How to Keep Your Tea Fresh
Tea Is Highly Sensitive
Because tea is often considered as dry food like laver and dried bonito, people tend to think it is rather resistant to change and deterioration in quality. However, tea is in fact highly sensitive and its quality changes drastically. Here are some tips to keep your tea fresh and enjoy it tastily.
Tea is influenced by “oxygen, humidity, (high) temperature, light and smell (of other objects).” As these factors affect the flavour and colour of the tea, it is important to sufficiently store your tea away from these perrils.
- When tea is exposed to oxygen, particularly the taste deteriorates and the colours and tints of the tea leaves and the liquor are largely influenced.
- The moisture of the tea increases and this facilitates oxidization. It affects all aspects including taste and colour.
- [(High) Temperature and Light]
- They influence the chlorophyll in the tea leaves and turn the green colour of tea leaves and the liquor brown.
- [Smell (of other objects)]
- Tea is a great deodorizer and absorbs smells from the environment very easily. This contributes to a weaker fragrance and even a smell due to deterioration.
- Purchase by the smallest possible amount.
- Keep in the fridge or freezer before opening. However, make sure to adjust to room temperature before opening as the temperature difference between the tea and the air allows condense to form on the cold tea leaves which is again absorbed. In addition, repeated change of temperature also affects the quality of the tea even without opening.
- After opening, use up the whole package within two weeks during summer and within one month during winter.
- Seal tight after opening. Store in a container which avoids light to come through, such as a can, and keep in a cool dark place. Do not keep in the fridge or freezer after opening because tea absorbs moisture and the smells of other foods.
Expiration Dates of Tea
The expiration dates of all products are valid only before opening. They serve as a guide to enjoy your tea most tastily and do not mean that the tea will go bad or become undrinkable immediately after the date. However, it is recommended to consume the tea before the expiration date as it's flavour and appearance may deteriorate afterward. Particularly, summer and rainy seasons highly affect the quality of the tea even before opening the package and before the expiration date, depending on the storage conditions. We suggest to use up the whole package within two weeks during summer and within one month during winter after opening.
If Tea Gets Old
Roast the tea carefully in a frying pan or similar, to create home-made hojicha. Roast at a very low temperature while slowly rotating the pan to prevent burning.The hojicha is ready when the tea takes on an overall light brown colour. Make sure to ventilate the room well as the process will generate smoke.