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Storing tea in silverware?

by Bok » Feb 16th 16 10:09 am

Dear all, I am hoping for some advice:
Is there a good reason against using silver tins to store tea?
I was thinking of more robust teas, like black teas or more oxydised/roasted teas.

I am talking about antique tea tins, the kind of silver that becomes dark if unpolished, not Sterling. When I smell them, I can not detect any noticeable metallic smell.

Feb 16th 16 11:03 am
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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by .m. » Feb 16th 16 11:03 am

You can always line the inside with a sheet of paper, so that the tea doesn't touch directly the tin.

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by theredbaron » Feb 16th 16 1:27 pm

Bok wrote:Dear all, I am hoping for some advice:
Is there a good reason against using silver tins to store tea?
I was thinking of more robust teas, like black teas or more oxydised/roasted teas.

I am talking about antique tea tins, the kind of silver that becomes dark if unpolished, not Sterling. When I smell them, I can not detect any noticeable metallic smell.

Sterling silver oxidizes and turns black over time. If it wouldn't do that it would not be silver.

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by ethan » Feb 16th 16 3:18 pm

I have never seen anyone polishing the insides of silver teaware; so, I might guess that the metal & its changes over time does not effect taste significantly.

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by Bok » Feb 16th 16 4:45 pm

Of course you are right, all silver turns black eventually. What I meant is that the modern 925 sterling does not turn black as fast as some antique silver of a different composition.

I am aware that silver kettles bring out a more sharp profile when brewing tea directly or indirectly with it, which only suits some very high quality tea. So I was wondering if those properties are also true for storage.

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by kyarazen » Feb 16th 16 5:00 pm

Bok wrote:Of course you are right, all silver turns black eventually. What I meant is that the modern 925 sterling does not turn black as fast as some antique silver of a different composition.

I am aware that silver kettles bring out a more sharp profile when brewing tea directly or indirectly with it, which only suits some very high quality tea. So I was wondering if those properties are also true for storage.
it will affect the smell of the tea. volatiles and fragrant molecules of the tea will react with the metal, and since it is a closed vessel, the reaction that occurs, the products will be re-absorbed by the tea. long term, for good or for worse will.. depend on your tea and preference.

this is coming from experience as an incense maker, where some of the manufacturing and storage conditions for aging require silver vessels (specifically silver).

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by Drax » Feb 16th 16 6:15 pm

kyarazen wrote:
Bok wrote:Of course you are right, all silver turns black eventually. What I meant is that the modern 925 sterling does not turn black as fast as some antique silver of a different composition.

I am aware that silver kettles bring out a more sharp profile when brewing tea directly or indirectly with it, which only suits some very high quality tea. So I was wondering if those properties are also true for storage.
it will affect the smell of the tea. volatiles and fragrant molecules of the tea will react with the metal, and since it is a closed vessel, the reaction that occurs, the products will be re-absorbed by the tea. long term, for good or for worse will.. depend on your tea and preference.

this is coming from experience as an incense maker, where some of the manufacturing and storage conditions for aging require silver vessels (specifically silver).
Hey Kyara -- do you think the silver is reacting *with* the volatiles, or do you think it is catalyzing their reaction (presumably with oxygen) or decomposition?

Sort of getting into a tangent, but I'm curious about the process for incense. Are there any articles or books that deal with the more chemical aspects of the topic?

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by kyarazen » Feb 17th 16 1:54 am

Drax wrote: Hey Kyara -- do you think the silver is reacting *with* the volatiles, or do you think it is catalyzing their reaction (presumably with oxygen) or decomposition?

Sort of getting into a tangent, but I'm curious about the process for incense. Are there any articles or books that deal with the more chemical aspects of the topic?
hmm.. both i think :D

in terms of scent chemistry there are a lot a lot a lot of books, but the amount of proper books on incense is extremely paltry, not to even cover the topic on chemistry of incense pyrolysis.. in due time perhaps I have a plan for a really nice book on incense (in english), but thats going to take a few years . if you are interested solely in scent chemistry (which can be a bit hardcore), or some books relating to fragrances in a cultural way i can send you some reccomendations

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by Bok » Feb 17th 16 2:33 am

Thanks everyone for your input! Kyarazen, that was the answer I was looking for!

Guess I might only use them for short term storage or tranportation, if ever.

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by ethan » Feb 17th 16 2:59 am

If I return to Taiwan, I hope to see those tins. I think they might be useful; albeit, I have no understanding of metallurgy nor chemistry.

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Re: Storing tea in silverware?

by Drax » Feb 17th 16 10:43 am

kyarazen wrote:in terms of scent chemistry there are a lot a lot a lot of books, but the amount of proper books on incense is extremely paltry, not to even cover the topic on chemistry of incense pyrolysis.. in due time perhaps I have a plan for a really nice book on incense (in english), but thats going to take a few years . if you are interested solely in scent chemistry (which can be a bit hardcore), or some books relating to fragrances in a cultural way i can send you some reccomendations
Hrm, kind of a shame there's no good text on it (I imagine there are at least non-scientific ones). If you don't mind, please send those my recommendations my way, I'd like to take a look! And thanks!