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Can You Freeze Tea Leaves?

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By Ross Young

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Tea leaves are one of the most important components of the British diet. After all, no matter the time of day, a hearty brew is just what the doctor ordered. But what’s the best way to preserve loos tea leaves if you’ve opted for them over standard tea bags?

Can You Freeze Tea Leaves?

Yes, you can freeze tea leaves for around six months. Decide how you would like to package them and wrap them tightly to protect them from freezer burn. Then, place your tea leaves in an airtight container.

Do Tea Leaves Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Tea Leaves? No

How to Freeze Tea Leaves

Freezing tea leaves is actually super straightforward. However, you should think twice before doing it, as it’s not totally necessary. This is because tea leaves can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a year without going bad.

Still, if you want to freeze tea leaves, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Portion
    If you’ve purchased a significant batch of tea leaves, you will need to consider how best to portion them. It’s entirely up to you how you go about it, but it’s a good idea to split your tea leaves into a batch before freezing them. 
  2. Wrap
    As soon as you’ve decided how to portion your tea leaves, place each portion onto a sheet of cling film and wrap tightly. For slightly bigger servings, use a freezer-safe bag. 
  3. Place in an Airtight Container
    To protect your tea from freezer burn, place each wrapped portion in an airtight container and attach the lid. 
  4. Label and Freeze
    Write today’s date and the use-by date on the lid and place the tea leaves in the freezer. Remember, you can freeze tea leaves for around six months

3 Tips for Freezing Tea Leaves

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing tea leaves to have the best results:

Store at Room Temperature
While there’s nothing wrong with freezing tea leaves, you don’t actually need to do it. This is because tea leaves have a long shelf life when they’re kept at room temperature. So, unless you have a particular reason for doing so, you don’t need to freeze tea leaves. 

Use Immediately After Thawing
Once you thaw tea leaves, you should use them right away. This is because the thawing process actually begins steeping the tea, which will cause it to spoil if you leave it for too long. 

Only Freeze Once
Because the tea will steep as soon as you thaw it, you should only freeze it once. Needless to say, if you try and freeze leaves several times, they won’t taste great when you come to use them. 

How Long Can You Freeze Tea Leaves?

You can freeze tea leaves for around six months. However, the best way to preserve tea leaves is to place them in an airtight container where they will be fine at room temperature.

This method of preserving tea leaves means they will be good for at least one year before you need to use them, so it’s actually a better option than freezing tea leaves.

You Can Freeze Tea Leaves for up to 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Tea Leaves?

As soon as you’re ready to use your frozen tea leaves, simply remove them from the freezer and leave them sitting out at room temperature.

As mentioned above, the tea will start seeping as soon as you begin thawing it, so you will need to bear this in mind and use the tea right away. If you don’t, the tea leaves will spoil.

Can You Refreeze Tea Leaves?

No, you should only freeze tea leaves once. As mentioned, tea leaves will steep as soon as you begin thawing them, which is far from ideal. If you freeze and thaw them more than once, the leaves won’t taste great.

So, if you’re freezing a particularly big batch of tea leaves, you should do so in smaller portion sizes so you can easily use whatever you need at any given time without worrying about them going bad.

Do Tea Leaves Freeze Well?

Generally speaking, tea leaves freeze relatively well. However, there’s no need to freeze them, as they are best preserved in an airtight container at room temperature, where you can keep them for at least one year without them spoiling.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing tea leaves or tea in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Brewed Tea?

Yes, you can freeze brewed tea. However, the flavour will degrade rapidly when it is frozen so it’s not really worth doing so. This is the case for many drinks, unfortunately.

Can You Freeze Tea Bags?

Although it’s possible to freeze tea bags, there’s no point. Tea bags will last in a cool, dark cupboard for months on end so there’s no benefit to using up vital freezer space.

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