The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 5th, '10, 14:14

beachape wrote:Anybody use one of those food-saver vacuum machines? Vacuum and seal but cost like 100 bucks and I bet the bags are expensive.


I don't have a food saver 1: because I don't buy meat in bulk, and 2: it's too expensive for vacuum sealing tea exclusively (for me).

This is what I use: http://www.pump-n-seal.com/

I've posted about it a few times over the last few years because I love it. I was wrong in my post above, it's not $20...it's around $30 for the package I bought.

It's such a simple device that there's really nothing that will break on it, except an O-ring may wear out. It's got a 10 year warranty, so if an O-ring does need replacing, it's free. I've had mine for 2 or 3 years and it's still like the day I got it. I only use this for vacuuming jars of tea (gets used every day), and it works perfectly for that. They say you can vacuum ziplock bags, but it doesn't work well due to the fact that they aren't air tight in the first place. Another cool thing about the pump-n-seal is that you can vacuum any glass jar that has a lid with a rubber seal thingy. Cheap, and a great way to avoid plastic contact with food and tea. Also, no electricity needed and it's small-n-ugly.
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby beachape » May 5th, '10, 19:17

That does look pretty cool. Few questions

-Can you reuse those little seal tabs that you put over the hole? Assuming i'm leaving it on the same lid.
-How long do they keep vacuum? And does it seem like a decent strength? (Their website says that it is 30mmHg, but I don't have a good reference).
-How much are new mason jars? Can you buy them at the grocery? Also once you pop the lid of a mason jar do you need to put a new one on?
-Also you mentioned a desiccant packet? Is that because you're afraid of moisture from the freezer/fridge? If the seal is good hopefully you wouldn't need one.

I remember doing canning when I was kid, but obviously it was all lost on me. Didn't have any fancy vacuum sealer though.

Thanks!
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby chittychat » May 6th, '10, 00:22

I do not fully understand the concern about smells. The teas I store in the ref are put in glass jars with a good lid and there is no way I could think any smell can enter. For more than 2 years I have among others a rather expensive tea from Taiwan which was given as a gift 2006/2007 San Ling Xi and it is still as aromatic as on the first day. I am carefully nursing it. I live in a hot and humid climate and I am surprised how well green teas keep w/o refrigeration. For almost a year of storage I cannot find loss of aroma or flavor. Greener oolongs not refrigerated have become dull so after about 6 months. Dan Cong keep very well for at least 2 years not to speak of Wu Yi which I think improve in storage.
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby beachape » May 6th, '10, 00:26

The concern about smells is about the fridge and freezer. Things absorb smells in the fridge and freezer very easily even when they are in ziploc bags. I keep a clean fridge and replenish baking soda boxes and if you keep something too long it will "taste like fridge."
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 6th, '10, 01:31

beachape wrote:That does look pretty cool. Few questions

-Can you reuse those little seal tabs that you put over the hole? Assuming i'm leaving it on the same lid.
-How long do they keep vacuum? And does it seem like a decent strength? (Their website says that it is 30mmHg, but I don't have a good reference).
-How much are new mason jars? Can you buy them at the grocery? Also once you pop the lid of a mason jar do you need to put a new one on?
-Also you mentioned a desiccant packet? Is that because you're afraid of moisture from the freezer/fridge? If the seal is good hopefully you wouldn't need one.

I remember doing canning when I was kid, but obviously it was all lost on me. Didn't have any fancy vacuum sealer though.

Thanks!



- you can reuse the band-aid looking seals many, many times. they're basically like a band-aid: two sticky wings, and one vvvvery smooth rubber center. as long as the smoothness of the rubber center isn't compromised, you can reuse it forever...even if you cut off the sticky wings. on many of my jars i've actually cut off one of the sticky wings so i can release the air faster when needing to open a jar. plus, it comes with 100 sealy things, so you'll never run out.

-as long as the surfaces between the rubber coat on the lid and the glass rim of the jar are clean and a good fit, the seal will last very, very long. i've stored things for over a year with loosing the vacuum. also, the vacuum is as strong as you want, pump more for a stronger seal. for the half pint mason jars i store tea in, i just use 6 or 7 pumps.

