A great container for your tea can keep you brewing for months. In fact, the way you store your tea will make a huge difference in how much you enjoy drinking it. In order to keep tea pure, think about how you’ll block light, water, air, odor and temperature. These are important factors to consider when choosing your tea storage container. Follow these tips and you’re sure to get the best brew for your buck.
As charming as a tea-filled glass container might look, it’s not the greatest idea when it comes to taste. Light can blanch tea leaves, or leave them otherwise discolored. And whatever light does to the color and vibrancy of your leaves, it also does to the potency and flavor. Store tea in a dark, solid container instead of a glass jar. And if only glass will do, keep your container in a dark place.
Tea leaves are leaves like any other, and when leaves mix with water, rot and mold is inevitable. Even a little bit of moisture can dramatically change the flavor of your tea. Your tea will be dried the proper amount when you purchase it. Your job is to make sure your tea-storage container maintains that level of dryness. That goes for location, too. Do not store tea in a refrigerator or freezer; whenever you open the door, the humidity changes drastically. Instead, make sure your container is waterproof and put in a place with consistent humidity.
You want your tea-storage container to be airtight. Anything less will allow delicious fragrance and potency to just float away. Plastic bags, by the way, are oxygen permeable, so even if you’re storing your tea in a dry, dark cupboard, transfer it from the Ziploc bag it came in to something airtight. Try to keep your container as full as you can; any space left over will be air.
One of tea’s biggest skill is its ability to absorb odor. This is great in the tea-making process, but not so great in your garlicky, bacon-filled kitchen. Don’t store tea in a cupboard with lots of spices or in a container that has its own odor. Don’t store right above your stove, either. Tea can also influence the flavor of other tea, so be sure to keep different flavors separated.
Don’t allow tea to get too hot until it’s time to steep it. Store your tea in a cool place. Otherwise, you’ll start cooking your tea before it’s time.
So what do you use? Airtight ceramic or tin containers seem to work best. If you do go with glass, make sure to keep it in a cool cupboard and not out on display. Tea storage containers are available wherever tea is sold, and some especially nice ones are available on websites such as uptontea.com. Proper tea storage means the difference between a steaming cup of relaxation, joy and comfort and a steaming cup of flavored water. These tips should help you find the perfect container.