Monday, November 28, 2011

What is a good place for long-term tea storage at home?

At room temperature, in the refrigerator or in the freezer.  I have three samples stored for six months at the mentioned places.  They were triple packed (plastic pouch, tea caddy, Ziplock) and they have not been opened for that duration. 

The samples
D: room temperature
E: refrigerator
F: freezer

What do you observe in the pictures?

I found some differences in dry leaves and brewed tea.  To tell the conclusion first, they are all bad.  Brewed tea D turned reddish in color, which is not a correct hue for shencha.  D also doesn’t have a depth in its taste and I found a dusty flavor.  E has a yucky bitterness that I tasted in the back of my mouth.  F is similar with E but much stronger.  F is the worst in taste.  I don’t want to drink any of these teas even for my casual consumption.  I am very disappointed with the result. 

Some of you who have been reading my blog might have noticed the reason of the failure.  The day when I prepared the samples six months ago was a rainy humid day.  The only cause that I can think of is humidity.  The leaves might have absorbed some moisture and I packed the leaves with humid air as well.  The moisture must have ruined the tea during the storing.  I’m sorry that I could not give you the answer for this subject.  But, from this experiment, I can say that it does not matter where you store tea if you pack it on a humid day.  Moisture is a very negative factor for tea storing.  So please avoid packing tea in a humid day.

I’ll try to do the same experiment again to check if I can get different results next spring.


  1. Hi i just stumbled upon your blog and have been wondering about the optimal way to store japanese green tea myself. The results were suprising to me aswell. The source of error could be condesation. how much time went by form the time the tea left the freezer/fridge until you opend the containers?

    I have read that tea out of the fridge should rest at least 5-8 hours before being opend and tea out the freezer should unfreeze for one day in the fridge first and then accordingly.

  2. Hi, David-san, I left them in room temperature for one hour before opening them in this test.

    The idea of taking time for thawing is very interesting. I have done an experiment on the slow thawing before. But, I could not find significant difference between fast and slow thawing. But again, the samples were packed on the same rainy day. So, the result might not be so reliable. I would like to do the test for the slow thawing sometime again^^