"How do I store my tea properly? Will it go stale?"
Have you ever found the perfect tea and been disappointed a month later when that same great tea seemed disappointing or less satisfying? Proper storage of tea is essential, and if kept improperly, even the freshest and best tea on the market will lose its subtle nuances and become uninteresting. Tea should always be stored at a constant temperature in an airtight container, away from light, moisture, and strong odors. When exposed to air, delicate tea leaves rapidly lose flavor. If you buy in bulk, keep most of the tea in a large container and use a smaller one for everyday use to limit air contact with the tea leaves.
While fine tea leaves are stunning when displayed in a clear glass container, the effect on the resulting infusion is not quite as impressive. Light strips tea leaves of their color over time, but more importantly, the refined flavor in the leaves is also lost.
Moisture is equally detrimental to fragile tea leaves. Like any organic matter, tea, when wet, begins to mold and decay—a wholly undesirable effect. For this reason, we do not recommend storing tea in the refrigerator or freezer because continual opening and closing of the door causes rapid changes in humidity. Modern freezers cycle through different temperatures and often create an icing problem. Moisture seeps into the container and robs the tea leaves of flavor.
Strong odors will also permeate tea. Avoid storing your tea near spices or aromatic foods, or you might find that your best jasmine now tastes like yesterday’s roast turkey. Even when storing teas together, a spicy tea, such as chai, can often impart its flavor onto the others.
Overall, the best way to store tea is in a tea tin or caddy. Away from odors, moisture, light, and air, tea will remain fresh for months. If you reuse the tins, be sure to let them air out completely before refilling with a different tea to avoid transferring scent. When properly stored, your favorite loose-leaf teas can remain untainted, fresh, and enjoyable.
"Upton Tea Imports was founded in 1989 with the objective of providing the North American tea drinker with
the finest teas available. We purchase teas from reputable brokers and estates worldwide, dealing only with
sources who are capable of providing top quality teas. We sell directly to the consumer, thus ensuring the
freshest product and fairest pricing."