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Long term tea storage


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Let's face it - I'm a die-hard espresso drinker and rarely even drink regular coffee anymore but I do enjoy tea on occasion and at least a handful of times every year I have guests who are tea drinkers. In the past I've purchased a few decent quality loose teas and stored them in freezer containers, taking out a bit every now and then as needed.

I know the storage issues regarding both green and roasted coffee (which have been discussed here at length) but what about tea? Is freezing a good idea if it will be consumed slowly? Do some teas freeze better than others? What's the maximum storage time for room temp in an airtight container (dark place) and also for freezing? Will a food vacuum packing system be a worthwhile aid in preparing tea for long term storage?

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It is not a good idea to freeze tea-

It would be better to purchase sample size tea which are offered on most sites-

www.uptontea.com

www.specialteas.com

www.thefragrantlleaf.com

www.imperialtea.com

www.tentea.com

just a few sites that offer sample sizes

not the sampler sets but teas in 5-15 grams

Imperial Tea Court has excellent cannisters for tea storage-$2 for small and $2.50 for larger one-I have found that they have one the best selections of chinese tea related items.

joanne

Edited by jpr54_ (log)
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Some folks will okay the freezing of teas, so long as you treat it like coffee, in that you remove a portion for the current week's drinking, and leave the rest in the freezer until you need to remove the next weekly portion. This prevents the condensation-moisture problem that arises with too-frequent changes of temperature.

If you are keeping teas on a shelf, they should be kept away from air, moisture, light, and heat - therefore the better sealed, as in a double-lidded container or in a squeeze ziplock bag like many vendors are using, the fresher it remains. Or use opaque or metal containers, not glass. If you have a Foodsaver, you could use a mason jar and suck the air out, so long as you stored it behind closed cabinet doors.

For your purposes, as noted on the other thread, you might wish to pick about three or four teas, representing the major thrusts in the tea world, and get as large a "sample" as you can purchase, since a quarter pound/125 gram portion [the ususal minimum size for ordering besides samples] will last a long time if you're not brewing daily.

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