Friday, October 14, 2011

Preventing Stale Tea

I often have issues with buying too much tea -- I get carried away at the store, or think oh, I won't order again for a couple months online and the result is 3 oz each of 5 different teas!

Fortunately, teas very rarely truly "expire." Even left out, tea can last for years and never (assuming it isn't left in a particularly moist environment.. mold and mildew can ruin any dry good) become dangerous to consume.. but that doesn't mean you'll want to consume it. When exposed to light and air for a long period of time, tea dries and begins to break down, leaving you with a stale-tasting, crumbly, weak mess.

You can always test a tea that has been left out and forgotten. Brew a small cup, depending on how long it has been out and your personal tastes you may find the tea to be perfectly fine. Even if it is drinkable, you will definitely be able to tell it is a bit old, especially in black teas.

Tea tins on the counter
So how can you prevent stale tea? Store it in a dry, dark place, preferably in an airtight container. My preferred online tea retailers each have their own specialized tins: Adagio Tins, Teavana Tins, but in reality you don't need expensive tins.. any airtight plastic container will do as long as you keep the tea in a closed cupboard. I use a combination of containers; Adagio tins for the tea sitting on my counter and plastic containers for anything kept in my cupboards.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like this post is very versatile to a couple other herbs i keep fresh.