Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
phaelon56

Storing tea, tea longevity, freshness etc.

Recommended Posts

I'm well familiar with the advantages of buying fresh roasted coffee orm roasting your own - the idea being that one knows exactly when it was roasted and can be sure of using the roasted coffe in the optimal time window (2 - 10 days after roasting). The issue of deterioration and rapidly declining qualities is well known and proven - for some of us freezing by means of careful packaging, thawing etc is a good means of ensuring that we always have a supply of good fresh beans on hand.

I'm baffled by loose tea. How significant and rapid is the deterioration when it's exposed to air? Will vacuum packing (e.g. with one of those machines that vacuum packs and seals in your kitchen) preserve freshness? Would freezing make a big difference? Also.... does one simply rely on the integrity of the vendor or the assumption that they have plenty of product turnover to ensure that the freshest possible product is being purchased>

Sorry if this seems rather elmentary to you tea aficionados but many of us are clueless about this and in need of some educating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

loose tea is a bad idea unless you have a great deal of confidence in the vendor. tea does lose flavor and aroma upon exposure to air. as a bengali i like tea with a certain combination of flavor and strength. thus for my daily use i buy packets of "green label" tea from indian stores. i do also have little packets of really nice darjeeling tea that i have friends and family send me (and which i sometimes bring back with me from india--going again in 2 weeks!): these always have "best by" dates on them--usually no more than 6 months; and that's with the assumption that you're sealing the packets up tight after every use.

i've never frozen tea before though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Rely on a reputable vendor who has high turnover and understands proper storage - such as Harney & Sons, Upton's, Special Teas, Tea Trader, Simpson & Vail, Silk Roads, Capital Teas, Rishi, In Pursuit of Tea. Don't assume that all online vendors understand proper storage or off good quality teas. And be wary of buying from a bricks-and-mortar vendor or grocery store whose stock is stored in clear glass containers - their turnover isn't as frequent as the above-noted online vendors and their storage is less than ideal.

2. If you are considering freezing, remove as much air from the package. Then when you need to get some tea out of the bulk package, take a bit out and put the remainder right back in the freezer. If you leave it out, moisture will be created as the tea "thaws" at room temperature.

3. Proper storage at room temperature is generally considered to be in as small a container as possible, to prevent air in the container from deadening the tea leaves, an opaque-at-least container to prevent deterioration from light, a tight seal to prevent air creeping in, and a dark cabinet or at least away from any heat source. Air, light, heat and moisture are all elements that degrade tea.

Some of the vendors listed above use those new zip-lock type of bags, while others will ship in tins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      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.

      Ingredients (for 2 teas)
      Raspberry-orange
      8 cloves
      a piece of cinnamon
      2 grains of cardamom
      4 slices of orange
      2 teaspoons of honey
      your favourite tea
      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 Kasia
      My Irish Coffee  
      Today the children will have to forgive me, but adults also sometimes want a little pleasure. This is a recipe for people who don't have to drive a car or work, i.e. for lucky people or those who can rest at the weekend. Irish coffee is a drink made with strong coffee, Irish Whiskey, whipped cream and brown sugar. It is excellent on cold days. I recommend it after an autumn walk or when the lack of sun really gets you down. Basically, you can spike the coffee with any whiskey, but in my opinion Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best for this drink.

      If you don't like whiskey, instead you can prepare another kind of spiked coffee: French coffee with brandy, Spanish coffee with sherry, or Jamaican coffee with dark rum.
      Ingredients (for 2 drinks)
      300ml of strong, hot coffee
      40ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey
      150ml of 30% sweet cream
      4 teaspoons of coarse brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of caster sugar
      4 drops of vanilla essence
      Put two teaspoons of brown sugar into the bottom of two glasses. Brew some strong black coffee and pour it into the glasses. Warm the whiskey and add it to the coffee. Whisk the sweet cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence. Put it gently on top so that it doesn't mix with the coffee.

      Enjoy your drink!
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather.

      Ingredients (8 cookies)
      1 pack of chilled French pastry
      1 big pear
      1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon
      1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
      2 tablespoons of milk

      Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper.
      Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       
       

    • By Hezo541
      My friend sent me some Chinese tea called Songxiang tea. 
      Has anybody drunk this kind of tea? It's the first time I've heard of this tea.

    • By Tammy
      I hope this isn't an idiot question.  But I have no idea what the differences are.  Please teach me.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×