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    The Storage of Tea

    The proper storage of tea is of the utmost importance, as tea which is improperly stored will go stale or rancid much faster, or can accumulate impurities that both alter the flavor and aroma and can also harm the body.  Therefore it is very important to learn how to properly store your teas so that they remain as fresh, clean and flavorful as possible.

    There are five things which teas are vulnerable to: light, air, heat, odors and moisture.  These five things will rapidly make your stored teas go bad.

    Dark Place

    avoid sunlightYour teas should always be stored in a dark place. Never use glass or clear jars to store as sunlight or UV rays will degrade your tea very quickly. If you must use a glass jar, be sure to keep it in a dark cabinet where the light cannot reach it. Sun can also bleach out the teas, making the flavor and aroma almost non-existent. Remember when storing your tea that keeping them in a dark environment is a top priority.


    Air is another enemy of tea, as air flow around your stored tea leaves will increase the chances that the tea leaves will absorb moisture and unpleasant odors from the air.  Avoid leaving dry leaves laying out, or in packaging with excess air inside the bag, or storing your tea leaves in any porous material such as a resealable zipper package or container.

    Please note that puerh is an exceptional.  Pu-erh tea should be stored well above ground level and be given good ventilation.


    Heat exposure will quickly ruin good tea as well.  Avoid keeping your teas stored in sunlight or near heat sources such as stoves, ovens, or other warm places.  Heat can degrade the quality of the tea, removing flavor and aroma, and increasing the chance that your tea will take on moisture.

    Away from Strong Odors

    Stored teas are also very vulnerable to odors, which can be useful when creating teas such as Jasmine Dragon Pearl green tea, because the tea leaves absorb the fragrance and are infused with the odor of jasmine very easily.  However this tendency for tea leaves to easily absorb the odors placed near them means that you should also keep your teas stored safely away from areas in your home with strong odors, such as spice cabinets, trash cans, refrigerators and other areas which contain odors which the teas can absorb easily.

    Away from Moisture

    avoid moistureMoisture is the worst enemy of tea and can ruin an entire batch of it within minutes. Dried tea leaves are considered shelf stable because they are completely dry. Unfortunately dry leaves absorb moisture from the air very easily and quickly. Therefore, it is important that you keep your dried tea leaves away from humid areas in your home, boiling water, and other sources of moisture such as above a dishwasher vent or inside a refrigerator. Keep it far away from moisture until you are ready to brew the tea leaves, or the moisture will cause molding, caking and other unpleasant results.

    25 comments to The Storage of Tea

    • brenda :


      Just to let you know, you site Hypothermia as Heat Exposure but it is actually Hyperthermia. Thanks for all the info!

    • TeaVivre response:


      The tea should storage in hypothermia, so we need to aviod heat exposure.
      Hope it helps, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

    • River macintyre :


      I wish this site would list a tea with the proper storage for it. It is very confusing to keep it all in order. Is there any wat it can be done so we can print it off and place it in pantry. River

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your suggestion and question.

      Here is the most basic storage way of tea: green tea, oolong tea, and fruit & herbal tea should be kept refrigerated, while other tea, like black, white tea, should be keep in cool, dry place, and be away from sunlight. And all of them should be put in airtight, opaque packaging. For pu'erh tea, like cake pu'erh, it's better to store in cool, dry place away from sunlight and keep ventilated.

      Hope it is helpful for you.

    • Connie :


      I found 2 tins of Harney's black loose Christmas tea I purchased several years ago that I forgot about. They were stored in a cupboard. One is opened and the other never opened. Because it was a flavored spiced tea I just used it at Christmas, put it in a cupboard then forgot about it. There is no expiration date on the tins. Should I toss them? Thank you

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.
      Usually the black tea shelf life is 36 months. Some black tea can be drink in few years if we store it well. It depond on which kind of black tea and how the condition of your place. You'd better don't drink it any more.
      Hope it helps.

    • lambert :


      i manufacture a tea product such as moringa tea bag but my biggest challenge is it does not stay for even up to 6months then it start molding,caking and invaded by insects

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      I'm not quite familiar with moringa tea, but I far I know about the moringa seeds, it should not store in refrigerator, it need to store in a warm, dry area in an air tight container. The ideal temperature is between 60-80 degrees F.

      We all know that different kind of tea need different store enviroment, we need to know their habits so that to make and store them better.

      I hope it will be a little helpful for you! If you have any further question, please feel free to contact us.

    • Laura :


      I want to store black tea, I read some comments and I saw that it should be stored in cool places, I live in a warm city the temperature reaches up to 33 degrees, so I wonder at what temperature should I store it exactly?

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.

      Black tea has strong ability on absorb water, so the store environment should be dry and airtight, and avoid from sunlight.

      You can find a relatively cool, and ventilated place in your home to store it. Our city is also warm and temperature will reache up above 30 degrees, so as long as we find a good place for black tea, it will not affected.

      Hope it helps!

    • Becky :


      I noticed that certain teas are stored different ways. I have purchased hibiscus tea bags w/hawthorn. Should I store these in the refrigerator? The boxes are unopened. The green tea that I have I store in the refrigerator. The spearmint is in a air-tight container in the pantry.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your questions.
      The herbal tea should be keep in a airtight container away from high temperature, sunlight, moisture and abnormal taste.
      If you don't plan or able to finsihed it in a short time. You'd better store them in the refrigerator.
      Hope it helps.

    • carol :


      well, I sure learned something today! I have been storing my everyday day reg tea in the freezer to no avail.. and in ziplock and ziplock containers.. the worst one can do so I read..
      So a dark cool place, and as tight a seal as I can find..
      I must find a small metal container, which I think will prolong the flavour of my morning pot of tea.. I always buy in large bulk when on sale, that is going to change now.. thanks to this informative site.. happy brewing folks!! the little round bag..

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your review.
      I'm glad to hear that our information is useful for you.
      If you need any further information, please feel free to contact us.

    • sharon travis :


      I just received a gift of a variety of teas, silk sachet bags in sealed packets. They came in two tin containers that are sealed pretty tightly, but I know I won't drink all of it any time soon. Would you recommend storing the tins in the refrigerator? My thought was to put them in a cabinet that is dark and cool...I would appreciate hearing from you about this.

    • TeaVivre response:


      Thanks for your question.
      If you don't plan drink them rink all of them soon. I suggest you store the tea according their type. You can store the black tea, white tea and Pu-erh in a dry, dark and cool place, while the green tea and oolong tea, you'd better store them in a refrigerator. 0-5℃ would be a good choice most of this kind of teas.
      Hope it helps.

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