Friday, July 05, 2019

Plastic foil turns transparent

Previous storage tests have shown that plastic doesn't preserve Oolong tea as well as porcelain. Of course, for short term and for large quantities of tea, plastic foils are the most practical, since you can vacuum seal them and they are much lighter and cheaper than porcelain. But the scent of tea in a porcelain jar and in a plastic bag is very different. If you transfer your tea from its plastic bag to a porcelain jar, you can immediately smell the difference! That's why I recommend having at least 1 porcelain jar, even for short periods of storage (5 minutes!) for your next tea.

Porcelain is a much more stable material than plastic. We all heard the claim that it takes 450 years for plastic to disintegrate. But for thin plastic foils, this could happen much faster. See these pictures with this foil. It used to have a silver color coating when I received it less than 15 years ago (from a tea friend in NYC). I have kept it in a dark and cool place with the rest of my stash and now I am surprised to see that this foil has become transparent! This is quite an extreme change, but it's not unusual with plastic. And such changes are affecting the flavors of tea.  This is also a reason I use extra thick foils that are not translucent when I repackage my teas. And that's why the Dong Ding competition uses metallic canisters!


Anonymous said...

What about mylar?

TeaMasters said...

Do you have any experience with it?