Wish I had figured this out sooner
Ever since I bought an electric kettle I have been battling with my main go to tea (earl grey green). I quickly figured out how to make all my other teas taste great. Finally got fed up and plugged my old leaky hot shot back in and brewed a cup. It was flat – as if the tea was very old. That is the results I was blaming on the kettle. Checked the packaging date – January 2010. Should have been good until 2013. Opened a different package with same date on it and it was only slightly better. I have been drinking this for years and this is the first freshness problem I have experienced with Ahmad.
Yesterday I bought a box that was out of date from the local world food mart but that was my fault for not checking the label.
This is the main reason why I don’t buy teas from my local markets, unless they are tea shops that KNOW when the teas were harvested (and yes I ask them). My hubby has always thought I was just being a tea snob but there is a real difference in the quality of the tea.
I also never buy tea from tea shops that store their tea in glass jars. If a tea shop doesn’t know how to store tea properly, that is a big indication to me that they don’t really care about their tea.
Now, I am showing my inexperience here, BUT I thought it was acceptable to store tea in a glass jar, so long as it is sealed, there shouldn’t be a problem right?
Many of the flavor components of tea are light-sensitive, and break down with prolonged exposure to light. A container being air-tight is good, it helps prevent moisture build-up and flavor cross-contamination, but a tea won’t be as flavorful if it’s been exposed to light.
I am learning I am not loving the grocery store tea, especially for green teas. The freshness is very important. One nice tea shop I went to had tea that expired a year ago, so I don’t know how long it was sitting there. My local Asian store had tea that expired in 2004! Yeah, I only buy two types of tea from my local grocery store, and that’s it.
Very interesting about tea in glass jars, never knew that. I know Frontier teas at whole foods use plastic clear jars, and I have yet to really like any of the tea I bought. No more…
The only place I can buy loose leaf locally has it in plexiglass bins with a plywood lid. No air tight. No protection from light. So I buy bag tea locally but never had trouble with this brand until this batch.
Yes, checking labels is an important step in buying from non-tea shops (also good to check your stock at home, to see if it’s expired or headed there soon). If you do find packaging that is very old, tell them about it! There is a chance they won’t listen to you, but hopefully they will.
The same goes for those glass jar containers (or plastic). Tell the shop owner that it is damaging the tea. They are probably not aware of how damaging light is to tea.
I use ceramic jars that have a wire bale with silicone seals for all my tea storage . . . I bought most of them over the past 10 years . . I believe that they are manufactured by BeeHouse in Japan and I purchased most of them from Special Teas on the internet. I have varying sizes from 1lb. to 8oz. and they keep my teas protected from light, heat and moisture. I also date them and tape the label info to the top when I buy a new batch. Actually . . some of the teas I’ve bought are 1 yr. or more old and sometimes an older tea is more mellow than when I first buy it. After all . . . Pu’Erh tea is aged for years to develop it’s unique flavor.
The ceramic jars with the seals are perfect for storage of tea. I use tins, actually, because they are (or were) so accessible to me as a tea vendor, and for the amount of tea that I would have stored, the ceramic jars would have needed to be enormous (and would have been very heavy!)
I love the ziploc aluminum foil bags that are fairly cheap from Upton Teas: no light, no air and they don’t take up lots of space….
I have teas which have been stored in glass jars, with metal lids, in a cupboard, for more than twenty and thirty years, which are still splendid. No light, no air, no moisture, and controlled temperature are all vital. Same care as for inks and essential oils.
Cofftea, I don’t know if the brown, glass, vitamin bottles would suit your needs. I use them to store inks. I have friends save them for me.