General Tea Storage?

131 Replies
Grinnyguy said

I have an ongoing mission to collect nice boxes and tins to put my tea in. The emphasis is on them looking nice rather than being airtight or anything. although I try to put tea with a shorter shelf life into tins that are better sealed. My latest box is a wooden box that was advertised on ebay as being an antique tea/tobacco box. It arrived smelling strongly and it has taken me a long time to get the smell out, but I managed eventually and I have revarnished the outside, so it looks wonderful, with lovely far eastern designs on it. Despite all this work, I’m never going to put my nicest teas in it, or ones that go off quickly. My shelf is looking great as 9 of my teas are now in pretty boxes and tins!

Cofftea said

So then do you put them in an airtight ziplock inside the tin/box?

A well-sealed tin should be sufficient. I would actually recommend not putting it in a ziplock bag because plastic is not optimal storage for tea.

Grinnyguy said

I’m no tea taster, so I just put up with having my fairly average tea stored in less than perfect conditions. They are still dark, cool and dry, which I think solves the major issues and keeps my tea-conscience clear. The best teas are either in the bags they came in, or sealed in proper airtight tins, of which I have a couple

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malomorgen said

lol silly me just started the same topic. going to delete it :D

Cofftea said

Maybe they need a flashing icon by the search box. We all forget it once in a while:)

malomorgen said

they should categorize discussions lol

Cofftea said

They already have. There are 5. Categories can be found near the top of the discussions home page.

malomorgen said

what would i do without ya :D

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katers said

I was going to make a new topic for this, but it could fit in this thread -

Can you store already steeped tea? I resteep mine and occasionally that spills over into resteeping it the next day. I currently let it dry on a paper towel and then set it in the fridge in a plastic bag after it’s cooled down. The main reason I do that is to fight chances of mold/bugs since it’s summertime.
I’ve been told not to resteep tea the next day by someone from a tea store, but I’m not sure if they just want me to use more tea or if there is a legitimate reason for this. It always tastes perfectly fine.
So basically, my question is can you store it and how do you go about storing it?

Cofftea said

I occassionally carry over my leaves to the next day- although I do it more in the winter as I do not refrigerate my leaves. I just leave them out on the counter uncovered in the vessle I steeped in- or you could spread them out on a plate- wet leaves stick to a towel so I’m not sure I’d do that, sounds like they[‘d be a pain getting every single leaf back in the steeping vessle- I don’t want to waste a single leaf. Unfortunatley this lets light and air at them, but it keeps the moisture from creating mold. I’ve never had a bad or lack luster morning steep due to air and light exposure, so it works for me.

katers said

When I do it in the winter, that’s the way I do it. I leave it in the teaball and set it on the windowsill overnight. I’m just concered that in the summer it’s more prone to mold and bugs.

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katers said

How do you guys feel about mason jars? I have run out of tins and they are just so expensive sometimes that I’ve started using jars to store tea that gets used faster. I keep the jarred tea at the back of the cabinet, and it’s always dark in there unless I open the cabinet door. Also, mason jars kind of suction shut if you’ve never used one. They are class though. And obviously I’m not SEALING the jars with heat and canning tea. I’m just using it as storage.

Cofftea said

I can sum up my opinion in 4 words: suction GOOD, light BAD:) Now if they’d be opaque, you’d have an amazing storage plan:)

Katers: what are you storing? If you have tisanes… that would be fine for the mason jars.

Personally, I wouldn’t store tea leaf in the jars because the light would be bad. In addition, glass can retain heat, which also wouldn’t be good for the tea leaf.

Cofftea said

I agree LiberTEAS, although I didn’t think about the glass retaining heat. But can it really retain enough heat to make a difference in a closed cabinet in a house? Maybe if you live in an area that has a nasty summer and you have no AC… but otherwise it’d be fine (from the heat, not the light stand point), wouldn’t it?

Dave said

I use mason jars for many of my teas. I typically have 50 or more teas at any one time and the mason jars seemed the only reasonably priced solution, for the teas that need to be sealed. I keep them in the back of my pantry where they never get any sunlight and only a small amount of florescent light and only the ones in the front row really get any light at all. I have stored teas in this fashion for years and they are still good to drink. I have one area of my tea storage shelf piled with pu-erh that I just let sit out in the open (usually wrapped in the original paper or other packaging. I notice that sometimes when I get pu-erh from China they will shrink wrap them, but it is my understanding that to properly age and mature they need to be exposed to air so they slowly oxidize, particularly the green ones.

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I think it would really depend upon where you live – I know that having lived in Nevada where the summers are quite warm, I would occasionally get a glass from a closed cabinet and it would be warm. Not hot, but warm, and that warmth would be not so great for the tea. In my experience, glass retains heat more than tin does.

