If you’re an avid tea drinker, you’ll need the best tea storage ideas and solutions. That way you’re sure to have delicious, fresh tea as long as possible.
Whether you drink tea made from loose tea, tea bags, or even a tea powder, like matcha, we have all the information you need to properly store your tea.
- Why is Proper Tea Storage Important?
- How Should Tea Be Stored?
- Best Tea Storage Tips
- Best Tea Storage Container Ideas for Tea Lovers
- Stainless Steel Containers
- Metal Tea Canisters and Tins
- Plastic Containers
- Glass Jars and Containers
- Ceramic Tea Containers
- Wooden Tea Chests
- How Long Does Tea Last?
- What To Do With Old Tea
- Best Tea Storage Tips Conclusion Final Thoughts
Why is Proper Tea Storage Important?
You want your tea to stay fresh and last as long as possible, especially when investing in high-quality teas. Maintaining freshness is key in making the best-tasting tea. Properly stored tea can last a long time – up to two years or more.
When tea is stored not following these main tips, it can alter the flavor or dull it, making it not as tasty as it should be.
There are a few key elements to storing tea to maintain a tea’s freshness. Those include:
- Keeping the tea dry
- Not exposing the tea to direct sunlight
- Keeping the tea as free from oxygen as possible
- Keeping the tea free from heat and unstable temperatures
How Should Tea Be Stored?
Whether you’re storing herbal teas, black tea, green tea, tea bags, or loose-leaf tea, you want to store it in an airtight container, in a cool, dry, and dark place. This will ensure it will last a long time and stay fresh.
Heat, light, oxygen, and moisture can spoil or change the taste of your tea. Wood, plastic, ceramic, glass, stainless steel, and other metal containers with an airtight seal are the most common tea storage solutions.
Best Tea Storage Tips
If you’re storing tea on the counter, you want to be sure you choose a container that will keep the tea in darkness and keep the container away from your stove and dishwasher, or anywhere that can put off heat and moisture.
The freezer and refrigerator are not the best places to store your tea because of the moisture and potential for unstable temperatures (when removing and placing back). If you must store it in your refrigerator or freezer, you should vacuum seal the tea so no air or moisture can get in.
Since tea can absorb surrounding odors, placing loose-leaf tea in a wooden container can make the tea vulnerable to the smell of the wood. Storing individually wrapped tea bags sealed in a wooden tea bag organizer can be a great idea since the tea bags are generally sealed with air-proof packaging.
The wooden storage boxes can be a great way to separate the different teas in your tea collection and make it easy to quickly find what you want.
Make sure your container has an airtight lid since teas can absorb odors and oxygen can spoil or change the flavor of the tea. Pretty tea containers are a great storage solution, but many lids aren’t airtight. Make sure your tea containers have airtight lids with some type of seal.
Best Tea Storage Container Ideas for Tea Lovers
Here are the best types of containers for storing tea and a few recommendations. It’s a good idea to decide where you’re storing your tea before choosing a container. For example, if you’ll be storing your tea on the counter, you may want something other than clear glass.
Stainless Steel Containers
Stainless steel containers are the best way to store all kinds of teas. They seal out air and moisture and are dark enough to protect from sunlight.
Some stainless steel containers are quite large and can store a lot of tea. If you are buying one tea in bulk, the larger containers are a great option. There are also many smaller containers for storing an assortment of teas. Most stainless containers include an airtight lid and can be stored on the kitchen counter.
Metal Tea Canisters and Tins
Metal tea tins and canisters are a great option if you like to store a variety of tea. Many times, when you purchase tea, it will come in little metal tins.
These generally don’t have an airtight seal but can help store individually wrapped teas and keep them organized. The tins will also add a layer of protection from light sources.
A plastic tea container can be one of the most cost-effective ways to store your favorite teas. There are many different kinds of plastic storage containers and some great plastic tea bag storage containers are great for storing and organizing tea bags in their original packaging.
Since plastic can absorb odors, It’s not recommended to store loose-leaf tea in plastic containers. Plastic can change the flavor slightly of loose-leaf tea. Once you add a new flavor to the container, there may be a bit of the odor that mixes with the new tea. But plastic organizing containers are a wonderful way to store tea bags.
Glass Jars and Containers
A glass container as simple as a mason jar can store tea nicely. If you’re storing loose-leaf tea, a glass jar with a screw-top lid can be a great choice. If it’s clear glass, just make sure you store it in a kitchen cabinet or pantry, away from sunlight. You can also get opaque or frosted glass canisters if you’re planning to leave them out.
Ceramic Tea Containers
Ceramic containers are another great option for all tea types. There are many beautiful ceramic containers as well, making them a good choice for storing on the counter.
With ceramic containers, you just want to make sure the lid is a sealing lid to keep them airtight. Some ceramic containers have a lid that just sits on top. Make sure your lid seals the container.
Wooden Tea Chests
Wooden tea chests are another beautiful way to store your tea bags. Tea enthusiasts have been using them for a long time. They’re often lined with fabric and come in various types of wood. It’s a beautiful way to keep all your flavors separated and organized by type of tea.
Wooden storage isn’t generally recommended for loose-leaf tea unless it’s lined. Many woods have an odor (often a pleasant one) that can get absorbed by the tea and alter the flavor.
How Long Does Tea Last?
Fresh and properly stored tea can last up to two years. However, it can still be okay to drink even after two years. How long it will last will also depend on where it was purchased.
If you purchased tea from the grocery store, it’s not guaranteed to be as fresh as when buying from a tea company committed to freshness.
It’s a good idea to also note the date you purchased somewhere on the tea if you are throwing away packaging with the Sell By date, or if you bought loose-leaf tea without a date. You can use a marker to label the tea bag package or a piece of masking tape on the bottom of the storage container. That way you can easily reference when you purchased the tea and see how it tastes.
What To Do With Old Tea
Old tea doesn’t necessarily go bad because it’s old, but it can lose its vibrant full flavor. If you have tea bags that have been stored too long and aren’t as full-flavored as you would like, you can add more tea bags to your tea to increase the strength and flavor.
If that’s, still not working, you can use the bags to make a potpourri or boil the tea with water, fresh citrus, and/or herbs to make your house smell delightful.
Best Tea Storage Tips Conclusion Final Thoughts
Proper storage of tea is important in maintaining its freshness and taste. That doesn’t mean you need a dedicated tea cabinet to store your tea. Following a few simple guidelines can help you pick the best tea storage for you.
To keep tea fresh, you want to avoid the following:
- Exposed air/oxygen
It’s best to first decide where you want to store your tea. If you have a pantry or kitchen cabinet where it can be stored, you can use glass containers. If you plan to store your tea on the counter, make sure to keep it away from moisture and heat, and choose a container made of a dark material to shield it from the sunlight.