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Jun 27th, '13, 06:49
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Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by asterix2k10 » Jun 27th, '13, 06:49

What is the best, most affordable way to store tea? I bought a few of these:

http://www.birdpick.com/accessories/sto ... ainer.html

They have a double lid, and are stainless steel. When they arrived they had a bad odor and lots of what looked like metal dust on the inside. It took some serious cleaning to get all (or most) of it out.

Also, they have seams, and I just wiped the inside again and noticed a speck of metal along with a small line of metal dust from the seam on the paper towel I was wiping with!

They are just like these:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-Steel ... 3f2657e711

I blew into them covering my mouth around the opening. A lot of air went right through the container. These are not air tight at all!

So I took them out right away and transferred the tea to ziplocks which went into metal tins.

I didn't keep my tea in there long, maybe 2 weeks max. So the tea is still good, but I am a little concerned about the metal dust and specks of metal I found in the containers. I almost want to throw away my tea! It is $100 worth of tea though, so this is saddening. Should I be worried?

What should I use to store my various teas (about 10) that is affordable, effective, and hopefully convenient to access and attractive in the cupboard, that is airtight and impervious to light?

Should I dump my tea or stop worrying? I don't really think much of anything could have gotten on the tea itself, but I am concerned. :(

Thanks.

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Jun 27th, '13, 08:43
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by JRS22 » Jun 27th, '13, 08:43

I purchased tea canisters similar to yours at Ten Ren in NYC and mine are well made. The ones I bought are too large for the quantities of most tea I buy now. Lately I've been collecting Washi-covered tins from a local tea shop. Here are examples of similar canisters.

http://www.rishi-tea.com/category/tea-storage

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Jun 27th, '13, 10:54
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by Evan Draper » Jun 27th, '13, 10:54

That sucks. I tried to look at that website, but it's screwed up. Try and return the tins? I can't imagine a little stainless steel is going to hurt you, but you can always pour with a strainer if it makes you feel better. I noticed you mentioned buying longjing in another post, so if it's green tea in those tins, you'll have to buy fresher stuff at some point anyway....

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Jun 27th, '13, 11:32
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by Chip » Jun 27th, '13, 11:32

Yeah, the birdpick.com site won't work here either.

Hmmm ... that is really disheartening to hear as the main thing you obviously want in a canister is for it to be as airtight as possible.

But the dust issue actually concerns me most as you do not really know what it is ... exactly.

Yes, return them and demand full restitution for all shipping costs. Shoot them a link to this topic and inform them you will report the results of your return experience.

TBH, I would also tell them you expect them to pay for your losses as you are not comfortable drinking the tea.

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Jun 27th, '13, 13:32
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by Drax » Jun 27th, '13, 13:32

Hrm, the site worked okay for me (I went to the main address, then hunted my way over to accessories). Maybe it was just temporarily unavailable?

Interesting that there's one review on the canisters from December:
Mediocritea wrote:These containers are the best IMO. BUT, you really need to wash them before use, they are covered with metal dust on the inside and smell of stale metal until they are clean

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Jun 27th, '13, 13:41
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by teaisme » Jun 27th, '13, 13:41

yeah I mentioned this issue a year or so back, with these exact same tins

after a smell and rub, manufacturing residues (obviously not just fine steel dust)

I cleaned them, but never found the urge to use them. They now sit untouched and never used, a refund would be nice but not worth the effort imo.

As for your tea...What kind?

If it is not a green tea I would take it out and smell it really good, see if you can pick up something off, if not, then place in a better container for a while, then rinse generously before you brew. If its green or something you don't want to rinse, I would just throw it away :cry:

gut tells me putting tea directly in these things with no separate bag...no matter how cleaned out...just doesn't seem right (why I don't know), even though I know ppl who do use these like that.

Jun 28th, '13, 05:11
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by theredbaron » Jun 28th, '13, 05:11

I have used these containers since years without a problem. I just give them a wash with hot water before use, and line them with a good layer of acid free Chinese paper, both the bottom and the sides. I would not use them for green teas, but for Pu Erh and semi-fermented teas they work very well.
I have at any time more than two or three dozen different teas, and there is no other option for containers without completely wrecking my budget.

