Here is some advice on how to keep your tea fresh, whether it is loose-leaf tea from the late 1990s or from this year’s harvest that you received just a few weeks ago. The term “tea” is used quite loosely in the US and can apply to mint, chamomile, ginger, green, oolong, white, and black tea. The primary focus of this manual is on the green, oolong, white, and black teas, all of which are manufactured from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant.
Tea should be stored in an airtight, dark cabinet or box to avoid moisture and odors. It’s also important to separate delicate and strongly scented teas. Choose a packaging material from food-safe materials like glazed ceramics, non-reactive metals, or opaque plastic.
How to Store Loose Leaf Tea
The simplest and most efficient way to store loose-leaf tea is in a metalized foil bag, tea caddy, or tea canister. We advise putting the tea in an odorless container, which keeps the light out and can be properly sealed. Avoid using clear jars, plastic, or paper bags.
The exception is pu-erh teas, which benefit from a little exposure to air and a range of temperatures as they age. But it’s crucial to keep them away from strong smells and too much dampness.
Once the tea is opened, we advise keeping it at home in the foil-lined bag it was packaged in and securely fastened with a rubber band. Nearly all of our teas are packaged in 60 grams packs in our tearoom, and we only cut open the bag when it is time to use it.
The remaining tea that isn’t being used is kept in canisters. Similar to spices, we advise marking tea with the date you received it, so you will know when it was delivered.
How Can Teas be Kept Fresh?
Different tea varieties have varying freshness thresholds.
The lighter oxidized or greener types of tea are the ones that are most susceptible to aging. Green teas and lighter oolongs are two examples. These teas have a higher “freshness” factor since they are designed to highlight the green and positive qualities of the raw tea plant. Because the freshness quality is the first to degrade during aging, they are the most vulnerable to aging.
If tea is stored properly, it won’t go bad; instead, the flavor will transform from green to earthy. If you prefer the vegetal flavor and don’t have access to a vacuum sealer, try buying in tiny quantities and consuming the tea within two to four months.
On the other hand, roasted teas and highly oxidized black tea are less susceptible to aging. The attractiveness of this class of teas comes from the subtle flavor variations produced by processing the tea plant (i.e., controlled and intentional exposure to heat or air). They are appropriate for purposeful aging because they might get tastier with time as the flavor develops.
What are Different Types of Tea and their Associated Health Advantages?
Many different beverages go by the term “tea,” but according to purists, only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and put-erh tea are true teas. The Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, is the source of all of them, and it contains special antioxidants known as flavonoids. The most effective of these, ECGC, may aid in the fight against free radicals that can lead to cancer, heart disease, and blocked arteries.
In addition, all of these teas include caffeine and theanine, which impact the brain and increase mental alertness.
The amount of polyphenols is often lowered the more processed the tea leaves are. Flavonoids are polyphenols. Oolong and black teas have lower polyphenol contents than green tea because they have been oxidized or fermented, yet they have a strong antioxidizing effect.
According to various studies, tea may have the following potential health advantages:
Green tea: Made from steamed tea leaves, it has a high EGCG content and has received a lot of research. The antioxidants in green tea may inhibit the development of colorectal, bladder, breast, lung, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. They may also prevent artery blockages, burn fat, protect the brain from oxidative stress, lower the risk of stroke and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and improve cholesterol levels.
Black tea: Made from fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine level and is the foundation for various instant and flavored teas like chai. According to studies, black tea may shield the lungs from harm brought on by exposure to cigarette smoke. The risk of stroke may also be lowered.
Uncured and unfermented white tea. According to one study, white tea has the strongest anticancer effects compared to teas with more processing.
Oolong tea: Animals administered oolong tea’s antioxidants were found to have lower amounts of harmful cholesterol. One type of oolong, Wuyi, is frequently promoted as a supplement for weight loss. However, the claims aren’t supported by evidence.
Pu-erh tea: Made of aged and fermented leaves. Its leaves are compressed into cakes and are regarded as black tea. One animal study found that that administered Pu-erh gained less weight and had lower LDL cholesterol.
Benefits of Tea for Health: Natural teas
Herbal teas, created by steeping herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots in hot water, have lower antioxidant contents than green, white, black, and oolong teas. Depending on the plant used, their chemical makeup varies greatly.
Ginger, ginseng, ginkgo Biloba, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea are among the varieties.
There hasn’t been much research on the health advantages of herbal teas, but there isn’t much evidence to back up claims that they promote weight loss, immunity to colds, and peaceful sleep.
Observations are as follows:
Chamomile tea: Its antioxidants may slow the growth of cancer cells and help prevent the consequences of diabetes, such as loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage.
