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Tea Storage - what works, what doesn't?


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What do you use to store your teas and how well do they work? Which containers for which teas? Are the aesthetics of tea containsers important to you, or do you just want whatever will protect the teas from air, heat and light?

I have been working to understand what different teas require in the way of storage and how well different storage containers work to provide the level of protection they need from their common enemies: air, heat and light.

I have tried:

- single lidded tins

- single lidded tins with synthetic seal

- double lidded tins with plastic inner lid

- double lidded tins with tin inner lid

- quart Mason jars

- opaque zip lock bags

- opaque stand-up zip lock bags

- Yixing clay double lidded containers

- porcelein containers with synthetic seal

I'll post some pics and more about my impressions of these and how well they work, or how well I think they are likely to work, with what teas later. All of them have good and bad points to consider.

How do you store your teas?

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So much depends on the tea being stored. Blacks/Puerhs like a little breathing so yixing, etc works well. Reds are more forgiving so relatively air tight is good enough (for me). Greens and whites can be quite delicate and more care needs to be taken.

For reds and high consumption greens I use the good ole Chinese double lidded tins with tin inner lid as these do a good enough job.

For blacks and purehs most any breathable container that wont impart a taste. I like yixing and other clays, or original paper wrappers in a wooden container.

Greens and whites are much more delicate and require more care. I tend to use "high barrier" bags and then vacuum seal them. A good source for "barrier bags" and sealing equipment is www.sorbentsystems.com Barrier bags are often a mylar composition that forms a very good barrier against light, moisture, and air, UNLIKE typical ziplock bags which air molecules will easily leach through. Again, typical baggies are very poor protection against air, moisture, and light. :angry:

For really delicate long term storage I also use nitrogen purging and refrigeration which I detailed in another post.

Just my two leaves worth.....

__________

Mike Petro

My hobby website:

Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest

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Smaller glass jars with a rubber sealant with a clamp. (I think the name for those are swing top glass jars?) Used for loose leaf tea, could equally work for bagged ones as well.

Retains the quality quite well. Smaller jars b/c less you open (with a big one), less air exposure.

Edited by stealw (log)
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So much depends on the tea being stored. Blacks/Puerhs like a little breathing so yixing, etc works well. Reds are more forgiving so relatively air tight is good enough (for me). Greens and whites can be quite delicate and more care needs to be taken.

For reds and high consumption greens I use the good ole Chinese double lidded tins with tin inner lid as these do a good enough job.

For blacks and purehs most any breathable container that wont impart a taste. I like yixing and other clays, or original paper wrappers in a wooden container.

Greens and whites are much more delicate and require more care. I tend to use "high barrier" bags and then vacuum seal them. A good source for "barrier bags" and sealing equipment is www.sorbentsystems.com Barrier bags are often a mylar composition that forms a very good barrier against light, moisture, and air, UNLIKE typical ziplock bags which air molecules will easily leach through. Again, typical baggies are very poor protection against air, moisture, and light. :angry: 

For really delicate long term storage I also use nitrogen purging and refrigeration which I detailed in another post.

Just my two leaves worth.....

Thanks for the break down, Mike. I am storing small samples of Puerh in plain zip lock bags inside two large double lid Yixing containers, thinking the zip locks would not restrict the breathability too much. Make sense?

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I'd read in a book decades ago that the best method for storgte was to line an airtight tin with plain white paper - the idea was that the paper absorbs excess moisture & prevents the tea from losing flavor. I did that for years, dutifully cutting out properly shaped squares & rectangles of new paper every time I bought tea, & it seemed to work well with all types of teas.

Now in my dotage, I've gotten lazy & just use the plastic-loined ziploc foil packets in which Upton sends me their teas. They keep the teas well. I suspect that I'd get a somewhat cleaner brew by transferring the teas to other containers, leaving behind the fine sheen of tea dust that tends to cling to the liners - I'm sure some of that dust winds up in the teapot - but as I said I've become lazy.

