Green tea is generally very sensitive. It contains components that are highly vulnerable to oxidation.
For this reason, caution should be taken when storing green tea. If stored properly, green tea can keep fresh for up to 24 months.
The main points to judge the freshness of the tea are;
· Taste-Fresh tea has a clean mellow taste.
· Smell-It should be fresh green
· Leaf Color-It should be light green.
· Liquor color-It should be golden yellow.
If the above factors have changed then we can say that the tea has gone stale.
To get maximum health benefits from green tea, one ought to be familiar with below tips to keep the tea fresh.
1. Store in a Refrigerator.
Store green tea in an air tight, opaque container in the cooler compartment to drink any time. If you intend to store the tea for longer then its best to store in the freezer. The tin should also be sealed carefully to prevent moisture and odors from other foods in the refrigerator.When you remove the tea from the refrigerator to replenish the daily container, ensure that it cools to room temperature before opening. The temperature difference can cause condensation which will in turn affect the quality of the tea. Wait for at least half a day before opening.
2. Store in a thermos.
For families that may not have a refrigerator, the tea can be stored in a thermos. Fill the thermos with tea and wax seal it.
Tea stored this way can stay fresh for several months or even an year.
3. Store with quicklime.
Store green tea in an opaque container at room temperature with quicklime around it.
Quicklime keeps the tea dry. Ensure you change the quicklime after several months.
4. Correct choice of tea.
The quality of the tea is dependent on how it was grown, harvested and processed.
Naturally grown tea with minimal fertilizers is better. The right harvesting and processing methods also play a big role. It is also advisable to buy early spring tea that is harvested between February and April, it tends to be of higher quality.
5.Consume within two months.
It is hard to ensure that containers are truly airtight, therefore it is advisable to consume the tea within two months.
6.Store in plastic bags.
Store green tea in thick opaque plastic bags and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.
Put in another plastic bag bag, seal it and then put in the container and seal it. These measures ensure chances of air and moisture getting into the tea are minimized.
Five Thieves to be avoided;
This is the number one enemy of green tea. Chlorophyll, one of the components of green tea gets oxidized easily and this causes the leaf color to change to brownish as well as the taste of the tea, Green tea that is properly made is dried up to a moisture level of 2% to 3%.
It is nearly impossible to keep it this way as moisture is all over.
Storing in airtight containers minimizes the exposure to moisture. Ensuring also that the containers are not frequently opened also helps.
2. High Temperature
High temperature will speed up some chemical processes and cause decomposition of certain components such as amino acids. Lower temperature on the other hand slows oxidation. Refrigeration is hence recommended.
Most tea compounds react with oxygen. Vitamin C for instance is highly oxidized. This causes the color of the tea to change to red or brown. This steals away the original fresh taste of the tea.
To prevent this, store in airtight containers.
Both artificial and direct sunlight have adverse effects on green tea quality.
Chlorophyll, the component responsible for the color of the tea is highly sensitive to light. When exposed to light, a chain of chemical reactions starts and the color changes to yellowish brown. This makes the tea to go bad. To prevent this, store green tea in opaque containers.
Green teas often absorb smells from the surroundings. Store it away from other smelly foods and items.
Green tea is said to never really go bad. Stale tea can be taken; just that it’s not as good and as tasty as fresh and properly stored tea. To increase and improve the shelf life of green tea, the above storage tips can be adopted.