Keeping tea in the fridge?


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Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Kabouterke » May 20th, '13, 18:24

Hey there. Pretty much all of the teas that I have bought in my local stores lately were stored in the fridge. Honestly, I had never thought of doing that.

Is it common to do that? Are there certain teas that you wouldn't do that with (like pu-er)? Is it good to let it come back up to room temp. before brewing?

Thanks!
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Chip » May 20th, '13, 20:43

Definitely a plus for Japanese greens, Chinese greens, Taiwan greener teas. Seems to me, the greener the tea, the more it would be advantageous to cold store unopened teas.

When cold storing, it is uber critical to make certain the tea is sealed and protected from any odors, etc.
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby debunix » May 20th, '13, 21:23

Chip wrote:When cold storing, it is uber critical to make certain the tea is sealed and protected from any odors, etc.


And also very important to not open the sealed package until the contents have warmed up to room temperature--because otherwise you risk condensation on the cold tea when you open the container--not a good thing for the tea.

I've had some disappointing experiences with some of my green teas this past year, when I bought what I correctly predicted would be enough to get me through to the next year's harvest, but didn't put the unopened packages in cold storage. I don't have enough freezer space to use this way, but will be making some space in the fridge for this year's new purchases (unopened packages only).
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby tenuki » May 21st, '13, 19:18

Only time I keep tea in the fridge is when I do overnight cold brewing of my spent gong fu sessions - next morning voila sweet breakfast tea!
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Chip » May 22nd, '13, 11:10

debunix wrote:
Chip wrote:When cold storing, it is uber critical to make certain the tea is sealed and protected from any odors, etc.


And also very important to not open the sealed package until the contents have warmed up to room temperature--because otherwise you risk condensation on the cold tea when you open the container--not a good thing for the tea.

Definitely!!! Now that more humid days are upon us, perhaps the quickest way to ruin your entire package of tea is to not allow the entire package contents to warm to the ambient room temp.
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby John Delaney » Jun 3rd, '13, 23:12

I don't think it is a good idea to store tea in the fridge. The reason for this is that you will be opening and closing the door frequently and this will alter the temperature in the fridge for the tea. That is not a good thing. The exception to this would be if you have a fridge that you are using just for tea. In China, some will store tea in this manner with fridges that have a glass see through front. But they are not opening those fridges often like most people would with their refrigerator.
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Chip » Jun 3rd, '13, 23:40

Ah yes, a TeaFridge! :mrgreen:
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Teaism » Jun 4th, '13, 01:08

For me, keeping tea in the fridge is a never ever ever thing to do. The condensation will create water vapor and damage the tea.
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Chip » Jun 4th, '13, 08:03

Teaism wrote:For me, keeping tea in the fridge is a never ever ever thing to do. The condensation will create water vapor and damage the tea.

For greener, unopened, properly sealed/packaged teas, I will have to disagree with you.

Properly sealed teas will not have internal condensation issues. Where condensation comes into play is when removing the tea from cold storage. It must be allowed to reach room temperature prior to opening.

With a few exceptions, almost all Japanese tea has been cold stored before end consumers receive it. It is considered normal practice for maintaining maximum freshness.
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Teaism » Jun 4th, '13, 09:14

Hi Chip

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Yes agreeable with you that for unopened cans there is no risk. It is good to let the can from the fridge catch up to room temperature before opening the can and then store the remaining tea in cool place and away from light. The risk of condensation is most likely when taking an open can of tea in and out of the fridge.
Personally for me I prefer to store them in total airtight containers in a cool place away from light whether they are open or not.

Cheers!
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Chip » Jun 4th, '13, 11:57

This would be a good topic to add a poll in order to find the consensus among TeaChatters. :idea:

I may do so ...
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby sherubtse » Jun 4th, '13, 16:06

Chip wrote:For greener, unopened, properly sealed/packaged teas, I will have to disagree with you.


I have just received a slew of green oolongs, packaged in vacuum sealed bags. Would it be OK to store those in the fridge, Chip? :?: I ask because I am not sure what you mean by "greener" teas.

Thanks.

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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Jun 4th, '13, 16:40

I'm curious about this thread. In Taiwan I have seen some merchants stock their teas in a tea fridge. But in general, this is not the practice. Here at home I don't drink many very green teas unless, as Sherubtse posted, you include some greener Li Shan or other other Taiwan wulong teas. For whatever reason, at this phase, I just haven't felt drawn back towards Japanese greens.

So, is the consensus that Japanese greens, or all more green teas in general, are needing this cold storage method?

I don't have a problem with my teas at home flattening out. I make sure upon opening that the tea bag is pressed free of air, resealed tightly in its bag, and placed in a sealed tea tin in the tea closet in our tea room. I find that my teas keep well and if they have lessened in potency at all, a heated "bake", post teapot warmup, in the warm interior of the pot, prior to pouring the first round or warming rinse, snaps them back fairly quick (2 min. dry bake).

Also, I buy my teas in small quantity packaging. Even when I purchase a larger quantity I do so by having the large quantity divided amongst small, individually sealed bags.

Is this problem of tea decay, for some, due to having a great number of teas open at one time, so that a tea is sitting open, unused for a while? The longest I have a tea around, opened, is about 6 months; more commonly though they are open from 6 to 10 weeks before I move through the tea.

I'm curious...thanks. :D
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby Chip » Jun 4th, '13, 17:59

sherubtse wrote:
Chip wrote:For greener, unopened, properly sealed/packaged teas, I will have to disagree with you.


I have just received a slew of green oolongs, packaged in vacuum sealed bags. Would it be OK to store those in the fridge, Chip? :?: I ask because I am not sure what you mean by "greener" teas.

Thanks.

Best wishes,
shewrubtse

This is what I was referring to as greener. In this case, maybe I would, maybe I would not.

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:So, is the consensus that Japanese greens, or all more green teas in general, are needing this cold storage method?

I am sure most would say yes for Japanese greens, but likely the popularity for this practice drops off considerably for other teas. However, who does side by side testing on this stuff? :?: I never have, but I swear by it for Japanese greens ... is this based on experience ... maybe even on a subconscious level? I do not really know, I just know I do it and am very satisfied with the results for Japanese greens ... and most of us want our Japanese greens as fresh as possible, right?

Is this problem of tea decay, for some, due to having a great number of teas open at one time, so that a tea is sitting open, unused for a while? The longest I have a tea around, opened, is about 6 months; more commonly though they are open from 6 to 10 weeks before I move through the tea.

Certainly having too many greener teas open at once is potentially problematic. I experienced this years ago ...I was so stressed out as I noticed scores of opened (mostly Chinese green) fading ... I vowed to never repeat the mistake. Yet I do come close ...
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Re: Keeping tea in the fridge?

Postby AdamMY » Jun 4th, '13, 18:37

Maybe it is because I am fairly good about cycling through my Japanese green stock. In fact only in the past year did I have some teas that stuck around for far longer than expected, but that is due to the facts that I was a) finally worn out after gorging on Japanese sencha almost non stop for what seemed like 18 months, and b) suddenly acquired some smaller kyusu, so I could now have sencha without feeling like I needed to brew at least 10 ounces at a time. ( It is amazing how much longer a 100g bag lasts when you keep roughly the same ratio, yet go from an average steep size of 12oz to 6oz).

But for the most part Japanese greens rarely survive longer than 3 months at a time in my place, and in that time frame I have not perceived any deterioration in unopened packages. Though if you have the fridge space and the discipline it certainly couldn't hurt.
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