Tea leaves are an oxidized, dried delicate product. Its enemies are air, heat and humidity. These elements can rob the tea leaves of their aroma and flavor. Even though the leaves are dried they still have a certain amount of moisture in them. Leaving the leaves exposed to air can dry them out more. This changes the taste of the tea.
Even though the concept of the tea bag is relatively new, it has certainly made a massive impact as far as tea sales go in various parts of the world. You can find tea bags of varying sizes and flavors in just about any store.
Each type of tea has an internal moisture level. You will want to maintain the moisture level that was established during the manufacturing process of each tea. The best way to do that is to store your teas in an airtight container.
They are definitely convenient, but any true tea lover will tell you that when it comes to buying tea, loose leaf is the only way to go. Here are 3 reasons to buy loose leaf tea every time.
When looking for reasons to buy loose leaf tea, health will jump out at you each and every time. The health benefits of tea have been touted forever, but what many of us fail to realize is that it is the leaves people are referring to when they talk about health and tea. The leaves have a much higher antioxidant level than what can be found in a tea bag.
This is one of those elements that may or may not appeal to you when it comes to drinking tea. There is a long and storied history when it comes to tea. It has been consumed for centuries in all different parts of the world. And you can bet it was the leaves as nature intended that created this rich tradition. There’s just something about brewing a pot of loose tea that really taps into the past and all those tea lovers that have come before us.
When it comes to taste, loose leaf reigns supreme. Bags contain what are known as fannings, or tea dust, that are packed into that tight little space. For the ultimate in flavor when it comes to tea, the water has to have room to circulate around the leaves. Obviously this is easily accomplished in a loose variety, but in bag form it’s all just a little too cramped.
Here are some tips on how long you can store each type of tea:
Black Tea and Oolongs
That have been oxidized more should be use within a year of purchase.
Less oxidized Oolongs, along with Green and White are not as hardy. Brew up these leaves within 6 months of buying.There is one that only improves with age: Pu-erhs both loose leaf and cake style. Just make sure you keep it in a cool dry place in an airtight container.
Scented or Aroma type teas should be used within 6 months of purchase. As time goes on they seem to lose their aroma. All the information given is based on purchasing the teas close to the time they were harvested and processed. If unsure of this, just ask the merchant, they should know this information.
As always, keep it simple, don’t s sweat the small stuff. Just make sure to take some time out of your busy life to enjoy a cup of tea.
The most popular containers are: Glass, Tin or Metal, Porcelain or Ceramics:
Glasscontainers have their pluses and minuses. The Glass does not absorb odors, and can be easily cleaned of any residues and odors with soap and water. The downside to Glass is that they let the light in, destroying your teas. Light coming through the glass can cause the leaves to fade, changing the color and flavor. If you want to use Glass just store them in a dark cupboard.
Tin or Metal is a good choice. It keeps the moisture and light away from the leaves. The one drawback is the tins cannot be cleaned well enough to be able to store a different type of tea in them.
So make sure you label the tin and only put the same type of tea in it. There is one type of tin I like the most. These tins have a two lid system. There is a lid that fit snuggly on the inside, than an outside lid that fits securely over the outside of the tin. This two lid system is least likely to let moisture in or any light.