-lids can be used indefinitely, i only replace them when and if they get rusty. as for prices, check around. idk, been a long time since i bought them.

-desiccant packet, only to be anal. no moisture will be introduced to tea as long as the jar warms to room temp before you open it.

hope this helps...
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby beachape » May 6th, '10, 08:35

Thanks!
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby chittychat » May 7th, '10, 02:47

beachape wrote:The concern about smells is about the fridge and freezer. Things absorb smells in the fridge and freezer very easily even when they are in ziploc bags. I keep a clean fridge and replenish baking soda boxes and if you keep something too long it will "taste like fridge."


Silly question :?: if ziploc bags are not good for storing tea why use them at all :?
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby beachape » May 7th, '10, 08:41

They work, but just not well. So they are better than nothing, but over a time (few weeks) they let in air and moisture. So I've been using them because I don't have anything better.
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby beachape » May 8th, '10, 19:56

I picked up a case of 12 half pint ball mason jars for only $8.99 at my local grocery. They also had the larger jars in regular and widemouth. Now I can store all sorts of things.

Question: I popped open one of the jars and it smells pretty strongly of rubber from the lid seal. I imagine this will go away after I wash the jar. Should I just wash the lids with soap and water or do you soak them in boiling water?
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby chittychat » May 14th, '10, 23:05

beachape wrote:I picked up a case of 12 half pint ball mason jars for only $8.99 at my local grocery. They also had the larger jars in regular and widemouth. Now I can store all sorts of things.

Question: I popped open one of the jars and it smells pretty strongly of rubber from the lid seal. I imagine this will go away after I wash the jar. Should I just wash the lids with soap and water or do you soak them in boiling water?


I just checked what ball mason jars are. If needed I boil my lids in plain water. For storing tea I prefer widemouth openings. Easier to put tea in and to get it out w/o braking the leaves.
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby debunix » May 15th, '10, 01:12

Widemouth jars also stack better--more stable. Once you get used to using them, you'll find this is very helpful....

Image
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby brad4419 » May 15th, '10, 20:09

I always try not to open too many teas at once. Thats the first thing about tea storage(I learned the hard way) So my teas stay in the metallic airtight bags they come in as long as possible and once opened I use these

http://www.taooftea.com/detail2787-Matte_Black_Small_Wonder_Tin.html
or
http://www.rishi-tea.com/store/black-finish-tea-tins.html

The small ones from tao of tea are my favorite just because they are smaller so the bulk of my teas aren't opened often and the small amount in the tins are drank up quickly
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby Smells_Familiar » May 18th, '10, 00:07

beachape wrote:I picked up a case of 12 half pint ball mason jars for only $8.99 at my local grocery. They also had the larger jars in regular and widemouth. Now I can store all sorts of things.

Question: I popped open one of the jars and it smells pretty strongly of rubber from the lid seal. I imagine this will go away after I wash the jar. Should I just wash the lids with soap and water or do you soak them in boiling water?


ya, boiling will help, i haven't though. the smell will go away after a while. it doesn't affect brewed tea smell or taste at all though.
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby brad4419 » May 29th, '10, 14:28

Ok, I want to retract what I said above about likeing the rishi black tea tins because they are not air tight. I wanted to reuse some of them for storing oolongs and after filling them with water they actually leak(drip) water out of the bottom where the seam attaches to the bottom :evil: . If water leaks out Im sure air gets out as well.

Im probably going to have to just use these tins for now and hope they don't take too much away from the tea because thats all I have.
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Re: The Ultimate Tea Storage Thread: What, Where, When & Why

Postby brad4419 » May 29th, '10, 14:36

ok, now Im having a bad day. I put water in the 10 small tins from tao of tea and all of them but 2 leaked water in the same way as rishi's :evil: and on top of that I tried to open one of the ToT containers using the little pull knob on top and it poped out leaving a large hole in the top so that tin is now garbage. Apparently there just for looks :evil:

Tea storage has to be the hardest part of drinking tea...so so stressful.

Is there somewhere online to get seamless tins?
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