Tea has an average shelf life of around two years, but if stored correctly it can be kept fresh and delicious for much longer. Storing your tea properly ensures that the flavour of the leaves does not evaporate and the quality does not degrade.

There are five main enemies to look out for when picking the perfect spot to store your tea: moisture, light, heat, odour and air/oxygen.

Moisture
When you make a cup of tea, the water is what allows the leaves to release their flavour. Therefore when you’re not using your tea, you should avoid any exposure to water as this can cause the flavour to disappear.

Direct sunlight
Storing your tea leaves in direct sunlight is a great way to quickly ruin them due to chemical damage caused by the light. We recommend storing your tea in an opaque bag or tin and inside a drawer or cupboard.

Heat
Many people store tea in a cupboard above their kettle, but this is a rookie mistake. When heat rises from your kettle, it ends up ruining your tea leaves. Instead we recommend keeping tea in a drawer where it can be easily accessed, away from any heat. To be extra safe you could even keep your tea outside the kitchen.

Odour
Tea leaves are porous and so over time will absorb any smells around them. Avoid keeping tea in the same cupboard as other strong smelling items such as spices, coffee or odorous foods.

Air
Exposing tea leaves to air allows the leaves to absorb any moisture or aromas that are travelling in the air. Exposure to air also continues the oxidisation process, which is when tea leaves react with oxygen and become darker. This is why it is particularly important to avoid exposure to air when storing lightly oxidised teas, such as green and white teas.

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