Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trial and error for perfect tea storage

I have done an experiment to find out the best way to store my precious tea.  I considered the same containers, but did trials on room temperature, refrigerator and a freezer.  The tea kept in the refrigerator appeared the worst quality.  Meanwhile, the teas stored in either the room or in the freezer, has more likely the same result, same quality, and they were both better than the refrigerator-stored tea.  I concluded that the normal room storage is the best there is.
The entry regarding about the previous test >>>

Quite honestly, I have little doubts about this result.  I had done some other tests on tea storage simultaneously, and I achieved unconvincing results on those test.  Then I realized that there was something different, something was out of the way.  Alas!  I packed the tea samples on a rainy and humid day.  I assumed that the leaves absorbed moisture, plus I packed them with the humid air. These conditions: moisture and density of air, contributed a significant effect on my tea storage.  Having said that, I think that the result of the test for the best storage is not reliable and needed modifications.

Here, I did another test again.  This time, I packed the samples in a fine dry day.  I had to take note of the temperature and humidity using thermometer and hygrometer. I need to be precise and specific.  I stored them in the following conditions for one month.
A.    Room temperature
B.    Refrigerator
C.    Freezer

Here goes the result:
A.    Bitter
B.    Clear
C.    Bitter

I soon discovered that “A” and “C” have a bold bitterness, especially “A”.  Relatively, I found “B” most tasteful.  I would conclude that the refrigerator is the best place, sort of.  You might have realized that “A” has a lot more fine residue of tea settling at the bottom of the cup compared with the other cups.  This means I did not evenly pick the grains of the samples when packing though I specifically weighed each sample equally.  I tried to be very careful, but actually it was not enough.  Small grains of leaves dissolve the substances faster than larger grains.  This created the possibility for “A” to be bitter. 

I’m sorry that I cannot give you a confident answer for this issue again.  I am annoyingly frustrated.  However, by taking notes of these errors, I hope I could reach a more profound and convincing result someday.  I just have to be optimistic!


  1. Yes, I would be frustrated too, but as a result you are a making a good list for us of all the factors! Thank you for your hard work! =) We are all learning from you!

    1. Thanks for your kind comment. I'll probably try this test in the next spring again.

  2. I have to send you my appreciation too for taking the time and making the effort to test all the variations in an attempt to have the best tea available. Storage is such an important element to a quality brew and I am very impressed that your tests are so specific about the conditions and temperatures.

    1. People say slightly different things on storing tea so I wanted to find out what is the best way for me. There seems to be many factors to affect the tea condition and they make storing a little complicated. Thanks for reading my blog!

  3. Thanks for this insightful blog post. Following your lead, I experimented with refrigerating some kamairicha and tasting side-by-side with room temperature tea. The tea stored in the fridge was definitely the better of the two. It also improved seemed to improve the flavor a bit.