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kristin1 said

Help! I paniced & threw my teas into the freezer. Now what?

I was doing battle with pantry moths and threw away about $300 worth of food. I do not keep my teas near the pantry, and from what I can tell, they were not affected. I poured them out into a shallow container and saw no signs of trouble or holes in the packaging. That said, I had just purged my whole house of grains and cereal, so I did not want the teas to be attacked next. I have a few white peony and a couple green teas. I chucked them into the freezer. :cry: Now what?

I pulled out the white peony today and put a serving of leaves on a paper towel so that it would hopefully soak up any moisture. Is there a way to remove the entire tea package from the freezer? And how long will it last after I do that?

I’m taking a trip and I want to bring some with me.

16 Replies
Zoltar said

im no expert but i think you could do what we do with cigar from freezer to the fridge that way the leaves stay intact a gentle way to make the temp getting higher and lowering the risk of a shock from drastic change it mostly depend onnhow much time have they been in the freezer?

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kristin1 said

They’ve just been in there a week. Technically, they should stay in there for 3 weeks to ensure that I’ve truly eliminated the problem, but I could transfer them into air-tight glass storage containers (the moth larva can eat through plastic and paper) and then store them in a different area of the home.

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Zoltar said

for cigar we do that for killing a kind of beetle who like tobacco the main concern we have is if we dont slowly change the temperature a risk of breaking the leaf and losing flavour appear if that been a week mostly the larva are dead if not really near if you double bag them in freezer ziploc ( that important freezer ziploc have better air tight so more chance to save what in it ) the ice and odor should not get directly to the leaf there should be little damage and the moth will not eat the plastic yet the cold would still kill them

i know my advice are not directly for tea but leave for leave that the closest advice i can give you ( i probably can think of somthing else but its been a couple of years since i stop smoking i forgot lot of thing )

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Uuuggg I hate pantry moths! I battled them in my last place and they got into everything except my tea (they avoided it for some reason).

I wasn’t able to get 100% rid of them, despite tossing all my unprotected grains, checking everything, putting new grains into glass containers and bleaching my cupboards. When I moved out a few moths were puttering around. Totally buy some traps if you can.

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Uniquity said

Okay, never heard of pantry moths before now and am afraid of them – ugh. As for tea in the freezer, it might not be so big a deal, especially after such a short period of time. There are tea sellers that recommend storing tea in the freezer to keep it fresh. Moisture would be the obviousl concern, as long as they were sealed tightly, you should be good. Slowly transfering from the freezer does seem like a good idea to avoid condensation though.

Babble said

I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t heard of them. Here in Florida, we have cockroaches and ants. Are those the same thing?

they look like slim little moths. I think people get them from buying contaminated bulk foods that have the eggs. After that, i’m super careful when I buy bulk food. Though, I’m in California now and have stupid ants! At least all my food is safe since I’ve already sealed everything in jars.

kristin1 said

Yeah, I learned my lesson. I had bags of mung bean and rice noodles in a plastic container. They really loved those and were not hindered by Rubbermade what-so-ever. I did have many things in glass jars with a good seal that didn’t seem affected, but most of those were legumes and beans that I hadn’t used for years. Besides, there is the whole gross-out factor, so I tossed it all. I’m ticked that the jars from Ikea with the rubber stoppers let them right in. Not sure why I expected more though. From now on, I will only buy what I need to cook on the day or within the week and leftovers will go right into a glass container. The other odd thing was that canning jars with screw top lids—not the Ragu type lids that twist on—seemed to keep out the little worms as well.

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As long as the tea was tightly sealed, and didn’t have too much moisture in the bags to begin with, there is no problem with freezer storage in principle. The reason it isn’t recommended is because freezers often have other smells, and if a seal isn’t perfect, tea can absorb those smells.

ALL the tea vendors in China store their good green teas and Tieguanyin in freezers, and take them out when people want to buy. They take them directly out of the freezer and measure the leaves into bags for people to take home at room temperature. You can actually keep green tea longer when it is well sealed and frozen or refrigerated.

Zoltar’s advice would be good to heed just to be super safe. For reference, if you get a vacuum sealer and a devoted clean new freezer, you can confidently store green tea in there (if for example you go to China and bring back a bunch, or order a large quantity on sale, etc)
Good Luck!

Donna A said

Thank you David. That is very useful information and it makes sense.

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starfishey said

Holy crap we’ve been living with pantry moths for years now, and never knew what they were. Ugh they’re annoying. Haven’t seen them around recently though, thank goodness.

No advice for the tea, but it looks like you got some good info already.

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Putting tea in a freezer is a big mistake unfortunately. Moisture is the #1 threat to tea. When tea is put in the freezer what tends to happen is very small ice crystals form on the tea leaves. When taken out these crystals melt, saturating the tea, and then destroying it.

Your best bet is to keep the tea in the fridge until you wish to drink it and not a moment sooner. Perhaps only waiting for it to defrost. But i would not expect the tea to maintain the quality it once had.

Nik select said

How would ice form on the tea leaves if they’re in an airtight container? There would be no moisture that could freeze.

Zoltar said

airtight not enough it have to be a vacuum container if not air are in the container when you close it so the cold will get that moisture that why we use double bag freezer ziplock you get as much air out as you can from the first one then do the same thing with the second one the double bag give less chance to create ice but it will still happen after some time

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ashmanra said

Indian meal moths keep getting into my MIL’s cereal and snack boxes. They are a nuisance! Best of luck – all of this sounds like good advice!

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When we moved into our new house, we had the WORST red ants! Not only did they bite my puppies >:o but they ate THROUGH a completely sealed box of granola bars… through the box, through the wrappers… YUCK! We finally got some organic, pet safe pest company to spray because we’d had enough. Hopefully we never experience pantry moths! Yeckk!

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