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Jun 28th, '13, 12:26
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by gingkoseto » Jun 28th, '13, 12:26

These are not well-sealed (although double-lidded).
Many of them, if you try to wash them, you could observe water leaking.

But they are perfect for roasted dan cong and some other roasted oolong (probably not so good for greener teas). But I think it's a good idea to wash it before using. That being said, I didn't wash most of mine :oops:
Most of mine came with tea, and the tea is in a plastic bag sitting in the jar. I usually let it stay in that way until I finish the tea. Then I put in some new tea without plastic bag in the can.

I love chao zhou people's practical style with their cheap yet sturdy tea cans. Besides these steel cans, they like to use some square card board tea cans (also very cheap) in recent years that are the most sturdy paper cans I've ever used 8)

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Jun 29th, '13, 14:15
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by amaranto » Jun 29th, '13, 14:15

That really sucks. Out of all of the containers I've purchased, I like the washi green tea canisters I bought at O-Cha the best. There is an audible seal when you remove the inner lids, though I tend to keep my most fragile teas in the bags they come in. If you like to keep your tea in canisters because it looks nice, some of the larger washi canisters have space for a 100g-or-less size bag full of tea if you are careful when folding the bag. There's a huge range of quality regarding canisters, it seems.

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Jun 29th, '13, 14:27
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by JRS22 » Jun 29th, '13, 14:27

Considering what I spend on the tea itself a few dollars, $8-$12 for a washi cannister, that is going to last for years and truly protect the tea without contaminating it, seems like a small investment.

Rishi sells a black coated tin with a double lid for $4. I can't believe they'd sell storage containers with metal dust or a pervasive odor. There are other vendors with similar well-made but inexpensive containers.

http://www.rishi-tea.com/product/black- ... ea-storage

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Jun 29th, '13, 14:34
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by edkrueger » Jun 29th, '13, 14:34

Stop worrying. Drink your tea. Clean storage containers.

Jul 2nd, '13, 02:36
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by jbu » Jul 2nd, '13, 02:36

that is why i try to keep the bag inside the container , if the tea is very sensitive i put the container in a bag in the refrigerator and put it out the night before using it so the moisture won't ruin it .

still i don't know how much time you hope do get from which method you chose, it's hard to believe that you can keep the same more or less the same quality after half year no matter what .

Jul 2nd, '13, 03:30
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by theredbaron » Jul 2nd, '13, 03:30

jbu wrote:that is why i try to keep the bag inside the container , if the tea is very sensitive i put the container in a bag in the refrigerator and put it out the night before using it so the moisture won't ruin it .

still i don't know how much time you hope do get from which method you chose, it's hard to believe that you can keep the same more or less the same quality after half year no matter what .

It all depends on which tea you want to store. These containers are not made for green teas.
Fridge storage is generally only for green teas, but you have to make sure that they are very well sealed, so that, unless you use a fridge only for tea, odors from other food items will not spoil your tea.

Any other tea i would strongly advise NOT to store in the fridge, ever. Lightly fermented and lightly roasted tea should be drunk relatively quickly (as should be green tea), and tea with stronger fermentation and roasting will only benefit from aging. Such teas, for example Wu Yi teas and higher roasted TGY, don't need to, and should not be stored completely airtight either. For these teas these stainless containers work very well.
I have Wu Yi teas which i have stored several years in exactly those stainless containers, and they have aged extremely well. I have several Wu Yi teas, which i have aged from anything between 3 and 7 or 8 years in these containers, and they are wonderful (i especially love aged Shui Shien - compared to higher grade Wu Yi teas top quality Shui Shien is (relatively) inexpensive, and a few years aging for a hand-harvested and hand-processed Shui Shien does wonders. The latest such surprise i had with the now sold out Shui Shien from Houde from the 2010 harvest, which at the time was not bad at all for the cheap price, and i stocked up a bit on it, and now after having it kept for those years in such a stainless container, has developed into taste profiles reaching close to some of my best Shui Shiens.

But again - if you want to store green teas - those containers are not ideal for that. But for any other tea they work very well. Just wash them before use, and line them with acid free paper.

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Jul 3rd, '13, 13:46
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Re: Cheap, faulty storage containers ruined my tea?

by amaranto » Jul 3rd, '13, 13:46

It all depends on which tea you want to store.
+1

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