Guess who’s back? πŸ˜› 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 πŸ™‚


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. πŸ˜€ )

Once Opened

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.Β 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 halfΒ of it into your container. This will limit the oxidation process on the second half of the tea.

That’s it!

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. πŸ™‚


Belle is a long time fan of Japanese green tea. Since her first taste of Matcha, her love of tea has steadily grown to Sencha, Gyokuro, and a variety of Chinese tea. Belle is also a lover of Anime, and Japanese culture.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Ricardo Caicedo

    Hello Belle.

    Nice to meet another Japanese green tea lover!

    Usually people have more than one green tea that has been opened stored away (I’m guilty of this too), so it’s easy for teas to become stale unless you drink a lot of green tea.

    My advise is to drink your tea daily, don’t just wait for a special occasion : )

    1. Belle

      Hi! If you are storing tea that you haven’t opened yet, there isn’t any risk. Good Japanese tea vendors will sell their tea in sealed bags that are either nitrogen flushed, or vacuum packed. Unless cut open, there is no chance that outside air will contaminate the air around the leaves.

    1. Griff

      Hi πŸ™‚ I’ll answer your question in lieu of Belle (I’m the site admin).

      Personally I would suggest using the fridge for long term storage. So far, there isn’t much evidence to suggest tea kept in a regular, in-home freezer lasts longer. However, there is evidence to suggest the colder temperature of a freezer can effect the taste of the tea.

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