Thursday, April 8, 2010

Keeping tea fresh

Enemies of tea

Air, light, temperature fluctuations and moisture are the enemies of tea.
When properly stored, tea leaves will mellow and enhance their aroma and flavor.
Improper storage will affect the quality, flavor and aroma of tea.
Tea can last up to a year or more when it is vaccuum sealed.

Best way

The best way to keep tea fresh is in a vaccuum sealed container.
The goal is to retain their original color, aroma, flavor and shape consistently until all the tea is used up.
The following are some good habits to practice in storing tea:

• Use clay, porcelain, glass, pewter or metal canisters with 2 airtight lids.
• Use foil bags or zip lock bags with the air let out of them.
• Use a vaccuum sealer before putting it in a canister.
• Use small to medium size canisters, as when the canisters are not full,
the air in the vacant spaces will effect the tea leaves.
• Pu errh teas are best kept in clay jars with a loose lid or a ginger jar.
• See Pu Errh storage.
• Keep the canisters in a cool and even temperatured area.

Avoid the following

1. Do not expose tea leaves to air. Prolonged exposure leads to oxidization and affects the tea leaves and will therefore affect the quality, flavor and aroma of tea.
2. Do not allow the tea leaves to absorb moisture.
3. Avoid the exposure of tea leaves to sunlight.
4. Avoid temperature fluctuations.
5. Avoid cross-contamination in storage. Do not store tea with other food item.
6. Do not use your hands to handle tealeaves. Use a tea scoop.

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