Now that we live in the pacific northwest, the heat isn’t as intense (although we do have a few weeks out of the summer that are quite warm). So, I think it really depends upon where you live.

It also depends upon how long you store the tea. I mean, if you’re only storing it for a couple of weeks because you’ll go through it quickly, I don’t think that the light or the heat would be detrimental. But if I plan on storing it for longer periods of time, I would not recommend glass. There are so many other, better options out there.

katers said

I live in the mountain area of North Carolina. It gets really hot very few days of the year. The rest are warm or moderate, and then just cold. The cabinet I use to store tea is the farthest away from the stove and all of the appliances and I’ve never noticed it being warm. It’s also dark, since we don’t leave the door open. The only reason I go in there is to grab tea.

Mostly, I want to use the jars so I don’t have to spend an extra $6 on an 8 oz tin every time I need more tins for tea. I do try to not buy any new tea until I’ve finished one off, but I’m ordering with a couple other people in the house this time so. No way to do it. I may switch over the herbals from tins to jars though, if you think that’d be better? I do have a couple herbal teas, and then a mate. I don’t think mate counts as ‘tea’, right? So that might survive being thrown in a jar.

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Believe it or not, glass mason jars work great!!!! Used them in my shop, never had a problem as long as you store away from direct sunlight and a dry place

Cofftea said

Better safe than sorry… (IMO) don’t use anything clear unless it’s treated to prevent sunlight penetration.

katers said

I just don’t see how sunlight is a problem in a cabinet, though. I could understand the issue if I kept it out on the counter or somewhere, but since I use a cabinet (and it seems most people do), I don’t understand why everyone is so worried about sunlight. Maybe I’m missing something here.

Cofftea said

katers, chances are the cabinet will be opened more times than 1 individual container- especially if you have to get other things from it than tea. My coupboard is open several times a day.

i store some of my things in the cabinet in clear bags; shrugs usually they’re the small swaps or samples so i am not worried, they won’t be around for months and months

VegTea said

I wouldn’t think twice about using the mason jars, especially if kept in a dark cabinet. I’m thinking about storing tea in glass jars myself, but I’m on the lookout for some smaller ones. I also don’t really like the 2-piece lids that come with most mason jars used for canning.

Cofftea said

AmazonV, it may or may not work for samples… that doesn’t work for me since my stash is almost all samples lol:) It still takes me ages to get thru them.

TeaParT said

I like to recycle the jelly jars for some of my frequent use teas. Just be sure they are stored in a dark cabinet.

yea recycling! i agree TeaParT jam jars, mason jars, i re-use whatever i can get my paws on

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jessica said

i really really love my tea tins! i think they are a really great way to keep a tea for the short term (at least 1 year)… but for the long term i like to put my tea into reused mason jars and jam jars @ park hill pantry: yes to the jars! they are a great way to keep the air out in a more controlled way then tins

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Help the new person (please). I was at Michaels this morning and saw some plastic containers about 2-4 oz size (6 for $2.50). They are just the right size for some loose tea to be stored. My question is, do you think it would make a good container to store misc. tea samples?

Cofftea said

The answer is maybe. Haha… yeah, I know, big help right? :) Let me explain. They may work depending on a couple things. Are they treated to protect tea from light? If yes, then they are perfect for storing tea. If not, then you won’t want to store tea in them that isn’t protected by another packaging. But even if they aren’t treated, they still can be used for storage. Un treated containers can be used for organization of samples that are already protected from air and light. Proper organization can make finding samples easier to find, especially when you have as many as I do lol.

Another thing you want to keep in mind is whether or not they are food grade. If you found them at Michael’s, they may not be. Plastic has a nasty habit of adding unwanted chemical flavours to foods, spices, teas, etc. if it is not food grade. And now there’s that whole Bisphenol A (BPA) thing to worry about (i.e. you don’t want products that have been stored in BPA containers or consume things from non-BPA free containers). I generally stay away from plastic for tea storage for these reasons.

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Thanks for the reply. The containers should protect the tea from light and air as they seal tight and are not clear. I will let you know what I think after I make a trip back and purchase them. I seem to be buying tea (sample size) anytime I find an extra dollar. lol lol lol
I am Hooked!

Cofftea said

I love samples too- that darn “I gotta try EVERYTHING!” mentaliTEA.

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Good Point! (BPA). I want to be safe (Lord….If anything happened to my tea I would flip!) lol lol
I think I will stay with the plastic bags I have them in for now and continue to look for some tins or maybe place an ordre at the container store.
There is a kitchen and food supply store not far from me (maybe that is an idea).
Thanks again for the input. Love this site!!!!!

my local michael’s has a food safe bakery area for making cakes etc. (that is art!) if they are there they are food safe

You could probably ask too. They aren’t going to lie about it! And if the person you talk to seems unsure, I’d lean towards the side of caution and steer clear.

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