Just How Long Can You Store Those Fine Teas

How and how long to store your fine teas is often presented in a very condensed manner, but sometimes in a fairly complex manner. And all sources that I have come across say a lot of the same things, most of which I agree with and some that I tend to disagree with. A bit of sorting out is needed, I think, so here goes.

This tin canister is a pretty good option with its double lid, but you still might want to keep your tea in a pouch inside of this for extra protection against air.

This tin canister is a pretty good option with its double lid, but you still might want to keep your tea in a pouch inside of this for extra protection against air.

Storage Length by Tea Type

Conventional wisdom says:

Tea Type How Long to Store
Green 12 months
White 12 months
Oolong – light 12 months
Oolong – dark 12-18 months
Black 12-18 months

Plus you are usually advised to buy teas in small amounts so you can use them within the prescribed storage time.

In reality:

You can extend the number of months substantially by keeping the teas in a place below normal room temperature and by using proper storage methods that guard against heat, light, moisture, odors, and air. Pu-erh is different in how it is stored and tends to benefit from air around it.

The Enemies of Tea Flavor

There are five enemies of your tea’s flavor: air, humidity/moisture, odors, excessive heat, and light (especially sunlight). Green, white, and yellow teas are most susceptible. Light oolongs are not as susceptible. Darker oolongs and black teas are least susceptible. Pu-erhs need air but should not be stored around strong odors. Your storage container and location should keep all of these in mind and protect against them.

I’ve put together a quick guide to the in’s and outs of tea storage in PDF format. Hope it helps.

About Janice and Stephen Shelton

Purveyors of Premium Teas
This entry was posted in Tea Info for Newbies and Up, Teawares and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Just How Long Can You Store Those Fine Teas

  1. Pingback: Welcoming Spring with Fresh Teas! | Fine Tea Focus

  2. Pingback: 5 Tips for Simple Preparation of Fine Teas | Fine Tea Focus

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