• Ross Thomson

How to keep your tea tasting great

While your tea sits on a shelf minding its own business, some invisible assassins are quietly attacking it. If heat, light, oxygen and moisture are not kept in check, you’ll find your tea quickly starts to turn stale and you lose all the rich flavours. But not to worry, today we are going to give you some tips on how to keep your tea fresher for longer.

Hello darkness my old friend

Photodegradation occurs when the absorption of light directly causes a chemical reaction in a constituent in the tea, or when light indirectly causes a reaction in a second constituent by its effect on the first one. Photodegradation usually affects specific components in the tea, such as pigments and vitamins. The absorption of light can cause nutrients to degrade and lose flavour.

Bridge over troubled water

After harvest tea leaves are dried to remove as much moisture as possible from the leaves so that they stored better for longer and also reduce the weight, making transporting more efficient and giving tea its brittle texture. The main purpose of drying food is to lower their moisture content to a particular level that will exclude the growth of microorganisms. During drying, water vapor evaporates from the surface of the product and because of the evaporation, the energy status of the water in food system decreases and risk of spoilage reduces.

Humidity can have an effect on the water content of the dried leaves. Humidity is measure of how much water is lingering in the air, typically when the air temperature is 20 degrees celsius a cubic meter of air can hold up to 18 grams of water. If that air comes into contact with your tea leaves then the water can permeate into the leaves, increasing the water content and the risk of spoilage.

The best solution to this problem is to keep tea stored in air tight containers, this will limit the amount of moisture in the air which comes into contact with the tea leaves.

The Sun Is Burning

Light and heat often come hand in hand, but when the temperature dried leaves goes up, so does the speed of enzyme reactions inside those leaves. These reaction then speed up the degradation of the structure of the tea. Ironically when black tea is made from fresh leaves, it actually takes advantage of the enzyme reaction to oxidise the tea leaves for this specific purpose and gives black tea its colour.

However once the leaves are dried it ‘fixes’ the leaves to their current state to maintain their structure, further reactions only then lead to the breakdown of the tea.

The solution to this problem is to keep your tea in a cool cupboard away from heat sources. The restriction of light and airflow helps to mitigate temperature fluctuations.

Keeping it fresh

Ultimately keeping your tea leaves properly stored will make it last for longer and keep it tasting great. Have a dedicated container which is airtight or vacuum sealed and then keeping that in a dark cupboard or in a container which blocks the light is the best way to keep your tea at its best.

We have taken the storage of tea to the next level with our limited edition Fresh Harvest range. Immediately after tea is picked and shipped to us, we store it in a vacuum chamber to maintain its true freshness for longer. This is a unique opportunity to taste what truly fresh tea tastes like...


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