Because loose tea is basically a non-perishable food item, you have plenty of options when it comes to storage. However, the way you store your tea can significantly affect its shelf life and freshness. The basic rules to loose tea storage are as follows:
Minimize the exposure to light – Tea should not be directly exposed to light, so avoid glass or any other type of transparent materials.
Avoid exposure to moisture – Store your tea in a relatively cool and dry place. This is especially important if you live in a warm, humid climate.
Avoid exposure to air – Exposure to air is your number one enemy when it comes to maintaining freshness. A stand-up resealable pouch or a tin canister with an air-tight lid will be sufficient.
Keep away from foods with strong odors – Tea will absorb flavors and aromas from surrounding foods and spices, so as long as you keep your tea in an air-tight container, you should be fine.
Maintain a moderate tea inventory – This may not be a standard rule, but it is one of mine. Why spend lots of money on a lot of tea that will ultimately go stale because you aren’t going through it fast enough? Unless you drink a lot of tea on a daily basis, we don’t recommend you purchase more than 2-4 oz at a time, which is enough for 25-50 servings. If you are buying your tea from the mall, watch out for those crafty salespeople, who will have you walking out of the store with 6 months worth of tea!
By the way, if you do buy your tea from the mall, you may be surprised to learn that quality and freshness are not their top priorities. I recommend you read https://www.teajo.com/about_our_tea.php, and then ask the tea salespeople at the mall if their tea follows the same standards. Sometimes you don’t always get what you pay for!
You may have noticed that when drinking flavored teas on ice, there is a definite difference in the flavor profile when compared to drinking the tea hot. In fact, you may also find that drinking chilled tea tends to bring out more of the flavors in the tea. This is particularly true of our Lemon Ginger Green tea, where ice definitely brings out the ginger flavor more than when the tea is consumed hot.
Without going into too much scientific detail, aspects such as the viscosity of the tea and the receptors on your tongue play a significant part in how the tea tastes whether it is poured over ice or served hot. For example, warmer liquids have a lower viscosity, so the sensation on your tongue will be different compared to a colder, higher viscosity liquid. With regard to the receptors on your tongue and mouth, some chemicals interact differently at higher or lower temperatures with these receptors. So lower temperatures can allow your tongue to taste different flavors.
Whatever the explanation, if you haven’t already experienced the difference, try your tea hot and then pour it over ice and note what happens with the flavors. I’ll bet you find you taste more of the flavors in the tea. Of course, the quality of the tea and the flavoring will have an impact as well.
We will be back serving our naturally flavored iced teas and hot teas at the Tampa Downtown Market at the latest by Friday, Dec. 12. We hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving holiday and look forward to seeing you at our booth in less than 2 weeks. Also, over the next few weeks, we plan to roll out a new tea flavor or two at the market, so stay tuned!