STORAGE OF GREEN TEA
Green tea in general, but in particular tea made out of young and mid-sized leaves is very sensitive to air, light, moisture and aromas. If green tea is not stored properly, surrounding aromas and other smells are going to attach to the tea. The tea also might start to oxidize. Fatty acids are building up and the tea is going to smell like hay and in further states like fish and algae.
A combination of optimal storage of the tea and optimal sales packaging will guarantee a long shelf life with little to virtually no loss of quality for at least one year.
The old fashion way of storing tea leaves using a tea jar
What to look for before buying tea:
Only buy tea which is vacuum packed. There are exceptions where you do not want to have a vacuum-packed tea but in general, get the tea vacuumed.
Sales packaging should be resealable to be airtight after opening the tea.
Always try to buy the tea at the source, so that you can be sure that the tea has not been affected by unnecessary storage and transport.
If you are a heavy tea drinker and drink a lot of green tea. Do not buy tea in large containers. If you need more tea, always get a few bags but not big quantities. For example: If you need 1kg of tea of the same kind of green tea for yourself, do not buy it in a one-kilogram container of two 500g bags, instead get it in 100g or 200g containers. Open one, finish it, open the next one.
The flower of a tea plant (camelia sinensis) flowers in winter
The quality of tea can quite easily be checked by yourself: A good tea can be distinguished by its odor, a nice smell is definitively an indicator for its quality. On the other hand, does the tea have some pungent smells this almost certainly indicates that there could be some synthetic aromas. This is quite common in teas with fancy sounding names like kiwi and mango green tea or berry or orange green tea. It is on the other hand quite uncommon to have such a thing in Japanese green tea and definitely not in our tea.
Unlike herbs or medicinal plants, tea is almost completely dry because of the different drying steps during production. This allows to store the tea in a completely airtight container without having to worry about mold growth. Airtight storage also ensures that the tea can keep its pleasant fragrance and retains its own aroma.
After buying the tea:
Always store the tea well sealed and completely dry. If possible, use a resealable can made of wood, special sheet metal or porcelain. As well as resealable, coated and opaque tea bags.
Store the tea in a chilled and dark environment. That means no direct light, sunlight and without heat.
If you live in a humid region, there is always a chance that moisture will get into the container when the tea is taken out of the bag, so pack your tea in smaller portions.
If you store the tea in the refrigerator, after taking the tea out, wait around one hour to give it time to adapt to the much warmer environment. Especially do so with high quality teas.