Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do you store Japanese tea correctly at home?

How long does it take to consume a package of tea after you open it? How do you store your tea at home? Are you really sure that your storage method is correct?

Konnichiwa, it’s meヽ(^。^)ノ Actually, it depends on the types of tea but 100g (3.5oz) package is the most common size that I buy. I’ll consume it in about two weeks if it is my favorite kind. Perhaps, it might take more than a half year for some disliked or more valuable kinds.

I store them in a standard way. Japanese green teas are more perishable than Oolong or English teas. To keep them fresh, it is important to avoid oxidation, high temperature, humidity, light, and capturing other odors.

Tea caddies that I use at home

1. Keep a small amount of tea leaves for daily use in the tea caddy

When I purchase a fresh tea, I leave only an amount for one to two week’s use in my daily tea caddy. It is a double lid and lightproof tea caddy. I keep it in my kitchen (room temperature).

2. Keep the rest of the tea leaves in a cool place inside airtight containers

You do not have to store teas in the refrigerator. However, storing in low temperature can slow down the process of oxidation. So, for the teas that will be consumed in a short period, in one month or so, I’ll keep them in room temperature where it is relatively cooler. It is in the pantry which is located in the north part of my house. For those teas which are meant for a long period of consumption, I’ll keep them in the inside the refrigerator or freezer. There are two things to consider about refrigerator storage. First, you need extra care in order to prevent the capturing other odors when storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. I wrap them twice, like putting the airtight tea caddy inside an airtight plastic bag. The other thing is that the tea will gather frost and moisture when opening a cold tea package from the refrigerator. It is not good for the tea. Therefore, I leave the package at room temperature for a while, and then open it later.

This is one of the standard ways to store Japanese tea at home which many books or tea shops recommend. But, I started to wonder if this is the best way to store my tea at home. I’ll talk more about storing on the next entry. Jah!

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