Edited by ghostrider (log)

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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The Chinese porcelain jars with the synthetic ring seal are very good in all respects save one: they do not keep out all light. But I have no idea how critical this is for medium to long term storage -- of course, you could keep them in a closet or darkened room. For short term storage, anywhere except a brightly lit area, I think it would be fine.

Has anyone experienced a loss in flavor or aroma with any type of tea stored in these porelain jars?

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I too have used just about every type of tea storage vessel that has been on the market during the past 50+ years. I have a small collection of tea caddies that range from very practical to extremely whimsical and the latter of limited use.

However I must say that I seldom buy teas in quantity that requires they be stored for very long periods because oxidation occurs over a period of months unless one uses a vacuum-sealed container.

On the few occasions that I do buy teas in bulk - or receive a gift of tea in a quantity that is more than I can use in a few weeks, I divide it into smaller quantities and vacuum seal it and store it in an opaque container (an ancient stoneware bean pot) in the coolest and darkest part of my pantry.

I use many of the Republic of Tea teas and like their canisters because the lids fit tightly and as far as I have been able to determine, maintain the quality of the tea nicely.

The same with the very nice containers in which Adagio Teas are sold. (Even the samples are in very nice little tins.)

I don't care for the tins that have a round lid inside a flat top because it takes some kind of tool to pry the lids out, often deforming the tin.

The stainless steel canisters with the hinged, snap-lock plastic lids are okay if one puts an opaque liner in the lid to keep out the light. One of my friends uses these and buys black blotting paper at an art store and cuts out rounds that fit inside the lids. She says the blotting paper absorbs any residual moisture and is 100% rag paper so there are no insidious chemicals to affect the flavor of the tea. (She is much more of a tea fan(atic) than I and tends to get rather emotional about the quality of rare teas. - Recently she paid $148. for ONE OUNCE of a rare tea.)

I can understand anyone wanting to guarantee that an expensive tea retains all of its quality but am not sure there is much advantage in paying a lot of money for a container in which one will store a relatively inexpensive tea that is easily replaced.

Another friend stores teas in pint or half-pint Mason jars that are then placed inside cardboard shipping cylinders (for mailing posters) that have been cut to fit the height of the jars and covered with decorative paper - I think some were cut from inexpensive posters that pictured teas. Quite cheap and very decorative.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I can understand anyone wanting to guarantee that an expensive tea retains all of its quality but am not sure there is much advantage in paying a lot of money for a container in which one will store a relatively inexpensive tea that is easily replaced. 

I agree. While one may choose to pay more for a tea container for aesthetic reasons, as long as the container will take care of the tea you put in it, that's good enough. Different teas have different storage requirements, and as you say, one may want to be more careful with an expensive or hard to replace tea.

I have found that the tin or stainless single- or double-lidded containers that have seams all leak at least a little, so they are not air-tight. But they are fine for smaller quantities, or any quantity, that I am going to use within a month or so of most green teas. Longer for Oolongs, depending upon whether they are at the green or the darker end of the oolong spectrum. Longer, much longer, for black teas or Chinese red teas. I mostly buy teas 25 - 60 grams at a time, so these work well for me once they come out of the sealed opaque bag they came in.

When taking a serious belt-and-suspenders approach with a tea I think I may not be able to replace easily or at all, I have placed the opaque, zipped original bag inside a double lidded tin - the tall, wide-mouth ones from TenRen work well for small bags that have been opened. Of course this is not as secure as Mike's use of sealing equipement, nitrogen purging and refrigeration, but I'm not going there yet. Never say never.

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So much depends on the tea being stored. Blacks/Puerhs like a little breathing so yixing, etc works well. Reds are more forgiving so relatively air tight is good enough (for me). Greens and whites can be quite delicate and more care needs to be taken.

For reds and high consumption greens I use the good ole Chinese double lidded tins with tin inner lid as these do a good enough job.

