Storing Oolong Tea
Tea can easily absorb moisture and odors, so in order to preserve the quality of the tea it must be stored properly.
There are seven things which can affect the taste and quality of tea:
- moisture content of the tea
- atmospheric humidity
- bad odors
Therefore tea should ideally be stored in a non-transparent, air-tight container and kept in a relatively low-humidity environment.
Newly processed tea has a moisture content between 5% and 7%. It will absorb extra moisture when it is stored in humid air. During rainy weather, the moisture content of tea can rise by 1% every hour, and during spells of high humidity the moisture level of tea can rise to 15% after 5 days.
Increased moisture content provides a suitable environment for microorganisms which can severely affect the quality of the tea by giving it a stale taste and odor.
Tea can easily absorb odors so it must be stored away from spices or other strong-smelling food. It should not be kept in new lacquer-ware or any other container that has a smell. The tea will absorb these odors very quickly - perhaps a few hours in such a container will make it undrinkable.
The vacuum-packed foil bags that we use at Tea From Taiwan are ideal for storing tea for extended periods. They protect the tea from odors and the tea remains fresh for several months.
Once the vacuum bag is opened the tea should be transferred to another container with a tight fitting lid. Clear plastic containers are OK as long as they are stored in a cupboard or otherwise kept out of the light.