TEAWARE CARE by Linda VillanoSunday, August 30th 2015 @ 10:30 PM
Like the great Greta Garbo, tea wants to be alone. A very porous leaf, tea will pick up the odors of its neighbors in the cupboard. To maintain freshness, store tea leaves in a closed container (ceramic, opaque glass or metal) in a cool, dry place away from direct light, moisture and heat. The tea caddy need not be as elaborate as those in the Metropolitan Museum’s Collection.
Credit: Pink Ceramic Tea Caddy (ca. 1891–1900),
Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection.
Nor must it be as decorative as a Japanese Washi Paper Tea Caddy.
A repurposed tin or jar will do nicely.
Never put tea leaves in the refrigerator or freezer as the condensation will alter the composition of the leaf thus encouraging its breakdown and in extreme cases mold will form. Purchase amounts of tea leaf that will be consumed within a six month period, again, ensuring freshness.
You have without doubt noticed that tea often leaves a bit of a "stain" in teapots and cups. Do not use harsh cleaning agents on these items as the residue of the soaps and detergents will adversely affect the taste of the tea.
The BEST solution is Baking Soda and warm water. Plain and Simple. It can be used to clean tea cups, tea pots, strainers, kettles, travel mugs and whatever else needs a bit of spiffing up….even teeth :) .
Credit: Kindred Made Pottery (Fayetteville, NC)
~ Linda Villano, SerendipiTea
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LINDA VILLANO co-founded SerendipiTea.com in 1995 with Tomislav Podreka. With a passion for all things Tea, she oversees all aspects of the business; including client consulting, concept and design, staff training, sourcing and product development (recipe creations). Having grown up in a family of restaurateurs and chefs, she considers her role as a purveyor of premium teas & tisanes a natural continuation of her family’s culinary tradition. Linda is a published illustrator and writer. Her illustrations appear in Tomislav Podreka’s book, SerendipiTea: a guide to the varieties, origins and rituals of tea, and she writes articles about tea for trade publications.