For blacks and purehs most any breathable container that wont impart a taste. I like yixing and other clays, or original paper wrappers in a wooden container.

Greens and whites are much more delicate and require more care. I tend to use "high barrier" bags and then vacuum seal them. A good source for "barrier bags" and sealing equipment is www.sorbentsystems.com Barrier bags are often a mylar composition that forms a very good barrier against light, moisture, and air, UNLIKE typical ziplock bags which air molecules will easily leach through. Again, typical baggies are very poor protection against air, moisture, and light. :angry: 

For really delicate long term storage I also use nitrogen purging and refrigeration which I detailed in another post.

Just my two leaves worth.....

This is an interesting take on a perhaps ancillary issue. I also recall reading, some decades ago (I have not kept up with my tea research, it seems), that certain teas - e.g. Darjeelings & Oolongs - improve with age while others, particularly Ceylons, will deteriorate no matter how you store them & are best drunk quickly.

I've found this to be anecdotally true - when I've found a Ceylon or Assam that I've forgotten about in the back of the cupboard, it's generally gone flat - but certainly haven't done exhaustive experiments. I'm curious to hear others' experiences in this regard.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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So much depends on the tea being stored. Blacks/Puerhs like a little breathing so yixing, etc works well. Reds are more forgiving so relatively air tight is good enough (for me). Greens and whites can be quite delicate and more care needs to be taken.

For reds and high consumption greens I use the good ole Chinese double lidded tins with tin inner lid as these do a good enough job.

For blacks and purehs most any breathable container that wont impart a taste. I like yixing and other clays, or original paper wrappers in a wooden container.

Greens and whites are much more delicate and require more care. I tend to use "high barrier" bags and then vacuum seal them. A good source for "barrier bags" and sealing equipment is www.sorbentsystems.com Barrier bags are often a mylar composition that forms a very good barrier against light, moisture, and air, UNLIKE typical ziplock bags which air molecules will easily leach through. Again, typical baggies are very poor protection against air, moisture, and light. :angry: 

For really delicate long term storage I also use nitrogen purging and refrigeration which I detailed in another post.

Just my two leaves worth.....

This is an interesting take on a perhaps ancillary issue. I also recall reading, some decades ago (I have not kept up with my tea research, it seems), that certain teas - e.g. Darjeelings & Oolongs - improve with age while others, particularly Ceylons, will deteriorate no matter how you store them & are best drunk quickly.

I've found this to be anecdotally true - when I've found a Ceylon or Assam that I've forgotten about in the back of the cupboard, it's generally gone flat - but certainly haven't done exhaustive experiments. I'm curious to hear others' experiences in this regard.

Interesting point, ghostrider. My understanding is that Darjeelings may improve with age, but I'm not sure at what point that is optimal or when they start to fade. Don't know about Ceylons or Assams, except that I had to dump a tin of a blend recently because it was lifeless - it was several years old. So I would be interested to hear others comments, too.

I think with Oolongs it depends upon whether they are greener or darker Oolongs. I have one aged Oolong from the 90's and it has a mild but distinct roasted flavor.

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It may seem odd and go against all the rules, however some of the spiced tea blends taste better to me after they have "aged" a bit.

Perhaps because my taste buds are super-sensitive, I get a lot of harsh tones in the newly acquired spiced teas but these mellow after they have been stored for a few months, sometimes a year or so. Friends often gift me with "holiday" blends from some companies and I will try them immediately but some are put aside and tried again months later when I find they are much more pleasant and no one spice is overpowering the others or the tea.

The same is found in some floral blends - the lychee flower teas in particular. I purchased one that was simply too "perfume-y" on first brewing but after about six months it was just lovely.

One of my most interesting storage mistakes was when I mistakenly place a bag of bulk Lapsang Souchong in a sealed jar with a bag of one of the "Russian" blends that contained spices.

Both took on some of the characteristics of the other but retained some of their distinct flavors.