Echinacea: Research on this supplement, frequently recommended as a strategy to treat the common cold, is conflicting.
Hibiscus: According to a tiny study, three cups of hibiscus tea per day helped persons with mildly raised blood pressure.
Rooibos (red tea): A fermented plant from South Africa. Although there have been few investigations in medicine, it contains flavonoids with anti-cancer effects.
Reference: Health benefits of tea consumption
Is Daily Consumption of Black Tea Okay?
On average, four cups of black tea a day is probably safe for most people. More than 4 cups of black tea per day may not be safe, and excessive drinking may have negative consequences due to caffeine. A quick way to enhance your antioxidant intake and reduce your risk of future health problems is to include black tea in your daily routine. Black tea contains heart-healthy flavonoids. Black tea’s tannins may calm the digestive tract, reducing the likelihood of stomach distress and diarrhea.
A study published in Food Reviews International also reveals that consuming black tea consistently may support a balanced bacterial ecosystem. The precise amount of tannins in tea may differ depending on the species and preparation. Most people should limit their daily intake to 3 cups or fewer (710 ml) to be safe.
White tea: What Does It Taste Like?
White tea has a mild, delicate flavor frequently characterized as fruity, fresh, and slightly flavored with Puerh, cucumber, or melon. White teas with a larger body, earthier and nuttier undertones, and a sweet honey flavor include Shou Mei. This authentic tea is softer and smoother than other varieties. White tea has a delicate, sweet flavor that even novice drinkers may easily enjoy. Its complexity is sufficient to satisfy even seasoned tea drinkers.
White tea is not as harsh as black tea and is a little sweeter. It may have flowery, ginger, and melon undertones. White tea comes in various varieties depending on the growing environment, so it’s crucial to pick the one that best suits your palate. Reading this article, you can better comprehend the various varieties of white tea.
Is there a Distinction Between Black and White Tea?
White tea has a very delicate and fresh flavor in the meantime. It is not bitter like black. Frequently, it is silky and cooling without being astringent. Black and white tea are comparable, but white tea has a more delicate flavor. It has a milder flavor and is frequently combined with other teas.
Black tea cannot be replaced by white tea, although it can be a great substitute. The color is the only distinction between black and brown. White tea is typically sweeter than black tea.
White tea has a variety of flavors, including melon and lemon. It is not as bitter as black or green, despite the name. It’s a well-liked option for breakfast. In addition to having a mild flavor, it has few calories.
The plant that makes white tea is the same as the one that makes green or black tea. However, it has a more delicate flavor and is treated differently. Young leaves are gently harvested while they are still tender. The leaves are then air dried, giving them their distinctive white appearance. Due to its delicate flavor, white tea is frequently mistaken for herbal or green tea.
What is the Advice on Freezing Tea Leaves?
Freezing tea leaves is a really simple process. However, it’s not entirely required, so you should hesitate before doing it. This is because tea leaves may be preserved at least a year at room temperature in an airtight container without going bad.
However, to freeze tea leaves, you must follow these steps:
You should consider portioning tea leaves if you’ve bought a huge quantity.
You should break your tea leaves into a batch before freezing them, but it is entirely up to you.
When you’ve chosen how to divide your tea leaves, put each portion on a piece of cling film and carefully wrap it. Use a freezer-safe bag for slightly larger servings.
Put it Within an Airtight Container.
Place each wrapped portion in an airtight container with a lid to prevent freezer burn on your tea.
Identify and Freeze
Place the tea leaves in the freezer after writing the date “Today” and the “Use-By” date on the lid. Keep in mind that tea leaves can be frozen for around six months.
Store in a Cool, Dark Place.
Although freezing tea leaves is perfectly OK, you are not required to do so. This is so that tea leaves, which are best stored at room temperature, can last a long time. So, you don’t need to freeze tea leaves unless you have a specific purpose.
Use Right Away Following Thawing
Tea leaves should be used as soon as they are thawed. This is because the thawing process starts the tea’s steeping process, which will destroy the beverage if you leave it out too long.
Only Ever Freeze
Only freeze the tea once, as it will steep as soon as it is thawed. It goes without saying that if you repeatedly attempt to freeze leaves, the flavor won’t be wonderful when you use them.
There are several factors to consider when storing loose-leaf tea. Firstly, the tea must be stored in a cool and dry environment. This is crucial as the temperature of the tea can significantly affect the quality of the tea. It should also be protected from light since tea leaves are highly sensitive to light. Light can cause oxidative changes in compounds found in the leaves, which can affect the flavor of the tea.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to store loose tea. For example, you can place the tea in airtight containers to increase its palatability. However, storing the tea for more than one week is not advised. This is because the tea will oxidize and lose its potency very quickly.