Tips for Storing Tea

Are you storing your tea the correct way? Even regular tea drinkers may be surprised to learn that there is in fact a right way to store tea in order to maximize its shelf life.

The truth is, the way you store tea can impact its freshness, flavor and quality over time. Even the highest quality teas can deteriorate in the presence of excess sunlight, heat or humidity. 

Improperly stored tea may have a stale or bland taste, and will lack the richness and depth of flavor you have come to cherish. Discover the best way to store tea in order to preserve its quality, and tips for maximizing the shelf life of your tea.

Store tea in its original The Republic of Tea packaging.

Did you know tea leaves can easily absorb odors from surrounding foods and spices? The Republic of Tea’s airtight steel tins are designed to keep out external odors and contaminants. Our tins also block sunlight, which can oxidize and dry out the tea leaves, weakening their natural flavors.

If you have purchased one of our resealable refill bags, be sure you squeeze excess air out of the bag before sealing it tightly and completely. Alternatively, you may transfer the tea from the refill bag into a steel display tin.

Store tea in a dark, dry, cool space.

The best place to store tea is a designated cabinet, drawer or other space that provides a consistent, cool temperature. This area should be free of excess heat or light exposure.

Many tea drinkers make the mistake of choosing a cabinet or drawer next to their stovetop, oven or dishwasher. But heat generated by kitchen appliances can affect the flavor and aroma of tea leaves. 

Additionally, tea leaves can absorb water from the air very easily, which can negatively impact their quality. Be sure to store your tea away from humid areas, such as near the dishwasher.

Because tea leaves are so adept at absorbing odors, it is recommended to store your tea away from spices and other fragrant foods. You don’t want your delicate jasmine green tea leaves picking up the aroma of strong spices like cinnamon and black pepper.

How long does tea last when stored properly?

Even with proper tea storage techniques, there is a limit to how long your tea will remain at its peak of freshness. Delicate teas that are less oxidized are highly sensitive to environmental factors, and will degrade more quickly than heavily oxidized or aged teas.

With careful storage, your green tea and white tea will remain fresh and flavorful for around two years after opening. Black tea and oolong tea have a longer shelf life, and can remain in excellent condition for around two to three years with proper storage.

Pu-erh tea is unique in that its complexity and depth of flavor continues to improve over time, much like a fine wine. As long as you are adhering to best storage practices, you can usually store pu-erh tea indefinitely.

It is always recommended to drink your tea while it is at its freshest and most flavorful, rather than holding onto it for years and years. But with proper care and storage, you can extend the longevity of your tea and ensure its quality every time you sip.