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Importance of Proper Storage of Tea

Green tea, herbs, tisanes and tea in general contain many benefits including providing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and overall nutrition to our bodies. However, when our tea has been stored incorrectly, we may lose the benefits we originally sought after.

Many things can compromise the integrity of our tea including storing, packaging and how we brew or steep our tea.

Storing is important from the day the tea was picked right up until it is stored in your tea cupboard at home. Air flow, light and heat are bad for dried tea and herbs. When tea is shipped around the world, it is stored in double lined bags. Depending on the ingredient, these bags can be poly lined paper bags, plastic bags with burlap, foil lined paper and many more. The purpose of such packaging is to avoid light, air flow and moisture penetration.

When storing your tea at home…

Ensure the tea is packaged in an air tight container. Tins or ceramic containers with little room for oxygen and non-porous zipper sealed bags are good options. An air tight container will help to avoid both moisture absorption and odour absorption. Air flow, as it contains moisture, is bad for tea. This can especially be of concern in a highly humid environment.

Store the tea in a cool, dry place; such as, a cupboard, drawer or pantry. If you plan to store your tea for an extended period of time, a cold storage room would be a good option. Avoid storing your tea near humid areas; such as, a kettle, dishwasher or in the fridge. When moisture is absorbed by tea, it is no longer shelf-stable. Just like a piece of fruit who’s skin has been pierced, mould can start to grow. Until you are ready to brew your cup of tea, moisture is a bad thing.

Keep your tea in a dark place. Avoid direct sunlight and UV rays, as this will degrade your tea very quickly. Sunlight can also bleach your tea, depleting it of nutrients, antioxidants and ultimately flavour.

In summary, tea should packaged in an air-tight container or non-porous zipper sealed bag. The tea should be kept away from light and stored in a cool, dry place; such as, a cupboard away from the moisture of a dishwasher or kettle. Proper storage will ensure the integrity of the tea is maintained and you can benefit from all the health benefits, including antioxidant, vitamins and minerals found in tea and many types of herbs.

To ensure the quality of tea is maintained while making a cup to enjoy, see our article How to Steep Tea Correctly.

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