Guess who’s back? 😛 It has been a while since my last post, but today we’re going to talk about storing Japanese green tea.
The Horrors of Old Tea
The biggest issue with tea shops in the west is they don’t know how to store their Japanese greens. They will keep the tea in large, transparent containers which can be opened whenever a customer wishes to take a whiff. It’s good to see and smell the product before buying it, but that’s what a tester is for.
Maybe that set up is fine for black teas, but it is not for greens.
All this exposure to light and oxygen will take the life out of the tea. It will taste flat, and old. It will probably be discolored, too. Do you want this to happen to your own personal stash? No? Then keep reading 🙂
If you aren’t planning on opening your Japanese green tea immediately, put it in the refrigerator. This is the most effective way to increase your tea’s shelf life to several months.
One danger associated with refrigeration is condensation. The quick change in temperature can cause moisture to appear on the leaves. For this reason, I don’t recommend trying to store tea that has been opened in refrigeration. (Belle’s tip: When you bring a tea out of cold storage, wait at least three hours before opening it. This will prevent condensation by allowing the tea to come up to room temperature. 😀 )
Once your tea has been opened, keep it in an airtight container. Do not store it in direct sunlight, or someplace else that is excessively warm. There is no exact expiration limit, but once a tea is opened it will only be fresh for 4-6 weeks.
There is one more trick to help maintain freshness. Say you are opening a new package of tea. Only pour half of it into your container. This will limit the oxidation process on the second half of the tea.
Keeping your Japanese tea fresh isn’t hard to do, but you must remember some basic rules.
- Keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.
- Keep it out of sunlight/heat.
- Limit the tea’s exposure to oxygen.
Do you have any tips for storing Japanese green tea? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