea Storage Mechanism
A tight seal is the key to storing tea accurately. If the mechanism can hold water, it can protect tea. Some good options include double lids, odor-free silicone seals and multi-ply bags with resealable plastic 'zippers'
 
Storage Conditions to Avoid
 
Avoid these 5 storage conditions to bring about a huge difference in the shelf life of your favourite organic green tea leaves or any other tea leaves. These factors are light, heat, moisture, odor and air.
 
  • Light and UV rays are strong enough to degrade the quality of your tea leaves very quickly. Hence, do not buy tea from vendors who store it in glass or plastic containers. Also, avoid storing loose tea leaves in anything clear unless you plan on keeping it in a dark cabinet.
  • Heat also deteriorates tea leaves. Avoid storing it in the sun or near warm sources like stoves or ovens.
  • Any tea leaf, be it Assam green tea or Darjeeling tea, moisture can degrade the quality of tea leaves. the leaves are shelf-stable because it is dry and absorbs water from the air very easily. Also, keep it away from boiling water until it is ready to brew.
 
  • Storing loose tea leaves in a spice cabinet, trashcan or another source of odor is a big no-no. It is because tea leaves are bestowed with the trait to absorb odor or fragrance from an outer source very easily. It is this trait that gives rise to the production of wondrous scented teas such as Jasmine Pearls.
 
Some Takeaway
 
  • If your vendor is not using the proper packaging technique to store the tea leaves, discontinue buying it from him/her. Invest in quality packaging and your tea will feel blessed.
  • Buy tea leaves, especially some as delicate as organic green tea leaves, in small quantities. This way you can finish off the quantity while it’s freshness is still intact.
  • Open the exact quantity that you think you can finish in the next few months. Unless they are well-stored aged pu-erh or aged oolong tea leaves, don't use the same loose tea leaves for years. Instead, drink them when they are at their most pristine form.

So, have you been storing your tea leaves properly? Be it Assam tea leaves or Darjeeling tea, if you are intending to enjoy the intoxicating aroma and flavour for a longer time, caring to store your tea properly is essential. Afterall, a lot of happy memories can brew over a cup of tea!
 

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