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Tea Storage

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“Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is always a difference of opinion when it comes to correct storage of teas but the aim is to keep the tea as true to it's original fresh nature as possible. The default for any tea should be at least an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place so as not to attract moisture which can spoil tea or sunlight which can cause it go stale. Tea will very quickly take on odors from it's environment so an airtight container is key.

It is often recommended to store your tea in either the fridge or freezer but a few elaborations might help to ensure this is done correctly. So long as your tea is stored within an airtight container (either sealed glass or tupperware) the moisture or odors within a fridge or freezer won't spoil the tea. A freezer typically has lower moisture levels but the problem with moisture can occur when you come to take it out… the sudden change in temperature can cause condensation to begin as moisture naturally found in the air is attracted to the cold surfaces and potentially moisture into the tea.

To increase shelf life of the tea, ensure that when removing it from the freezer you either;

a.) Leave it to stand for long enough to naturally reach room temperature before opening so condensation doesn't occur.

b.) Open, use and return within the airtight container to the fridge or freezer very quickly before too much condensation occurs.

As soon as the cold surfaces are exposed to warmer air there will always be some risk of moisture getting in however minimal. For that reason storage in a fridge or freezer may suit longer term storage of teas not likely to be opened anytime soon or if you live in a particularly tropical environment. For tea likely to be used within a month or two, a cool, dry and dark place in the cupboard is fine.

The rate at which tea loses it’s freshness also depends on the tea and how freshly it was packed. That makes storage of Dilmah teas particularly important because they are packed at origin into airtight packaging that retains that freshness all the way to your cup.

Tea will not go moldy or degrade unless moisture has ruined the tea through incorrect storage after opening. Because there is so little moisture in tea it does not require an expiry or used-by date. Most common is a best-before date to give some indication of the teas age. Stored well tea can last well beyond that date as well.

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