Loose Leaf Tea Storage

Does Tea Go Bad?

Before we get into the ins and outs of tea storage best practices, let's address the elephant in the room: does tea go bad?

The short answer is, no. Tea doesn't go bad. Tea is a lot like the spices in your kitchen cabinet. If stored properly, it's unlikely that tea would spoil, but it might lose flavor and aroma over time (unless, of course, it's a Pu Erh! Learn more about this special category of aged teas here). That said, if you have a tea with something perishable in it or the tea is stored improperly, it is possible that it could spoil. That's why it's important to keep your tea stored well!

Jars vs. Bags

What's the Best Way to Store Tea?

Outside of keeping your tea vacuum sealed, the best way to store loose leaf tea is in an airtight, opaque container.

Tea is both photosensitive (subject to aroma and flavor degradation with prolonged exposure to light) and prone to losing nuances of flavor with prolonged exposure to oxygen. This is very similar to other types of shelf-stable goods you have around your home that aren't necessarily bad if they've been sitting in your cupboard for a few years, but might not still be displaying peak flavor when you use them.

Just like other shelf stable goods like spices, tea should be kept in a cool, dry place. Heat and humidity can also cause flavor and aroma loss, and enough prolonged exposure to humidity could cause issues with mold, as it could in other areas of your home.

If you drink your tea quickly, by all means keep it in our white bags. Flavor will hold in these bags for six months to a year after you purchase your tea. If you tend to - as one of our TEAm members recently put it - collect a dragon's hoard of tea, we recommend moving your treasure into airtight containers.

Ideally, your tea should be stored in an opaque container with a secondary lid for maximum freshness. Many of our staff, however, use good old fashioned mason jars for their personal hoards. Just make sure you keep these glass jars in a cupboard and away from the light!

Attractive & Functional Tea Storage

What's Our Favorite Way to Store Tea?

Anyone who has been to our Saratoga Springs, NY store has seen our Tea Bar with its rows and rows of traditional tin tea canisters. These canisters with their airtight inner lids are an ideal way to store tea, and they look beautiful to boot!

In a similar vein to our Chinese tea tins, we highly recommend Washi tea tins from Japan. These beautiful, paper-wrapped tins are not only decorative, they all also have airtight inner lids to seal in freshness.

Moving away from more traditional tea storage, don't be afraid to look at containers that claim they're for coffee. There are some very cool airtight and even vacuum-sealing containers on the market that are great for tea, as well as coffee, spices, and other dry goods. Just remember - choose an opaque container or keep them in a dark cupboard!

Do We Carry Tea Storage?

Shop Tea Storage

We product test everything that comes through our shop, from each tea and honey to the ways we store it. We've chosen to carry the traditional Chinese tea tins and Japanese washi tins because we love their marriage of beauty and function.