Best Way to Store Tea Bags

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These tea bags are neither stale nor tasteless. Why? Proper storage, my friends.

These tea bags are neither stale nor tasteless. Why? Proper storage, my friends.

Looking for teas storage tins? You’re in the right place!

Making tea is a big part of my day. I drink tea in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and often in the evening too. I get my morning caffeine boost in black tea.

In a hurry? Here is my favorite set of 6 tin canisters for tea at Amazon.

My afternoon pick-me-up comes from another black or green tea. Then an herbal tea before bed.

Of course, the actual drinking of the tea is the most important part. But the preparation and setup is crucial too. How I store and prepare my tea is just as much a part of my routine as drinking it.

While I love my loose leaf teas, I also often use tea bags. They’re so easy, quick, and convenient to share. Coffee drinkers get a lot of information and articles about how best to store, brew, and drink their coffee.

People sometimes forget about the tea drinkers. Not anymore! I’ve put together a short guide on how to store your tea bags.  Storage can have a big impact on how your tea tastes, smells, and how long it lasts.

What to avoid

Of course, there are different ways to store different kinds of teas, but there are some general rules that apply to almost every kind of tea. Here are some things to avoid while storing your tea bags:

Direct light

Try to make sure that you’re storing your tea bags someplace that won’t have direct sunlight or even artificial light on it. Direct light reduces the shelf life and can affect the flavor of tea, so it’s important to store tea bags away from it.

Moisture

It’s important to keep tea bags away from moisture, whether that’s actual water or just humidity in the air. Obviously, you don’t want water on your tea until you’re brewing it to drink, but sometimes people forget about humidity.

Refrigerators are very humid. Most teas shouldn’t be stored in them. In fact, there are a lot of humid places in the kitchen. A cupboard directly above the stove or dishwasher can be very humid. Anything boiling on the stove top will cause steam to rise directly above it. Using the dishwasher will also make for rising water vapor. Avoid these areas and improve the shelf life and flavor of your tea.

OXO makes a great 5-piece airtight set of containers check it out here at Amazon! 

Heat

Exposure to regular heat can also compromise tea bags’ longevity and flavor. This is another reason to not store them directly above or by the stove.

Air and odors

Tea can very easily absorb whatever is around it. Strong odor from spices or smells from the trash can affect the flavor of your tea. It’s important to store tea in a way that will avoid allowing odors or lots of air to come in contact with the tea. Otherwise, it will absorb whatever is near it.

If you like your tea strong, hot, and super fresh, store it like a pro.

If you like your tea strong, hot, and super fresh, store it like a pro.

How to maximize the shelf life of your tea bags

Now you know what to avoid while storing tea bags. So how do you store your tea bags in a way that will maximize their shelf life, preserve their flavor, and avoid ruining the tea?

If you’re on well water, a good filter will make your tea taste better. Here’s my pick for the best pitcher filters for well water. 

Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tea bags:

Keep it airtight

Whatever storage you use, make sure that your tea bags are in some sort of container that is airtight. This will help prevent a lot of the problems listed above, like odors contaminating the tea and moisture getting in.

How about a cupcake with your tea?

Keep it dark and cool

Try to make sure wherever you’re storing your tea bags is dark and cool. Cupboards, drawers, and countertops that are out of the sun are all good options for this. Just remember if you’re using a clear airtight container (like a glass jar) you should also keep that out of direct light, like in a cupboard or drawer.

This wooden tea organizer keeps 96 tea bags nice and dark. 

So now that you know everything that you need to store your tea, I’ll share with you some of the best products you can find at Amazon to save your tea. As explained before these containers go from boxes to tins, to jars but here are the most popular ones that we’ll make you a tea lover in no time.

Oceanstar Bamboo Tea Box

This beautiful bamboo box (see the latest prices at Amazon) comes with 8 compartments inside for you to separate different types of tea but still have them in hand at any time, and if you fit between 8 to 10 bags in each compartment, you can have up to 80 bags of tea inside this convenient box.

The material, as the name says, is bamboo which makes it super resistant but also comes in a color that will look beautiful in any kitchen.

The lid has an acrylic window for easy viewing your tea and it closes with a magnet so nothing will spill if you move it from place to place. Just remember not to leave your box under direct sunlight or it might affect the taste and shelf life of your tea.

Oceanstar’s teabox is a people’s favorite when it comes to tea storage. It has a great price and it’s long lasting, what else do you need?

Check out the Oceanstar Box at Amazon

Nakpunar Tea Tin Canister Sets

On the other hand of containers, there are also tin cans for putting your tea. Of course, you can find the classic aluminum box in your house that you haven’t found any use to it and put your tea in it, but it will never look as clean and sophisticated as the Nakpunar Tea Tin Canister.

With this purchase, you will receive a few tin cans designed to keep your tea fresh by preventing exposure to moisture, light, air, and odor. They are simple yet elegant and can store either tea in bags or loose leaves, and that’s one of their greatest features.

  • You can get 4 or 6 boxes, or just 1.
  • Or you can get one big can (see at Amazon). I use a big can for Yerba Mate tea because it comes in a big 1 pound bag!

