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How to store Chinese Tea

After the purchase of a valued Chinese tea, the first thing to take into consideration is proper storage. Tea is vulnerable to four spoilers: air, light, heat and moisture. It will lose its flavor and aroma quickly if stored improperly. Even some merchants make the mistake of using unsuitable storage by keeping tea in clear glass containers for reasons of aesthetics, but light alone can steal the freshness. Also, don't count on some of the fancy, single-top covered tins which might look great but do not seal tightly enough to be effective. Tea kept in such tins will run the risk of getting stale and losing its aroma, or absorbing odors from spices, cooking - even other teas.

Storing loose tea leaves

Tea boxes

Careful storing of your teas are important to keep quality loss to a minimum. Here are a few guidelines :

1. Use vacuum-sealed bags or containers.

2. Keep away from sunlight and heat. Tea should be stored in a cool, dark place.

3. Keep away from places with strong odors.

4. Keep tea packaged in small quantities as dampness (e.g. steam) can damage it while you are measuring out.

It is also important to know that each type of tea has a different shelf life. The taste of Green tea begin to deteriorate within a year while Black and Oolong teas can be stored for several years with little loss of quality.

Cooler box is a good place to store your teas. Wrap the tea leaves in 2 layers of paper (use a thicker material for the outer layer) before storing it in the cooler box. It can keep the tea leaves fresh for months.

Storing Pu-erh tea

Pu-erh is special in that the quality and value improves with age. The older it is, the better. This is especially true with Green (Raw) Pu-erh. After going through the slow post fermentation from years of aging, this tea develops a very desirable and special kind of taste and fragrance found only in aged Pu-erh.

If you are interested in storing and aging your Pu-erh, we recommend you choose the compressed type (tea cake, brick, tou cha etc). It is not difficult to store Pu-erh tea at all. Here are a few guidelines :

1. Keep away from sunlight and heat.

2. Clean and dry environment.

3. Keep away from places with strong odors.

4. Provides good ventilation. Unlike other types of tea, Pu-erh requires ventilation in order to age.

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