The teas I am buying now are coming in pouches. The bags don’t last. I keep my tea in a drawer. No direct sun on the drawer. Given these two options which would be better?
1. Reuse empty Twinings tins
2. Use small clear canning jars (jelly jars) with screw on sealing lids.
I would say Twinings Tins since glass is a no-no. I’ve yet to become sensitive enough to notice a difference in storage methods, but I also have a lot of flavoured teas which I would presume react differently. I happen to keep a lot of my tea in pouches if it is a smaller quantity (since that’s what they come in). I also re-use all my empty tea tins though.
I think the jars or tins would be fine since the drawer is dark. You could always cover the jars, too.
I would go with the tins. The drawer may be dark when it’s closed, under which circumstances the glass would be fine, but every time you open the drawer ALL the jars would be exposed to light. Even if it’s not direct sunlight, it’s still light.
You could, however, wrap the jars in tinfoil to make them lightproof. Then there shouldn’t be a problem with using jars. Or, if you’re feeling creative, get some hobby paint and paint the jars. It might not make them completely light-proof, but it would lessen the transparency and it might be fun activity to do. :) Different colours and patterns. Just make sure it’s properly dry and well ventilated to get rid of all paint smell before putting tea in them.
I was concerned about how well Twinings tins really seal out the air. The jars would be air tight but not light proof. Paint makes me nervous. Not sure how long the tin foil would last but its a good idea – or maybe contact paper? I don’t have expensive teas but want to take care of what I have. Poor folks have poor ways as my mom always told me. Of course I didn’t know we were poor until I was in Junior High.
Ideas for covering jars….paper and tape!, a thermal beer/soda can cover, I would probably knit/crochet/sew one, I think my teen daughter would do the colorful duct tapes that are out right now. Also, if you are not storing the tea long term (as in you will be drinking it rather quickly) the amount of light that will get into the drawer should not matter much.
Tins are probably the best as long as they seal well and I do agree that jars are better at sealing than some tins. If you ever do order from Harney & Sons by phone, they sell their black tins for $1 a piece. It has to be by phone since the tins are not on the website.
I like the duct tape idea – very me! thanks.
Are the H & S tins a step up from the Twinings?
If we had a brick and mortar anywhere near I would just get some better tins but shipping is usually a deal breaker.
I don’t know about the Twinings tins. But…I store all of my teas in Harney tins. I bought about 7 extra empty ones in my last order. They have a code for free shipping over $25 right now for continental US. OCT25 They also run deals like that periodically. I rarely order from them without a shipping deal.
Just my 2 cents. Since you keep your tea in drawer, I would go with whatever that’s air tight if i were you. Air tightness is much more important in your case since the tea would be in the dark mostly. One thing to keep in mind is that our drawer usually has some smell either from the wood or other things we currently keep or have kept in it. So your priority is to keep any odor/smell out of contact with the tea. Some occasional exposure to light is no big deal. If you are very concerned about light exposure, just put the jar in a paper bag or black plastic bag. Hope this helps.
An old Chinese proverb states “Metal turn fine tea into coffee.” … Ok so I may have used a little creative license there, but it has long been held that nothing metal should ever touch tea. Which really puts a kink in storage methods, ideally sealed porcelain containers would probably be best, or depending on your tea, clay jars.
Working with what you got tins generally work fine, many tins are not completely air tight and purist would tell you that it will give the tea a metallic taste. The glass jars would probably be better, light isn’t radiation, well actually it is but that is besides the point, it won’t instantly kill your tea, so depending how how quickly your go through your stock and how often it is exposed to light I would say the glass jars are more ideal.
Wrapping the jars in something to keep the light out would definitely be a bonus, but if you go through your stock every six months or so your not going to taste a difference, although many of us have a mental block against light touching the tea, I have been known to taste a difference that may or may not have been there just because I knew the tea wasn’t properly stored and my brain had a strong reaction to it. It’s ok I have a diseased brain and I am at peace with that.
Quote: “it has long been held that nothing metal should ever touch tea.” Can you tell us more about this. This is interesting.
Because I said so, oh, wait .. I reckon that kind of reasoning lost its appeal after 1st grade, oh well it was worth a try :).
I don’t make this crap up, well some of it I do, I just repeat it. Not having any metals touching tea is something that has been passed down to me and reinforced by all of my older Chinese tea addicts. I’m not saying that it is correct or there is any validity to the argument, I am just saying that it is a belief that is held by many, in my experience it has been the older drinkers, who knows maybe too much tea effected their brain.
But I’m not alone in this either, many go as far as saying you shouldn’t use a stainless steel strainer, you can do a search on tea chat and find people talking about it as well as a couple links I included below.
To clarify I am not saying these are my viewpoints, just repeating the opinions of others.
Put the pouch in a ziplock and then inside the tin. Best to be safe than sorry!
I think whatever method to be used in the storage of tea, the utmost important thing is to keep the tea in its original flavor. But if your tea do not need to be stored for a long time, in my opinion, both jars and tins can be used.
However, if you want to keep the tea for a long time but without loosing its flavor, we suggest choosing other methods. Tea has five enemies: light, air, heat, moisture, and odor, each of which will cause the tea to gradually lose its flavor. So the purpose of storing tea is to keep the tea dry, and try to reduce the effect of the external temperature and humidity, as well as to avoid contacting the items with odor and sunlight. In fact, the glazed ceramics, non-reactive metals and plastic containers are all best containers for the tea storage. Because the best advantage for these containers are that they will not absorb the smell or flavor automatically. If you are interested in knowing about more the storage information, you can also check the article: http://www.teavivre.com/info/proper-storage-of-tea/
I ruined an entire tin of tea (Lady Grey) by leaving it on my desk. It was safe from light and air in a humidity controlled environment. Problem was unnoticed by me at the time the sun came through the window an hour a day and baked the tea. That’s when I started storing away from the window in a drawer. I will continue using tins for the time being but am keeping my eye out for glazed ceramics with sealing tops.