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Rofey said

Tea shipped with dessicant

I recently purchased a Dong Ding Oolong from an Australian tea company. Upon opening the packet, I was surprised to find a sachet of dessicant stored with the tea.

I’m aware that moisture, light and odours are factors that need to be controlled for maintaining the optimum freshness of tea. I haven’t purchased from this company before, and just wondered if anyone else has had an experience of a tea being shipped with a dessicant. Is it a common and acceptable practice, or is it a sign of a poor-quality tea?

12 Replies

Most of the Japanese teas I have received from Den’s Teas, and direct from Japan also have a sachet of dessicant stored with the tea. It is definitely not a sign of poor-quality tea, rather is the companies best attempt to make sure the tea arrives in good condition. I have never noticed any negative impact to the aroma or flavor, in fact, I believe it helps keep all in good order.

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Dorothy said

Yes I’ve received tea before that had a sachet of dessicant slipped into the container. At the time it happened, I thought it was a nice idea to keep the tea dry.

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I just received my package from ITFA (International Tea Farms Alliance) which has a global tea taster’s club. Those teas are very fresh, and there was a package of dessicant in the vacuum sealed pouch. I think it is just an extra measure to protect the product, not an indicator of poor quality.

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Great question! I also noticed this about Den’s. It seemed a little strange to me too when I first noticed it, but I assume, as the rest of you, that it’s meant as a way to go the extra step to help maintain freshness.

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We often receive and even ship tea with a package of dessicant in it for our fresh teas in particular. As others have postulated here: it keeps the tea fresher, longer.

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DC said

It is quite common actually, keeps it dry and dessicants don’t emit any smell so does no harm and helps extend the shelf life of the tea.

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Rofey said

Thanks everyone, that’s very helpful! I just haven’t received a packet of tea with a dessicant in it before, so I was a little unsure.

Once you’ve opened the tea, how many of you keep the sachet of dessicant in with the tea rather than disposing of it?

DC said

Me. And once I finish drinking that box of tea, I transfer the dessicant to another pack.

T.C. said

I think whether or not it matters really depends on how long you keep the tea, and in what conditions. If you live in a super humid and hot climate, could be a good idea to keep the desiccant around. I’ve never noticed a significant difference either way, but my tea collection is living in a cool and dry climate :p

DC said

Good point, forgot about that. I live in the tropics so desiccants are a godsend for me. Never lived elsewhere, can’t comment on that.

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Basically all tea I receive from Taiwan has the desiccant pack buried in the tea, including competition winning teas in their original packages. I think it’s because most tea producing regions are somewhat humid.
I don’t like seeing other things in tea, so usually I get rid of the desiccant pack upon seeing it. I’m in a very dry area so no concern of humidity. But indeed I think the desiccant packs are harmless.

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Will said

It’s common, however, the desiccant won’t be useful after you’ve opened the packet once, so just throw it away when you see it.

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