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Tea Storage and Packaging

Taking care of your tea

Great tea requires careful processing to achieve the fine balance of flavor and aroma. Once exposed to oxygen and moisture, this balance is inevitably altered, and the quality of the tea starts to slowly deteriorate. To increase our chances of enjoying tea at its best, the first place to start is with proper storage.

Keep away from air, light, heat, moisture and odors.

These five elements will eventually cause tea to alter or lose its flavor. Keeping tea in an airtight container will prevent this from happening. Store in cool, dry places, and avoid placing it near any heat. Do not store tea in the refrigerator, as condensation can ruin the leaves. Finally, all teas will leave some residual odor in whatever they are stored in, so make sure to wash the container out well if reusing for other teas.

Pu-erh teas are the exception, as slight air exposure and variable temperatures actually help them age better. However, it's important to keep them away from odors and excessive moisture.

How long will tea stay fresh?

If stored properly, many teas can stay fresh for up to a year. Keep in mind that every tea is different, and many variables can affect the storage conditions. The less oxidized the leaf, the more delicate that tea is, which means it will lose flavor more quickly when exposed to air. This is especially true for white and green teas, while blacks and darker oolongs tend to retain flavor longer, sometimes even up to two years! In general, try to drink teas within a few months of purchase. Think of it like the dried herbs in your kitchen - tea won't spoil, but over time its aroma and flavor will diminish.

Your tea container should be a size appropriate to the amount of leaf to be stored; it's not ideal to use a huge container for an ounce or two of a particular tea. Finally, there is no substitute for buying fresh teas in reasonable amounts on a regular basis.


Our Packaging

You may have noticed the simple packaging we use for our tea. These simple reusable, resealable bags prevent all light from entering. Layers of foil-lined plastic keeps the tea fresh for several months. Though they may not be as attractive as many of the canisters or boxes in which other tea is sold, our bags are optimum for short-term (generally 2-4 months) storage. Used properly, they will provide protection from odors, oxidation, and moisture. Many companies use traditional tins with flashy packaging, but most of the folded seams are not totally airtight. As tea sits on a store shelf for months, the disappointing result is loss of flavor. Few fancy tin containers or decorative boxes, by themselves, can provide an airtight seal. Usually, they will not protect teas for more than one month. Once you have emptied our resealable bag, please consider washing it out and using it for storage of other dry goods or food items.

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