Loose leaf tea has created one of mankind’s most refreshing beverages!
I wrote a descriptive article last year on the differences between a cup of tea made from loose tea leaves v.s. the classic tea bag. For some of my loyal tea lovers you can appreciate how loose tea yields a stronger tasting cup. On the opposite side of the coin, a tea bag saves time, minimising a rookie error by leaving your tea to brew too long!
In todays news I want to share a little insight about loose leaf tea. What I’m about to tell you is recycled knowledge that every tea sommelier knows. Nevertheless, I see this as a way of helping you to better your loose leaf tea drinking experience. You can thank me later.
Loose leaf tea has an expiration date, not just milk
Generally loose leaf tea will last somewhere up to 2 years when stored away properly. Keeping your loose leaf tea in the original packaging and stored in cool, dry place will lower the life expectancy. In this instance, it’s recommended that you use an air tight container. Ways of knowing how your tea has expired is when it looses it’s unique sense of smell and tastes a bit stale. A tea sommelier won’t be fooled and sure as hell know difference.
Newcomers to loose tea might not spot the difference between a poorer quality tea and a good one. Older people for say may not be too bothered and will usually be content with black, milk and two sugars.
Can loose leaf tea be kept in the refrigerator?
This is debatable. Keeping loose leaf tea in the refrigerator creates moisture ruining a batch within minutes. If you appropriately regulate your fridge’s temperature then this won’t be the case. Every tea type has different storage requirements so one variety might be better off in the fridge while another is best kept in an airtight container.
Loose leaf tea is a perishable product and different tea varieties deteriorate quicker then others. Green and Oolong tea’s chemical composition will breakdown when exposed to oxygen. With these types of loose leaf teas, a cooler environment is preferred (ideally at 4 -5℃) to retain it’s aromatic properties. Be warned, loose leaf tea attaches itself to the scents of other foods thereby if you don’t like your Long Jing green smelling of Salami, best store it in a reusable zipper bag.
Can loose leaf tea be double steeped?
The short answer is yes – Loose tea can be steeped 2+ more times saving you money, the environment and definitely yields a nicer flavour. I reuse my loose leaf tea as I know I will make the same again in half hour. Reusing loose tea leaves saves you from washing up your infuser for every new cup you make! Yes I can be very lazy and can’t be fussed with cleaning my infuser. It gets worse on my lazy nights in when surrounded with snack wrappers and a stack of late night movies!
Different teas have different multiple steeps. To get an idea for different steeping times I would suggest doing your own research and taking notes as you go.
If you want to know more about loose leaf tea check out my other posts.