文 By: 黃碧雯 Jane Ng
Photo by Seanteruo
An enjoyment of Long Jing tea is equivalent to embracing spring atmosphere and the freshness of green tea. Tea leaves are dry food product. Stringent measures should be taken from the production stage so that moisture level of the product is kept below 5 per cent.
Having sold to consumers, up-to-par tea products need not be kept in refrigerator. Instead, they can be well kept by following these steps:
1. The storage space should be dry, odourless and free of pollution
Avoid keeping it in oily and smoky kitchen. Humid, smelly cupboard and drawer are not ideal storage space either.
2. Avoid direct sunlight
Keep it in cool space. Opaque containers should be our first choice, including tin, porcelain or iron jar and pot. It is not advisable to use glass and plastic containers.
3. Vacuum and compressed packaging of the tea leaves
If the tea-leaves pot is not tightly sealed, we can keep the aluminium foil bag which comes along with the product. Once it is opened, seal it up tightly so as to cut off contact with air and avoid oxidation. Another tip is that every time we seal it, we should push out the air from the package.
Keeping Long Jing tea leaves in refrigerator – is this the best way to keep fresh?
This is indeed not the correct way to keep tea leaves fresh. Think about this. Ordinary families keep various food products in refrigerator, which makes it full of different tastes. If tea leaves – which have strong absorption by nature – are kept in a refrigerator, they would become deodorant and dehumidifier. This actually spoils the tea leaves.
Let's assume a consumer keeps tea leaves in a vacuum tea-leaves pot, which is then kept in a refrigerator. When he or she wants to make tea, the tea leaves would be taken out from the refrigerator. Which means from a vacuum condition, the tea leaves are then exposed in the air – the tea leaves are humidified and going through oxidation very swiftly. This also changes the quality very quickly.
Once a compressed package is opened, try finish brewing all the tea leaves within six months. Strictly speaking, the tea leaves do not become rotten after six months. Some can be kept for long term too. But the freshness of the bean aroma fades away as time goes by.
We shall enjoy our Long Jing tea when it is at the peak of its quality, as if embracing the freshness of spring.