It was a happy accident that I have repeated because I like the result.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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It may seem odd and go against all the rules, however some of the spiced tea blends taste better to me after they have "aged" a bit.

Perhaps because my taste buds are super-sensitive, I get a lot of harsh tones in the newly acquired spiced teas but these mellow after they have been stored for a few months, sometimes a year or so.  Friends often gift me with "holiday" blends from some companies and I will try them immediately but some are put aside and tried again months later when I find they are much more pleasant and no one spice is overpowering the others or the tea. 

The same is found in some floral blends - the lychee flower teas in particular.  I purchased one that was simply too "perfume-y" on first brewing but after about six months it was just lovely.

That's a great tip, Andie. It is kind of counter-intuitive, isn't it. I think I'll try that this year with holiday spiced teas. That is, buy it this year, drink it next year. Do you think it would last 12 months? Or would it fade by then?

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I have holiday teas from last year that I am drinking now. In fact, I had a cup of "Comfort and Joy" from Republic of Tea after dinner.

I have a tea that is blended with lavender flowers and I have had it for well over a year and I simply could not drink it when it was fresh, the lavender was simply too strong - it actually tasted soapy. Now it is very pleasant and I can taste the tea (Earl Grey) in addition to the lavender. (Revolution Tea)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I want to add one thing to my previous post but for some reason the edit function will not work.

I regularly buy Republic of Tea's Cardamon Cinnamon "Warm the Heart Herb Tea" which contains no tea but includes: Rooibosch, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, carob, chicory, black pepper, star anise, cloves and cassia oil.

I buy this loose in bulk, for use in my own blends with regular teas. However, I use very little of it when first purchased as it too is overpowering unless it is paired with a very robust black tea but after several months the strength has modified to the point that it can be used with the more delicate teas.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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..............

I too have used just about every type of tea storage vessel that has been on the market during the past 50+ years.  I have a small collection of tea caddies that range from very practical to extremely whimsical and the latter of limited use.

However I must say that I seldom buy teas in quantity that requires they be stored for very long periods because oxidation occurs over a period of months unless one uses a vacuum-sealed container.

On the few occasions that I do buy teas in bulk - or receive a gift of tea in a quantity that is more than I can use in a few weeks, I divide it into smaller quantities and vacuum seal it and store it in an opaque container  (an ancient stoneware bean pot) in the coolest and darkest part of my pantry. 

What do you use to vacuum seal teas, Andie?

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..............

I too have used just about every type of tea storage vessel that has been on the market during the past 50+ years.  I have a small collection of tea caddies that range from very practical to extremely whimsical and the latter of limited use.

However I must say that I seldom buy teas in quantity that requires they be stored for very long periods because oxidation occurs over a period of months unless one uses a vacuum-sealed container.

On the few occasions that I do buy teas in bulk - or receive a gift of tea in a quantity that is more than I can use in a few weeks, I divide it into smaller quantities and vacuum seal it and store it in an opaque container  (an ancient stoneware bean pot) in the coolest and darkest part of my pantry. 

What do you use to vacuum seal teas, Andie?

A regular consumer FoodSaver - I am currently on my fourth or fifth one, I keep buying up to the newer (and hopefully better) models as they come on the market.

It has a tube and wand attachment for use on canning jars, but I rarely use it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie - Do you mean you don't vacuum seal very often, or that you don't vacuum seal using canning jars very often? Sounds like this would be helpful for green teas that one isn't going to drink within a month or so.

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Andie - Do you mean you don't vacuum seal very often, or that you don't vacuum seal using canning jars very often? Sounds like this would be helpful for green teas that one isn't going to drink within a month or so.

I don't vacuum seal using canning jars because they expose the tea to light, which is just as damaging as air, in my opinion.

I use the regular small vac. bags and put the bags in a crock - actually an old Bauer bean pot which maintains a cool temp and blocks the light.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie - Do you mean you don't vacuum seal very often, or that you don't vacuum seal using canning jars very often? Sounds like this would be helpful for green teas that one isn't going to drink within a month or so.

