I know I’ve been harping a bit on spring, but it’s all that I can think about really. It’s getting to be that time of year when you start airing things out. In other words: spring cleaning. When you’re getting around to it, don’t forget your tea cabinet. Because if it’s anything like mine, it might be a little bit out of control at times.
People ask me all the time how long tea lasts. The simple answer is a year to two years. On the other hand, the real truth is that it varies widely. After all, some pu-erhs are prized for the age. Other teas don’t even last that long after you buy them. After all, you have no idea how long that tea has been waiting to be sold, and the packaging might not be quite up to par.
To purge your tea cabinet, sniff your teas. If they don’t smell like anything, they aren’t going to have any flavor. If you’re not quite sure, brew up a cup and see how it tastes. Throw away anything stale, as hard as that is. If there are teas that you haven’t pulled from the back of the cabinet in awhile, either try to drink them or give them away to someone who will. Tea swaps are great for this purpose.
To keep your tea fresh for as long as possible, you need to keep it away from its two enemies: light and air. A simple airtight container will suffice for this purpose. I do occasionally use a glass mason jar, but I keep my tea in a dark cabinet. Make sure all of your tins and jars are labeled, because as much as you think you might remember, you probably won’t.
Keep all of your teas in one place, so you don’t forget anything. I try from time to time to keep a list of everything I have, but too many things come and go for me to do a good job keeping up with it. But I have to say, it would make things a lot easier when guests come over if I could be a bit more organized.
Of course, once you have done all of this purging and organizing, you’ll find that you have more room for tea.
After you get yourself organized, sit down with a good cup of tea and take a gander at Stephanie’s blog, The Tea Scoop.
[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.