The first time opening a bag of tea is one of the most exciting parts of the tea-making process. The bag opens up slowly and you watch as the bubbles formed from the sealed/compressed package decompose, sending a pervading scent into the air that entices you even more to begin the tea brewing process. The freshness is something we all aim to preserve and enjoy each time we brew tea but at times struggle to capture that initial moment due to mishandling in storing our tea.
We have talked about the types of environments one should aim to keep their stored – dry, cool and away from sunlight – but we also need to bring up the type of packaging in which the tea is stored in order to help give you the best tea experience over and over again while getting the best bang for your buck.
Many people upon opening a bag of tea will use something like a rubber binder or a clip for sealing it once they are done taking out the leaves. While this is ok, it is not the best since there are many areas of the bag in which air can sneak into. In wetter climates this is particularly harmful for the tea so it is best that we take extra precaution in out sealing methods for the sake of preservation and overall taste.
We recommend using a long clip that can seal the entire top portion of the bag as opposed to a limited space. Using this clipped at the top will preserve tea much better than other methods. However, if you want to take it even further you should actually place this clip right to the point where the tea is packed in the bag in order to ensure there is even less air getting in. This will leave a portion of the packaging dangling at the top, which can be annoying to look at, but you can always cut it off.
Another great preservation technique is to store tea in a container that is sealed. This is in addition to a sealed bag. Some people substitute the sealed bag by dumping the tealeaves into the container but this is just as bad as not using a good enough seal with the foil wrapping around the tea. Bins when opened allow for more air to enter and because the insides are usually made of tin it is easy for the tea’s flavor to get absorbed inside, thus reducing taste. Therefore, we recommend keeping the tea in its original packaging and further protecting it inside a tin to ensure taste.
The more air-sealed tin or glass container you can find is the better. There are specialized ones sold online and these are the standard for tea companies in Asia to store and sell their tea. The last thing companies want is there supply to go bad and they go to every length to ensure quality remains high, hence such methods are used even if the tea is loose leaf or already packaged. We highly recommend you incorporate these into your tea setup for an overall better brewing experience.