How to know when it’s time to throw away the tea

Posted on Sep 13, 2022      8

And tips on how to postpone that moment

When a package of tea is stored too long, it loses its flavor and aroma properties, and at worst, acquires harmful qualities for health. Let’s figure out together how to determine if a tea has expired (even if the package says otherwise), and how to prolong the life of the tea.

No tea (except maybe sheng puerh) is good for storing in a damp place

Four reasons to get rid of a brew pack immediately.

Unpleasant odor. The first and most obvious sign, which some people ignore although it is an obvious “red flag. An unpleasant damp smell appears from tea that has been stored in a room with high humidity and poor ventilation for months or even weeks. This odor can be a key factor when you are not sure about the quality of tea: a dry leaf may look quite healthy and “alive” on the surface, but just take a whiff of its “aroma” and everything becomes clear at once. This smell of mustiness we can forgive only to sheng puerh, which sometimes even gets a special charm from storage in a damp place.

Signs of mold. The only thing worse than a damp smell is obviously noticeable mold. Or non-obvious. If we don’t have a packet of tea fresh enough, mold can affect it anywhere-top, inside, or in a corner at the bottom where you can never see it unless you look closely. Sometimes it doesn’t even smell, but once it’s there, it’s worth throwing the entire pack away. Or be prepared for unpleasant consequences from eating such a product, because the rate of growth of mold spores is very high, and you can not be sure that it has not affected all the leaves. In short, be sure to check the entire package of tea for mold if you have the slightest doubt about it.

Tea leaves quickly if left uncovered for a long time.

Lack of aroma. If the tea has completely lost its aroma, this is another reason to get rid of it - there is nothing useful left in such a brew, even if mold and raw smell have not affected it. No, to guarantee and test you can, of course, try to brew this chaff, but with a probability of 99% you will wait for a drink that tastes like hay. Most often, this unpleasantness happens with tea which has been lying open too long and has simply exhausted from contact with the air. For example, if an open pack was poorly wrapped, or the brew was in a loosely closed jar. The same fate awaits teas that are stored in direct sunlight.

Shelf Life. Every tea has its expiration date, after which it loses its useful properties. Of course, every kind of tea has its own expiration date, so let’s review the main popular teas:

  • White tea is susceptible to ageing. It only gets better over the years if the raw material was originally of good quality.
  • Green tea stays fresh for six months. If it is kept in the refrigerator, its shelf life is extended to one year.
  • Light oolong tea lasts about a year, dark oolong - up to two years.
  • Black tea (also known as red tea in Chinese terminology) is stored for up to two years, and then it loses its flavor.
  • Puer, like white tea, improves with aging: shu puerhs are stored for up to 10 years, sheng puerhs - the longer the better.

Shelf life is different for every type of tea.

Some simple tips on how to make your tea last longer

  1. Always place your tea bags out of direct sunlight. If they stand outside the cabinet, use only opaque jars and boxes.
  2. Try to keep tea away from sources of moisture: dampness promotes mold growth.
  3. Store tea in an airtight container that will not allow air to come into contact with its contents.
  4. Flavored teas should be carefully isolated from each other so that they do not “swap” flavors. It is also worth keeping tea separate from any spices, coffee and other products with bright scents.
  5. Do not leave tea near heat sources or in very warm rooms. Perhaps a kitchen that cooks a lot and often is not the best place for your tea, which likes to be cool.
  6. When buying tea storage containers, opt for ceramic jars that won’t distort the flavor or aroma of the product.

I think we’ve covered everything we know.

Teg:   tea