One critical aspect of being a student of the leaf is that your learning curve is continuous — placing the student in a continuous circle of new knowledge. Of course a circle is continuous, right! For example, I recently attended a tea 101 session at the local Clark County Library for what I thought would be a review. But to my surprise the session began a new tea search for clarification of some information the Immodestea representative ( Daniel Clough) emphasized — the effect of cold storage on green tea. Up until this session I had always been under the impression that storing any tea in a dry, dark, odorless place was sufficient to maintain the integrity of the leaf. But now I understand that it could be preferable to store green, yellow, and perhaps white teas in the cold.
Since doing much research and consulting with other tea people, I now understand why and how cold storage of especially green tea is being recommended and upon thinking about the explanations — they make sense. Having the leaf exposed to dry, cold temperatures will reduce the rate of oxidation. This is especially important with green teas as the lack of oxidation is what sets it apart from black or oolong teas. Of course, it is always preferable to keep any tea in a dark, dry, order less environment— such as a tea tin.
I say this but when thinking about the quantity of tea the average person purchases at one time; I am probably correct in assuming that the tea will be consumed prior to having any significant chance of deteriorating. That is unless you are like me and go on frequent tea buying binges — where every tea discovered is a “Must Have.” To maintain the flavor and aroma of your tea it is best to transfer tea from the purchased packaging to a tea tin for storage. (While hoping that the tea has not been stored improperly by to your purchase.) Keep in mind the less you expose your tea to the surrounding environment the more likely it is to maintain the qualities for which you made the purchase. In other words, keep the tin closed whenever possible.
Keeping my tea as desirous as possible,
The Tea And Hat Lady