Tea is easily affected by air, humidity, temperature, sunlight and odor, this is why tea storage is an important factor in extending the shelf life of tea.

How do you keep tea fresh?

If you’re a tea lover and you’ve been wondering how to keep tea fresh, here’s a checklist to make sure your tea stays fresh.

1. Keep away from direct sunlight

Storing tea in transparent glass jars, exposed to sunlight may result in lightening of tea. This adversely affects the appearance and flavor of tea. When storing tea in a transparent jar, ensure it is stored away from direct sunlight.

2. Keep tea stored in an airtight container

Exposure to air may adulterate the tea with impurities such as dust, increase moisture content and cause the tea to develop foul/unpleasant flavor. Therefore, it is imperative to store loose tea in airtight containers or re-sealable zipper pouches.

3. Avoid storing tea in warm places

Avoid storing tea in warm places, such as near the gas burner or oven. Proximity to heat adversely affects the chemical and physical nature of tea, at the same time causing the flavor to degrade significantly. Hence, it is advisable that the tea be stored in a cool, dark place.

4. Ensure tea is not exposed to humid conditions

Dry leaves have the capacity to absorb moisture quickly, which in turn results in mossy odor and undesirable flavor in the tea. So, ensure that your tea is stored in a cool, dry place in airtight containers.

5. Keep tea away from items with strong odor

Keeping loose tea in close proximity to items with a strong odor (such as spices, cheese or soap) may cause the tea to develop an unpleasant flavor. It is advisable to keep a container of loose tea at a neutral spot.

Here are answers to some FAQs

How long can you keep loose tea? You can store loose tea for about 18 to 24 months, if stored properly in an airtight container and kept away from direct sunlight.

How long does tea last? The initial oxidization of the tea plays a major role in the life of the tea, If there was a greater degree of initial oxidization, the tea will remain fresh longer. Black tea can remain fresh for about 2 years and green and white tea can last for a year.

Can tea be kept at room temperature? Yes, tea can be stored in at room temperature provided it’s kept in an airtight container.

Do loose tea leaves expire? Technically, tea does not expire, however, if not kept properly or stored for very long the taste will deteriorate.

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