If you want to add your own personal touch, you can paste stickers on them or identify them by wrapping a ribbon around them. You can also stack them one on top of the other or organize them as you see fit on your kitchen.

Highly recommended option for saving your tea while maintaining a modern and elegant kitchen.

Check out the canister sets at Amazon

Unique tea bag storage ideas

There are a million fun, creative ways to store tea bags that are still safe and good for keeping your tea fresh and delicious. You can buy many tea bag storage containers online or in stores that help keep a neat, clean kitchen and also look great.

If you’re looking to buy a specific tea storage container, keep in mind all of the tips and tricks listed above. Not every item for sale will actually help keep your tea fresh, and not every storage container works in every kitchen. A glass storage container might look great in the pictures, but if the only place you have to store it is in direct sunlight, it may not be the best item for you to keep your tea at its best.

Learn How to Use a Tea Pot With a Stainless Steel Strainer

However, there are also plenty of ways to store tea that follow all of the rules for ideal storage using cheap, simple things you might already have around the house, or can easily pick up at a thrift store or discount store.

This is an awesome Golden Chai Tea from Amazon. 

Mason jars

A favorite for so many projects, mason jars are a great airtight option to store your tea bags. You can add labels and decorations if you want to spruce them up and they can easily be personalized and changed. Try some chalkboard paint on the lid or side so you can easily erase and rewrite the label when you switch out the tea inside. Just remember to store them somewhere out of direct light!

Don’t have mason jars? You can get some from Amazon. 

Closet/kitchen organizers

There are so many kinds of closet and kitchen organizers, and you’re bound to find one you can use to store your tea bags. If you have a ton of tea, an over the door organizer can be a great out of the way place to store your tea bags. Or convert a drawer into a perfect tea storage location. If you think an organizer you have is too big, think about other small kitchen items you can store in the same drawer. Try to avoid storing spices in the same drawer though, as the tea will absorb those odors.

Small boxes

It seems like every house and apartment collects a million small boxes. This is a great way to repurpose one of your favorites. Tins and wooden boxes are often ideal tea bag storage containers. These can add some great character and color to a kitchen and can be a great new solution to recycling that box you hate to throw out.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many bags of tea or ounces does it fit in the Nakpunar Tea Tin Canister?

The size of this thing is one of it’s best features since you can save up to 20 tea bags in each one, so if you have the 4 of them you have storage for 80 tea bags. But if you prefer loose herbs it’s not that precise since you can compress the leaves, but approximately you can fit 3.5 oz of tea. The cans are very spacious, and if you need even more of it you can buy 6 cans instead of 4 and have room for all your tea. Good luck!

Can I store loose leaves in the Oceanstar’s Bamboo Tea Box?

This box is perfect in many ways, but it is not an airtight container. This means that humidity, air, and smells can go into the box even though the lid. You could put your herbs in this box, no one is going to prevent you from it but you are at risk that your tea comes with a different taste or not as strong as you intended. For unwrapped tea bags or leaves it is better if you save them in a tin so they are fresher, and for your tea bags, this box is the perfect deal. Hope this helps!

Can I put different tea bags (as in different flavors and brands) in the same compartment or the same can?

Tea bags are wrapped, they have a special coating and the paper with the brand etc, with all this, the herbs are protected and their scent and taste are guarded against the light, dust, maybe bugs and other smells for some time.

Still, you should keep your tea in a good place for it because this coating isn’t bulletproof, and that’s why tea boxes and cans exist. In there you could mix all your teas, sure, but if you really want to drink tea the right way you should divide them because the aromas are very powerful and will easily taint nearby teas and you’ll end up with a mix from all your herbs.

What I’m trying to say is that if you have the possibility of keeping each flavor separately then do so, it will taste so much better.

How do I clean my tea storage compartment?

This is a very important question that not many people think about or consider. Tea boxes or tin cans are not an item that should be washed daily, maybe not even weekly or monthly, but with time, dust, little bugs and just particles that are in the air find their way into this places.

Since what you keep in this boxes is something that you eventually are going to drink, you should be very careful and clean with it. But do not stress, cleaning them is easier than you think, maybe even common sense.

If you box is made of wood or bamboo you can’t put it under the sink and wash it, just grab a damped cloth and clean your box inside and out, being very meticulous on the inside divisions and corners of your box or can. Do not clean it with any disinfectant or soap that might have a strong odor because when you add your tea into the box again it will be impregnated with that smell.

Can these boxes and cans be used to keep other things rather than tea?

Yes, of course, they are just boxes. A lot of people use them to put makeup, watches, rocks or other stuff they need. Just remember that they are intended for tea bags so there is no special lining inside that will protect vitamins for example. You are free to do whatever you want and need with the product you bought!

Conclusion

How you store your tea can have a big impact on the taste, shelf life, and quality of the tea you’re drinking. Following a few simple rules can improve your tea drinking experience, and even add some fun style and creativity to your kitchen.

Did I make you want to store more stuff?
Here’s a post about cereal storage and one about storage for the pantry.

Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Marco V. and Quinn D.