Preventing the aging of tea leaves is crucial to maintaining the quality and flavor of your tea. Here are some effective methods for tea preservation.
Tea Preservation Methods
- Controlling Water Content: The moisture content of tea leaves should be kept below 5% to prevent aging. Tea leaves go through a two-stage drying process to achieve this. After the initial drying, they need to cool down before packaging. However, this cooling period should not expose the leaves to air for too long to avoid moisture absorption. Additionally, after removing the stems, rough tea leaves are roasted again to ensure the water content is less than 5%.
- Avoiding Sunlight: Sunlight can rapidly deteriorate the quality of tea. Therefore, it’s essential to protect newly made tea from sunlight during processing and packaging. Transparent plastic bags (PE) should be avoided for temporary tea packaging, as they can let in sunlight.
- Low Temperature Storage: Storing tea at a low temperature is one of the most effective methods to maintain tea quality. It helps preserve the color, aroma, taste, and freshness of tea leaves. The lower the temperature, the better the tea can be preserved, and the longer its shelf life. Ideally, tea should be stored between zero to five degrees Celsius.
- Vacuum Packing: Oxygen plays a significant role in causing tea to age, resulting in “aging taste,” “oily taste,” color deterioration, and loss of aroma and flavor. Vacuum packaging, nitrogen packaging, and the use of deoxidizers are effective ways to prevent oxidation. Deoxidizers are particularly effective in delaying tea oxidation. The packaging material should be airtight to block oxygen. Aluminum foil bags are commonly used and meet the requirements for effective packaging.
By employing these preservation methods, you can extend the shelf life of your tea and ensure that it maintains its original quality, flavor, and aroma for an extended period.