Storing Your Tea
There are a few things that you can do (and not do) to make sure that your tea is being stored properly so you can enjoy the freshest cup of tea possible!
OXYGEN is not good for your tea, the more oxygen that your tea leaves are exposed to then the faster your tea leaves will oxidize and break down. While oxidation is part of the processing of tea leaves, once the tea leaves have been processed you do not want them to oxidize further, you want the leaves to stay just as they are. Teas that have been lightly oxidized (or not at all) such as white and green teas are much more susceptible to oxidation than oolong or black teas are. To decrease the amount of oxygen that interacts with your tea, you will want to store your leaves in an air tight container and pack that container full of tea leaves so there is less room for oxygen to be present.
LIGHT and heat can destroy your teas fairly quickly. Keeping your tea in a clear container does look nice and a lot of coffee / tea shops use clear containers to show off their teas. However UV light degrades and breaks down your tea fairly quickly. To avoid this, make sure your tea storage container does not allow light to penetrate it.
WATER or humidity or moisture can cause your tea to become caked in mold. Most people probably will not enjoy tea that has a hint of mold on it. Please do not store your tea in the refrigerator.
ODOR is not a friend to your tea. Think of your tea as being over the top friendly and is very accepting to whoever wants to join the party. Once your tea is exposed to different odors your tea will absorb those interesting smells and your tea will taste a lot different. Keeping your tea out of the refrigerator and spice cabinet is a must. I do not think that many people will be a fan of tea that smells and tastes like last nights baked chopped suey. However the jury is still out on a tea that smells like cinnamon and cayenne, that might be fun to try!
Anything that keeps living organisms alive is an enemy of your tea. If you happen to be a mad scientist and you just so happen to have a vacuum available to store your tea, that is probably the best option. However if you are not a mad scientist then I would just spring for a tea storage container that is air tight and blocks light. You want to keep this container as full as possible and keep it in a cool, dark, and dry place that is not your refrigerator or spice cabinet.