Zhena’s Gypsy Tea is perfectly packaged in a
metal container with an airtight lid. Photo by
Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.
June is National Tea Month—drink those antioxidants up!
Tea is a fragile product: oxygen, humidity (moisture), heat, light and other aromas are its enemies. They cause the tea to go stale (lose its flavor) and equally bad, to take on other, unwanted flavors.
Under ideal conditions, black and oolong tea can remain fresh between 2-3 years and green and white tea can remain fresh for up to 2 years.
However, when you purchase tea, you have no idea how long ago it was picked and processed. The tea could have been sitting in a warehouse for a year or two before it was made into bags or sold as loose tea to a distributor. And that means even more time until it gets to the retail shelf. Thus:
Don’t buy more tea than you’ll use in 6 months (green tea) to a year (black tea). After the container is opened, oxygen interacts with it and the flavor begins to slowly dissipate. Jumbo boxes of 100 tea bags are no bargain unless you’ll use two bags per day.
Store tea in airtight containers, preferably metal, away from a heat source. Just because a container has a lid doesn’t mean it’s airtight—but it’s a start.