Tea storage is an important consideration for any tea drinker. Keeping your tea out of the destructive clutches of light, air, moisture, and extreme temperatures as much as possible is the key to keeping it fresh. While there is a myriad of ways to store your tea, the most common option is the tea tin. This is my preferred option and, because I have a lot of tea around, I also have a lot of tea tins. Importantly, not all of the tins are the same size. This is mostly by accident rather than by design: some tea I bought came in tins, which I subsequently kept and reused; some tins were given as gifts; some tins I bought separately. This has resulted in a rather eclectic tea tin collection, but the discrepancy in tin sizes is actually very practical.
Here are five tips for being strategic with your tin sizes:
- Use larger tins for your “staple teas” (the ones you tend to go through at an alarming rate). This way, you can stock up on these teas in bulk and not have to replenish them as often. You will probably save money this way too, as larger packages of tea usually have a cheaper price per weight unit.
- Do not use large tins for small amounts of tea. Having only a small amount of tea in a large tin means that the rest of the tin is filled with air—definitely not conducive to keeping your tea as fresh as possible. Obviously this cannot be avoided when you are running low on a tea and the tin is near empty, but avoid storing teas you do not use often in large tins.
- Acquire some small tins to store “sample teas” (teas you buy a little package of just to try) or teas you brew up only on occasion and therefore go though very slowly. If you like one of your sample teas enough to buy more of it, upgrade it to a larger tin.
- Small tins are also incredibly useful for travelling with tea. I usually keep one or two empty small tins to transfer some of my staple teas into before heading off on an adventure.
- Medium tins are useful for the teas that fall in between staples and samples. They are a more cupboard-friendly size than large tins, but hold enough tea to mean that you won’t have to run out to pick up some more after only a few potfuls.
Of course, what constitutes a small, medium, or large tin is entirely subjective—one person’s medium tin might be another’s large. It’s all relative, so find the size system that works for you, but it does pay off to be strategic with your tea tin sizes.
See more of Elise Nuding’s articles here.
See also: Tea Tin Parade
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