Tea Box ‘Gloria’
- Capacity 100g
- Tin plate, angular shape
- plain, faint golden
- push lid
- dimensions: 88 x 73 x 73 mm
Why tea boxes?
Actually, what would you need any dedicated tea boxes for, when mostly tea comes in nice bag or box from the shop already? Can’t you just leave your tea in that bag or box and store it in your tea cabinet just like that? The answer is simple: of course, you can! Tea traders and tea shops will usually even use food-friendly materials for their tea packages, and at times these even come as resealable.
Though consequently tea boxes might generally not be essential to store loose teas, they still offer a number of aesthetical, practical and quality advantages that might be long out of question for some tea lovers, while not having revealed themselves to others. In the case of teas that are particularly sensible for the effects of air (oxygen) and humidity, such as especially green tea, white tea and Matcha tea, the storage especially of high quality teas – often enough coming at equally high prices – can even be crucial for the maintenance of their quality in a medium or long term perspective. However, in order to be able to serve such purpose and be the superior solution compared with simply using the bag from the store, a tea box will also have to meet certain minimum requirements then.
White teas, green teas and Oolong teas with a low level of oxidation will gradually lose their specific taste characteristics when exposed to air – especially humid air! – over longer periods, with much of their original glory having proverbially vanished in the air after as little time as a year, up to the point where their individual properties, the actual reason why you decided to invest into a better quality and higher priced tea in the first place, will start to fade, become increasingly blurred and eventually drown in complete oblivion.
The aesthetical aspect
The aesthetical benefits of tea boxes are quite obvious: they enable you to adapt the visual appearance of your tea collection in the cabinet or on a shelf to your own individual style and gusto, as well as to their given environment. Whether modern or classical, casual or elegant, neutral or with cultural reference, a list of dichotomies that is by far not exhausted with the mentioned examples, each of them defining exactly 2 points of a straight line in a 3-dimensional universe. To keep going with that mathematical metaphor, the ‘right’ tea box for your needs is located somewhere in the center of the space delimited by the intersections of all such straight lines as corner marks.
The practical aspect
Bags, also cardboard boxes, and in particular cardboard boxes with bags in them, are relatively inconvenient to handle. When portioning tea from the bag, precious leaf material often falls aside and gests lost. The right tea box allows for the withdrawal of tea with about any means or instrument, from reaching in with your bare hand and fingers up to the dedicated Chinese wooden tea spoon or Japanese Chashaku. Viewing panes such as with our tea boxes ’Isa‘‚ ’Hasine‘, ’Boss‘ and ’Cult‘ will provide information regarding your tea supplies‘ distance to restocking point at one glance and also enable a quality sight check of a container’s contents.
The quality aspect
With tea lovers valuing the availability of a highly diverse choice of teas at home, teas resting in the domestic kitchen or dedicated tea cabinet for one, two or more years are by no means the exception, but much rather the rule. This applies especially for teas that might not rank among the top positions of your list of favorite teas, but will still be your first choice in certain moods, at certain occasions, or under certain circumstances. This way, a 200g package of a tasty Tie Guan Yin Chunxiang Oolong Tea – after all having relieved your wallet by about 50 bucks – might as well be around for several years. But wouldn’t it be a great disappointment, if one day, right on that day when you fetched it off the shelve once again, because you felt so much like having just that tea, you had to discover that this good TGY has lost so much of its edge that it actually has dropped to the mere level of a rather random mediocre Oolong tea? With improper storage, the same fate can easily befall any Chinese or Japanese Green Tea, as well as any Bai Mu Dan or Silver Needle (especially Silver Needle!), which are all quite sensible to exposure to air and therefore make the use of an airtight tea box a more or less essential requirement with extended storage periods. The quality aspect of tea boxes becomes clearest with Matcha tea, which is particularly sensible to oxidation due to its fine powdery form. Besides the oxygen in the air, humidity is another factor accelerating quality loss in tea within shortest time in the case of inappropriate storage.
Choosing the ‘right’ tea box
Now, how are you going to choose the right tea box for your – or for your tea, much rather. Besides your personal taste and gusto (see section ‘the aesthetical aspect’), there are three main factors to be considered:
First of all, for which tea/s the container is meant. Maybe you already know this, having your plans or at least a vague idea. In this case, you might want to consider the following points you’re your decision:
- Moisture is always bad for tea. Especially where humidity pairs with warm temperatures, the quality of a tea will suffer quickly. In the worst case, it can start gong moldy and thereby ultimately become inedible. So, if your tea in mind is to be stored in an environment, where high levels of humidity will prevail often or over longer periods, a truly airtight container, such as our items ’Isa‘‚ ’Hasine‘, ’Boss‘ and ’Cult‘, or a real Japanese ‘Chazutsu’ (jap.: 茶筒) with additional inside aroma protection lid on top of the tight closing slip lid (see for example our tea boxes ’Vintage‘ and ‘Sayo‘ ), are the only proper solution.
- A tight closing tea or Matcha container is also definitely recommendable for the storage of white tea, green tea and Matcha tea, especially if you don’t expect that tea to be used up within a few weeks or so. Black tea, Pu Erh Tea and Oolong teas with a higher degree of oxidation are much less prone to exposure to air, maybe or possibly because they have been subjected to extensive oxidation during their processing and/or are fully oxidized already (black tea). Given dry environmental conditions, simple containers, such as for example the classic tin plate container with hinged flip-top or slip lid (examples: tea boxes ‘Japan‘, ‘Klimt Kuss‘, ‘Patricia‘) absolutely suffice, so you might give unrestricted way to your aesthetic, cultural or other preferences when choosing a container for such teas, without having to worry about possible quality losses in a medium range perspective.
- Due to the fine-milled powder’s high sensibility to oxidation processes, a dedicated Matcha container should also always close airtight (see for example Japanese Tea /Matcha Container Set ‘Tamiko’).
If you don’t know yet, which tea will be stored in your tea box, it makes sense to select the container in such way that will meet the requirements of a broader spectrum of teas, just to make sure.
Second, for which storage location, environment and purpose the tea box is meant?
We have already address the effects of a location’s environmental conditions on your tea, and thereby on your choice of the right tea box. However, it is also important to know, whether a tea box will be moved a lot or not, for example if serving you as a travel tea box. In this case, tight fitting of your tea box’s lid or cap is simply a must, as you probably don’t want to have to pick and collect individual lose tea leaves well dispersed in your luggage from between your clothes and toiletries every time you want to make tea.
And third, for how long do you expect your tea to sit in that container?
If it is just a small amount that you usually will use up in a few weeks or months, you may disregard any freshness and aroma protection requirements and give priority to other aspects, such as aesthetic or practical ones. If the storage period could be significantly longer than that, such as beyond one year, you should consider a tea box that fits the requirements of your tea and your location’s environment accordingly.
Our tea box collection at Siam Tea Shop
As the above deliberations show, even the decision on such apparently simple thing as a tea box must not necessarily be as easy as one might have thought. Therefore, when compiling and sourcing our collection of tea box collection, we have tried to consider all aesthetical, situational, practical, cultural and quality aspects we could think of, in order to present you with an offer that virtually fits every type and level of requirement. Of course, not ultimately! We are continuously working on the further diversification and improvement of each part of our portfolio, and so you will also see another tea box finding its way into Siam Tea Shop from time to time. So, make sure to check back with us and register with our newsletter, in order to stay updated about our offer.