How to Store Your Tea
Drinking tea has been a timeless activity. Thanks to its soothing aroma and strong flavors, a cup of tea can serve as the ideal drink for several occasions. Just take one look online, and you’ll see how important tea is in people’s lives. It can be a staple in someone’s nighttime routine or a great way to relax during a cold day.
However, what’s not timeless is the tea’s shelf life itself. Like coffee, tea doesn’t last forever and can be affected by several factors in your home. As a result, your tea will become stale and lose its powerful aroma and taste.
Seeing tea lovers drink a lackluster cup of their favorite beverage is nothing but horror. To make sure your tea stays fresh, let’s look at different ways to store tea leaves.
Does Tea Go Bad?
Nothing lasts forever, and unfortunately, this applies to tea as well. As time goes on the tea’s flavors will be significantly weaker. Not to mention, older teas will lack the nutritional value they once had.
Stale and nutritionless are two words that should never be connected with tea. So, keep in mind: tea is best when served fresh!
How Tea Degrades Over Time
The four main factors that can degrade your tea are oxygen, odors, light, and temperature.
Oxygen is one of tea’s greatest enemies. Tea leaves are made up of multiple chemical compounds, like polyphenols, amino acids, and enzymes. When these compounds are exposed to oxygen, oxidation occurs and slowly degrades the leaves’ flavor and aroma.
Odors are not just an annoyance to our nostrils; they also threaten tea. Tea leaves can easily absorb the aromas in their surrounding area. For example, if you placed your leaves in a cabinet filled with spices, the leaves will reek of them. On top of this, those odors will seep into the aroma and flavors of your brewed tea.
As much as we love a beautiful sunny day, tea leaves hate them, and it’s not hard to see why. Sunlight and other UV rays rapidly decay tea leaves, causing their flavors and aroma to fade.
Heat can strip all of the wonderful flavors and aroma from tea leaves. You should avoid putting your tea next to your oven or any area that may experience a wide range of temperatures.
How Long Does Tea Last?
Types of Tea
The shelf life for tea varies between each type. Here are a couple of examples:
Green tea leaves are more delicate than other tea types because they are not fermented. This causes the green tea leaves’ flavors and aroma to degrade faster. To get the best drinking experience with green tea leaves, use them within six months of purchasing.
White tea leaves are also unfermented, which means their flavors and aroma will not be strong for long. Like green tea leaves, it’s best to use white tea leaves within six months.
Processed tea leaves tend to last longer. Oolong tea leaves are partially fermented, staying fresh for about two years.
Highly fermented tea leaves, like black teas, have the longest shelf life –– at around two to three years.
Loose Leaf Teas or Tea Bags?
Out of all the debates in the “tea world,” loose tea leaves vs. tea bags is an interesting one. Each option offers its benefits.
Loose tea leaves are generally bigger than the leaves in tea bags. Not to mention, loose leaves bring full flavors and endless possibilities. On the other side of things, tea bags are convenient but have limited flavors.
How to Store Loose Leaf Tea & How to Store Tea Bags
Improperly storing loose tea leaves or bags can lead to a “tea catastrophe,” but don’t worry. Thankfully, there are simple ways to keep your tea safe from harm:
Keeping your loose tea leaves or bags in an airtight container is a surefire way to get fresh tea for a long time. One of the best options for you is jars because they allow your tea to stay safe from high temperatures and pungent smells.
We recommend staying away from glass jars since they are transparent. Transparent glass allows sunlight to shine on your tea leaves and degrade them.
Instead, try a light-proof jar. Before you add “buy a jar” to your next to-do list, consider getting Amora’s Ceramic Canister. With our opaque Ceramic Canister, your leaves and bags can stay fresh in a stylish jar.
If jars aren’t your thing, vacuum-sealed bags are a great alternative. Vacuum sealing keeps your loose tea leaves and bags safe from any moisture, heat, and oxygen. This method should be reserved for your stronger tea leaves because vacuum sealing can crush delicate leaves.
A tea box (or tea chest) is a storage place for teabags. While most tea boxes are wooden, some are made from metallic tin or plastic. Not only do tea boxes protect your bags, but they are great for people who own many types of teas. Tea boxes usually contain divided sections, so you can properly organize your collection of teabags.
Metal containers are a simple yet effective way of keeping your teas safe. If you prefer this route, then we have good news. All of Amora’s teas come in an airtight tin, which prevents any moisture and oxygen from reaching the tea sachets. What makes our tins even better is the sixteen tea sachets waiting inside for you!
Enjoy Tea The Amora Way
Now that you know the best ways to store loose leaf tea and tea bags, it’s time to start brewing! If you’re in the market for quality tea that’s affordable, Amora can help.
In the past, Amora primarily focused on coffee, but we soon realized tea drinkers deserve the same love that we give to coffee drinkers. So, we added Amora Tea to our shop in 2015.
Our collection includes a variety of teas –– each with its own exhilarating aroma and flavor notes. What makes our teas even better is we deliver them straight to your door without any middlemen. This way, you can get fresh tea, and fresh is always best!