Preservation Methods for Maintaining the Freshness of Tea

  1. Non-fermented tea

Non-fermented tea includes green tea (such as: Longjin, Biluochun), yellow tea (such as: Junsan Yinyan, Mengding Huangya), white tea (also called slightly fermented tea, such as: Shoumei, Yinzhen Baihao). Non-fermented tea is the tea that easiest to get deteriorated among all the tea. They are easy to lose their color and special aroma, containing high amounts of vitamins and active nutrients, which are easy to get destroyed. Thus, they have high requirements on storage. Basically, the storage must be done in such way that it is protected against sunshine, moisture, and odor. If it’s the family storage, it is suggested to store the green tea in the large dry coffee bottle. First you can put the tissue in the microwave, drying it up with “unfrozen” for 2 minutes. Then, put the dried tissue at the bottle of the tea can. Next, you can put the tea in and cover the can. Wrap the can with the plastic bag and store it in the frozen room of the fridge. This way, you will be able to keep the aroma, color, taste the same after a year. If you have large amount of tea, you can use containers that can be sealed, such as tin cans, iron cans, food bags, water bottles. Inside the containers, you should put the plastic bags, and try not to open the container often. When you seal the containers, push the air out of the plastic bags to reduce the oxidative deterioration of the tea. If you have the resources, you can inject the nitrogen and take the oxygen out of the plastic bag. And seal the plastic bag immediately, creating the status of vacuum, achieving the aim of keep the tea fresh. When use the vacuum package, the container used to store the tea should be aluminum with good performance in gas barrier (oxygen) or iron cans.

  1. Half fermented tea

The half fermented tea is also known as Oolong tea. It has the both the feature of non-fermented tea and fermented tea. Thus, the condition for the storage of Oolong tea is similar the green tea: protect against sun, moisture, and odor. However, because the Oolong tea has been through the fermentation process. Therefore, Oolong tea is easier to store than green tea. Without the fridge, the green tea can store for a year. Oolong tea, however, can store two or three years. Oolong tea can be divided into lightly roasted and heavy roasted, lightly fermented and heavy fermented. Basically, lightly roasted and fermented is like green tea. Therefore, their lives are short. If you store them for long, you must use fridge. Some tea like the Gaoshan Oolong in Taiwan is lightly fermented, its life is as fragile as the green tea. The way of storage for half fermented tea is similar to non-fermented tea. However, because the life of the oolong tea is slightly longer, it is less strict with the storage. Based on the condition of the oolong tea, whether its lightly or heavy roasted or fermented, you can choose the ways for storage. Some oolong tea, such as Yancha from Wuyi mountain, people may intentionally store them for longer. Once the aroma disappears after two or three years, it can be used for medical purpose. Locals usually peal the skin of the grapefruit and put the Yancha back to the skin. Then, seal the skin back to its original shape with needle. Drying the grapefruit at the well-ventilated place, which said to have medical effect. This tea is called grapefruit tea. This is also another way to store the tea.

  1. Full fermented tea

The full fermented tea has black tea and dark tea. These teas have been through the complete fermentation process. They have lost all the characteristics of the green tea and have their special aroma, which is longer and purer and more valuable. The preservation method can be rough. Because they deteriorate slower and easy to store. Avoid sun light directly, high temperature, and objects with odor. Sometimes, as long as the humidity is not too high, unsealed containers work too. You don’t have to purposely protect against sun and moisture. However, it can be sealed to protect against odor. Pu-er tea can use the “pithos method of making the tea older”: take the wide mouth pithos, put the old tea and new tea in the pithos, which makes easier to make the tea older. Sitting there for half month, then use it. This is because the tea cake is often loose in the outside, but strong inside. With such method to mix up the tea, it can compensate each other. Thus, to have high quality tea.

Tea preservation methods:

  1. The easiest way – store in the fridge: put the tea in the sealed container, which is dry and has no odor, in the frozen room. If the amount of tea is not much, it can be stored in two layers of plastic bags that are moisture resistance. Putting them in the fridge.
  2. The most common way – store in the cans: put the tea into the can with double covers. It is better to fill the whole can without leaving any space. Therefore, there won’t be much air left. Make sure the both covers are sealed tight. Tapping the covers with tapes. Then put the tea can in the bag. Seal the bag to receive the optimum storage effect.
  3. The most convenient way – store in the plastic bags: put the tea inside the plastic bags, push the air out, seal the bag, then tie the bag up, frozen in the fridge.
  4. Most practical way – store in the thermos bottle: put the tea inside the dried thermos bottle, sealed with the white wax and tape.

Additionally, we need to pay attention to the water content of tea: normally for green tea, it should not exceed 5%, less than 7% for black tea. We can dry the tea by frying or roasting before storing them. The tea has also need to avoid sun and heat. Thus, it has some requirement on the environment of storage.

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