One of the most common questions that all teapots ask ourselves is what expiration date does the tea have and how to keep it properly. There are many theories circulating on the Internet, but which of them is true?
The taste of the tea we drink is not only related to the quality of what we buy, but, of course, how we use and preserve it. So do not hesitate and continue reading. We explain everything to you!
Does the tea expire?
Tea is a product with a long shelf life. It should be remembered that drying is a natural conservation process.
More than the expiration date, in the case of tea we should talk about the best before date. Let us remember that the expiration date refers to products that may have a microbiological risk if consumed after a certain time, which should not be the case with tea.
If the conservation is adequate, this does not happen, since bacteria and germs do not develop and it does not rot. The only thing that happens with tea, and that leads to the need to set a best before date, is that it changes.
With the passage of time and depending on the care taken when storing it, the organoleptic characteristics of the tea, such as aroma or flavor, will be affected. Thus, although we will not get sick from drinking a well-preserved tea that is two years old, it is very likely that its flavor and aroma will not be the same as when it was made.
Differences in different types of teas
In general, the less oxidized teas keep worse than the more oxidized ones. In this way, teas such as white and green hold the passage of time worse than black.
Another type of tea that does not age well are flavored ones, which lose many of their nuances.
Therefore, if we want to appreciate all the character of a certain tea, especially if it is of a slightly processed variety (slightly oxidized and not fermented), it is convenient to drink it within its recommended consumption date. As time goes by, the tea transforms and takes on more different flavors, sometimes woody and earthy.
How to preserve tea properly?
As for conservation, there are no differences depending on the variety of tea chosen, except in the case of slightly oxidized and steamed teas, such as Japanese green teas.
There is a basic rule to keep in mind to preserve tea well: find a cool, dry and dark place.
Then, it is necessary to analyze the variety and the amount of tea to keep. We must bear in mind that keeping white tea is not the same as keeping black tea, nor is 20 grams than 2 kilos, much less tea bags than loose tea.
Preservation of tea bags
Is it true that sunlight, kitchen (or pantry) odors, and humidity can wreak havoc on tea bags? Yes it’s correct.
Usually, we tend to believe that because they are packaged, tea bags do not require any care. In this way, we infuse them, many times, without paying attention to time or temperature and, much less, considering how we preserve them.
The truth is that tea bags should be stored in the closed manufacturer’s container in a cool, dark place and away from other aromatic sources, such as spices.
Loose tea storage
Keeping loose tea in good condition takes extra effort. In the event that we have a closed package of tea that we want to keep, the ideal is to keep it as it is; that is, it is recommended to avoid changing the container. Let us think that the package prepared by the seller has the necessary characteristics to keep the tea leaves in good condition.
Only in the event that the tea leaves are not well packed, we can choose to place them in a different container. Thus, it is recommended to use it in an airtight and opaque ceramic, wooden or tin container. Let’s keep in mind that airtightness is essential to prevent other odors from contaminating our tea. Once the container is prepared, the tea should be stored in a dark, cool and moisture-free place.
Can we keep the tea in the fridge?
It is not recommended to store tea leaves in the fridge, except in the case of slightly oxidized teas that have been subjected to steaming processes, such as Japanese green tea.
If we had a kilo of sencha, the ideal would be to store it in different smaller packages and remove one by one from the fridge when consuming.
Very important: once we remove the tea from the fridge, we should not keep it cold again but consume it shortly.
Preserving tea properly is not as difficult as we might think at first; it just takes a little care and planning. In any case, we must be prepared to accept variations in the aroma and flavor of a tea when we keep it for long periods of time. So the next time you drink a tea that you have saved for a long time, prepare to discover its new nuances.