I don't vacuum seal using canning jars because they expose the tea to light, which is just as damaging as air, in my opinion.

I use the regular small vac. bags and put the bags in a crock - actually an old Bauer bean pot which maintains a cool temp and blocks the light.

Thanks. I think if one vac sealed in the canning jars and kept them in a dark box or closet it would work out okay. Aesthetically, I like the idea of your bean pot.

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Here are a variety of tea cannisters. I typically rinse out (no soap!) a new container to wash away any manufacturing residue or aroma, then fill it up with water to see if it leaks. Every metal one with a seam that I have tested leaks at a seam - usually the vertical seam at least, some more than others. Then wipe it out with an absolutely clean, aroma free dish towel or paper towel and let it air dry for a couple of days.

If I think one is more leaky than average, I use it for durable black teas or Pu-erh. If I need to put a more aromatic herbal tea in it, I make sure to keep it well away from other teas.

All of these tea cannisters are small with capacities ranging from about one ounce to six ounces of loose tea leaves.

First, the double lidded tin cannisters available from a wide variety of shops and web vendors. I especially like the tall one from TenRen with the mouth as wide as the widest part of the cannister. Great for putting opaque zip bags for extra protection for hard to source teas or more perishable ones.

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Next are two single lidded cannisters with a synthetic seal between the rim of the lid and the mouth of the cannister. On both of these the synthetic material is so stiff that there is not a consistently effective air seal.

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Here is a Chinese porcelain tea cannister with a flexible synthetic seal that slips on the lid. Seals well, but being porcelain some light shines through, if dimly. I don't put it in a brightly lit spot, but don't worry about the light with most teas.

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And here is a Chinese porcelain tea cannister with a poorly made lid-body fit (it was cheap, cheap), but thicker porcelain. Less light gets through. I keep small sample bags of Puerh in it.

gallery_7582_6307_117102.jpg

gallery_7582_6307_1828.jpg

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Andie - Do you mean you don't vacuum seal very often, or that you don't vacuum seal using canning jars very often? Sounds like this would be helpful for green teas that one isn't going to drink within a month or so.

I don't vacuum seal using canning jars because they expose the tea to light, which is just as damaging as air, in my opinion.

I use the regular small vac. bags and put the bags in a crock - actually an old Bauer bean pot which maintains a cool temp and blocks the light.

I keep an opaque zip bag of a strong aromatic tea in a wide mouth quart canning jar. The bag keeps out the light and the jar keeps the aroma from filling every pore of the room.

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I have a tea storage dilemma.

Not too long ago, the only tea I had in the pantry was a box of Luzianne tea bags I use to make iced tea. Then, last weekend, I bought a little tin of loose tea at the grocery store. This morning, I awoke to a pantry with 4 more teas in it. Now, there is yet another in there.

I have small amounts of 5 loose teas now. The four that I picked up yesterday are in opaque zip top bags. The one I picked up not long ago (Peach Apricot Ginger black tea) to make iced tea was sold to me in a simple paper back with a fold over top (like you get coffee beans in). When I was at the tea store (Teavana), I wanted some small tins. I had seen some at their website. They DID have small tin, but they had nice fancy designs and were $13 a piece. Sine I had four different teas to already at home, I didn't want to spend that much. They had larger tins for much less. But they were much to large (tall) to hold the one ounce samples I have.

So, I am not sure what to do. How long can I store my teas in the opaque zip top bags? What about the stuff in the paper bag? I understand that light tight is important no matter what. Air tight seems to be good too for most teas as well.

I need something. Small containers. Cheap, too. This is important if I am going to go through a phase where I have very small amounts of several teas.. Also, what can I do in the interim?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I have a tea storage dilemma.

