Tea Fridge Temps


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Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Ill-literate » Apr 6th, '12, 15:13

Hey guys, I noticed that some of you have fridges designated strictly for unopened bags of tea. My question is, is there an ideal temperature to store unopened tea at? More specifically, Japanese green teas, as that is all I drink at the moment.
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Chip » Apr 8th, '12, 09:37

I use a dedicated dorm room cube TeaFridge.

I read somewhere where temps were kept just slightly above freezing ... so that is what I shoot for, around 34* F or 1-2 " C.

I don't want my teas freezing and definitely not freezing/thawing/freezing repeatedly.

I read in China, it is common to freeze teas. I had not heard of this for Japan. I am not brave enough to freeze!

It seems methods are "all over the map" for cold storing.
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Xell » Apr 8th, '12, 11:25

From what i heard, difference between keeping at room temperature and cooled down is not really that big. If it's sealed and nitrogen flushed or at least with oxygen absorbents inside. But keeping tea cool can surely help, about 10C is already enough. And i agree with Chip, for sure i would not completely freeze my tea.
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Stentor » Apr 8th, '12, 12:56

Maiko have a page on tea storage. They use a "storage room with 5 ℃ temperature". I figure they'll know what they're doing so that should be about right :)

http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/preservation.htm
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Xell » Apr 8th, '12, 13:12

Stentor wrote:Maiko have a page on tea storage. They use a "storage room with 5 ℃ temperature". I figure they'll know what they're doing so that should be about right :)

http://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/preservation.htm


This is probably for not sealed teas, i.e. ready for packing by weight. When it's sealed and most oxygen is removed, it's a lot more steady. Anyway, to find out which is better you have to keep tea not opened for longer than 1-2 years :) For home use if you will open tea within half year no need to worry, but of course avoiding hot places or direct sunlight is still necessary. For many opened teas, tea fridge can be useful. No weird smells, expect tea
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Stentor » Apr 8th, '12, 13:21

Yes, Xell, I agree. I didn't mean to say that you need to absolutely replicate what they are doing, but that you pretty much can't go wrong with relatively normal fridge temperatures if that is what the professionals are doing.

I think that another plus for the fridge, apart from it being cool and dark, is that the temperature consistently stays the same.
That being said, I have not really tried to keep Japanese green tea in, say a living room, for a year. I have however kept it in the fridge for more than a year and have not experienced any deterioration of flavor or aroma whatsoever.

I have never kept open teas in the fridge for fear of moisture. It can probably be done properly if some precautions are taken.
It's probably not necessary, though. Drink that tea! :)
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Cole » Apr 9th, '12, 03:25

Hmm!

I have a handful of greens that I'm holding onto while I work through my current stash, and I've been keeping them in the freezer for a couple months now. Haven't noticed any degradation in quality when I defrost them, but they're all the original unopened, vacuum-sealed packages and wrapped in two ziplock bags that I removed the air from. I figure if I only defrost them when I'm ready to drink, they should continue to stay tasty -- you guys think I should move my bundle to the fridge?

Everything I drink day-to-day stays in the cupboard (of course). Is it better to refrigerate or freeze teas in the long term (6-12+ months)?
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Xell » Apr 9th, '12, 04:33

I believe once frozen it already doesn't matter, but better avoid freezing. Though it's my personal opinion and only heard same thing about freezing from few other people, didn't see researches on 'perfect' storage temperature. Up to a year it should be totally fine even at room temperature, but opened teas can benefit from cold storage. If i had opened teas for longer than half year, i sure would like to get a small dedicated tea fridge and keep it close :)
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Tea Fridge Temps

Postby Stentor » Apr 9th, '12, 05:30

I would make sure to defrost it in the fridge for 24 hours, then let it get to room temperature outside the fridge for another 24 hours before opening the bag. You will want to avoid moisture "attacking" the tea.
If these precautions are taken, I would imagine freezing to be a pretty good way of preserving the tea's freshness, although it's probably not necessary like Xell says.
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Re: Tea Fridge Temps

Postby AdamMY » Apr 9th, '12, 09:13

While I understand freezing can preserve items, I would still be quite worried about freezing tea, because as with just about all items there is still moisture in the cells. Even though the tea is mostly dried, I would be worried that when freezing it you could create ice crystals large enough to break open some cells. Granted I do not know for certain that it would change the flavor of the brew, but consider the reasons why vegetable farmers never like to buy frozen vegetables, and fishermen don't like to buy frozen fish, no matter if it is only a day or two after it was harvested/ caught, they all swear you loose something.

I personally have had little problems just keeping them well sealed, in a bin under my tea table out of the sun. Sure depending on how quickly I go through a tea, the last 2 sessions might have lost something, but that's part of life, and sometimes you might actually have a tea that improves slightly with air.
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