Stale Tea Advice

May 30, 2018

Stale Tea Advice

So, Spring has finally been greeted by Summer in a warm embrace today!

It's a lovely Sunday afternoon and I and my family are out for a walk around a lake surrounded by tall trees.  The sun is shining, my kids are having fun dashing down the trail that weaves through the surrounding forest while my partner takes note of all the flora and fauna.  Me?  My head is in the clouds as I take in all that nature has to offer, from the threads of cotton clouds above, to the refreshing breeze lazily passing through to all sorts of thoughts that just kinda traipse through my mind like the grey squirrel that is following us.  And, one interesting thought that popped up is the problem of stale tea. 

It happens.  Sometimes you have some great tea that you kinda forget about, and you return to it six or eight months later for a cup and it's not the same.  It was left in an open cardboard box that it came in or sat in a tin without a lid.  Whether your tea is loose or in bags, it can go and will go stale in time if your container is not airtight.  Exposure to air is not good for enjoying your tea at its optimal flavour.

The taste of stale tea is simply a cup that has become muted, underwhelming, lacking the vibrancy that it once had.  For example, I had once sourced some great whole leaf Assam tea.  It was pungent, a little tart and tannic, but all in a good way. The perfect cup to wake up to and start my day.  The red hue and floral aroma was a delight.  Fast forward 8 to 9 months, I make a cup one early morning and it has gone flat and was as faded as my old Levis, but not nearly as comfortable.

Worse still, I recall, once buying a 100 tea bag box on Ebay of a leading brand, and it was all stale.  No wonder it was so cheap.  Stale tea is never a bargain.  So, beware that too good to be true tea deal on Amazon or Ebay.  Or at the very least ask the vendor how old the tea is?  What harvest was it from?  If they don't respond, don't buy it.

So, let's say you have a lot of loose tea that has been aired out like tumbleweed because you forgot to put it in an airtight container.  What do you do?  Experiment with the amount of loose tea per cup.  Try adding more tea to your infuser and steep it a minute or two longer.  Might brighten up the taste a bit!  If that doesn't work, hey, read up on making homemade potpourri!

It has been my experience that black teas are more resilient than green teas.

Aroma of the tea is the first to fade.  Fresh tea is heavenly and aromatic.  Old tea is well . . . not!

Solution?  Assuming your tea vendor sells you fresh tea, you want to store it in an airtight tin, Tupperware or other food grade plastic container.  If you do that, you will extend the life of your tea to about 2 years.

Well, we are back at the car.  Time to go!


Take care,


Peace Forest Teas

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