Not too long ago, the only tea I had in the pantry was a box of Luzianne tea bags I use to make iced tea. Then, last weekend, I bought a little tin of loose tea at the grocery store.  This morning, I awoke to a pantry with 4 more teas in it.  Now, there is yet another in there.

I have small amounts of 5 loose teas now.  The four that I picked up yesterday are in opaque zip top bags.  The one I picked up not long ago (Peach Apricot Ginger black tea) to make iced tea was sold to me in a simple paper back with a fold over top (like you get coffee beans in).  When I was at the tea store (Teavana), I wanted some small tins. I had seen some at their website. They DID have small tin, but they had nice fancy designs and were $13 a piece.  Sine I had four different teas to already at home, I didn't want to spend that much.  They had larger tins for much less. But they were much to large (tall) to hold the one ounce samples I have.

So, I am not sure what to do.  How long can I store my teas in the opaque zip top bags?  What about the stuff in the paper bag?  I understand that light tight is important no matter what. Air tight seems to be good too for most teas as well.

I need something. Small containers.  Cheap, too. This is important if I am going to go through a phase where I have very small amounts of several teas..  Also, what can I do in the interim?

Your small one ounce samples of black teas will do fine in the opaque zip bags. They will do as well or better than the Teavana tins. Just keep any flavored teas separated from the regular teas. Tea leaves will absorb stong aromas relatively easily, so that goes for herbs and spices, too.

Once you get beyond the black teas, you may want another tin. Japanese and Chinese green teas are much more sensitive. If you are going to use them within 2 - 4 weeks, however, an opaque zip bag should be okay.

For now, I think you'll be fine, and for the time you really need something else -- or just want it -- there are many ideas about, and for, tea storage in this topic upthread.

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Thanks. I read through the above topic some and it seems that you keep some of your teas in the bags and just store the bags in containers. That can certainly work, though it's a little cumbersome to dig tea out the bag. I was thinking some short tin would be a lot easier. That's what led to my quest for a "proper" container.

Is it best NOT to store the tea just loose in some sort of tin or other container? I know there are variations based on tea types. I can't tell if the reason the tins are only OK because they let in too much air or not enough.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Thanks. I read through the above topic some and it seems that you keep some of your teas in the bags and just store the bags in containers.  That can certainly work, though  it's a little cumbersome to dig tea out the bag. I was thinking some short tin would be a lot easier. That's what led to my quest for a "proper" container.

Is it best NOT to store the tea just loose in some sort of tin or other container? I know there are variations based on tea types.  I can't tell if the reason the tins are only OK because they let in too much air or not enough.

For the most part, we want tea containers to keep out the air. For pu-erh that's not as important and is a more complicated issue, as Mike Petro explains in some of his posts in this and other topics.

If it's a matter of the convenience of scooping out of a tin vs a bag, there are inexpensive options. The smallest of the double-lidded containers I show upthread should suffice. They are inexpensive: go to birdpick.com for inexpensive double-lidden tea containers. Even though these are designed to hold up to 100m mg thery should be fine. After all, you are mostly drinking very durable black teas. And as andiesenjie has pointed out, they survived the long sail voyages from China to England.

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      Even though I would like to change the situation, the winter is coming. Sooner or later there will be sharp winds, frost and unpleasant moisture. I don't know how you like to warm up at home, but on the first cold day I dust off my home recipe for hot and yummy winter teas.

      You can use my recipe or come up with your own proposals for fiery mixtures. Only one thing should be the same: your favourite tea must be strong and hot.

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      Raspberry-orange
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      50ml of raspberry juice or 30ml of raspberry juice and 30ml of raspberry liqueur
      Add 4 of the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of orange with honey. Add the raspberry juice or a mixture of juice and liqueur to the tea. Next add the honey with orange. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and orange.

      Lemon-ginger
      8 cloves
      3 slices of fresh ginger
      2 grains of cardamom
      50ml of ginger syrup or 30ml of ginger syrup and 30ml of ginger-lemon liqueur
      4 slices of lemon
      2 teaspoons of honey
      Add 4 of the cloves, ginger and cardamom to some water and boil for a while to release their flavour and aroma. Remove the seasoning and brew the tea with this water. Crush two slices of lemon with honey. Add the ginger syrup or mixture of syrup and liqueur to the tea. Next add honey with lemon. Mix it in. Decorate the tea with the rest of the cloves and lemon.

      Enjoy your drink!

    • By liuzhou
      China's favorite urinating “tea pet” is actually a thermometer.
    • By Johnhouse
      Hello everyone!
       
      I have been working in food and beverage industry for almost 10 years in different countries. I am looking forward to learn new things on this forum to expand my food and beverage knowledge as well as sharing my experiences that I gained in my journey!
       
      Have a good day! ☺️ 
    • By MattJohnson
      I've been a big coffee fan for years, but lately, I've been drinking more tea.
      Where do you get your tea? Do you have an importer you like? An online store you frequent. I've been buying tea from Rishi at stores in the Milwaukee area (they are located in the area too) and have been very happy.
      One of my favorites so far is the Earl Green. Very tasty.
      .... sorry if there is a thread like this already, I did a quick search but didn't see anything....
    • By liuzhou
      This arose from this topic, where initially @Anna N asked about tea not being served at the celebratory meal I attended. I answered that it is uncommon for tea to be served with meals (with one major exception). I was then asked for further elucidation by @Smithy. I did start replying on the topic but the answer got longer than I anticipated and was getting away from the originally intended topic about one specific meal. So here were are..
       
      I'd say there are four components to tea drinking in China.

      a) When you arrive at a restaurant, you are often given a pot of tea which people will sip while contemplating the menu and waiting for other  guests to arrive. Dining out is very much a group activity, in the main. When everyone is there and the food dishes start to arrive the tea is nearly always forgotten about. The tea served like this will often be a fairly cheap, common brand - usually green.
       
      You also may be given a cup of tea in a shop if your purchase is a complicated one. I recently bought a new lap top and the shop assistant handed me tea to sip as she took down the details of my requirements. Also, I recently had my eyes re-tested in order to get new spectacles. Again, a cup of tea was provided. Visit someone in an office or have a formal meeting and tea or water will be provided.
       
      b) You see people walking about with large flasks (not necessarily vacuum flasks) of tea which they sip during the day to rehydrate themselves. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, shop keepers etc all have their tea flask.  Of course, the tea goes cold. I have a vacuum flask, but seldom use it - not a big tea fan. There are shops just dedicated to selling the drinks flasks.
       
      c) There has been a recent fashion for milk tea and bubble tea here, two trends imported from Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively. It is sold from kiosks and mainly attracts younger customers. McDonald's and KFC both do milk and bubble teas.
       

      Bubble and Milk Tea Stall
       

      And Another
       

      And another - there are hundreds of them around!
       

      McDonald's Ice Cream and Drinks Kiosk.


      McDonald's Milk Tea Ad
       
      d) There are very formal tea tastings and tea ceremonies, similar in many ways to western wine tastings. These usually take place in tea houses where you can sample teas and purchase the tea for home use. These places can be expensive and some rare teas attract staggering prices. The places doing this pride themselves on preparing the tea perfectly and have their special rituals. I've been a few times, usually with friends, but it's not really my thing. Below is one of the oldest serious tea houses in the city. As you can see, they don't go out of their way to attract custom. Their name implies they are an educational service as much as anything else. Very expensive!
       

      Tea House

      Supermarkets and corner shops carry very little tea. This is the entire tea shelving in my local supermarket. Mostly locally grown green tea.
       

       

      Local Guangxi Tea
       
      The most expensive in the supermarket was this Pu-er Tea (普洱茶 pǔ ěr chá) from Yunnan province. It works out at ¥0.32per gram as opposed to ¥0.08 for the local stuff. However, in the tea houses, prices can go much, much higher!
       

       
       
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