High-quality matcha isn't cheap, so it's essential to properly store your matcha tea powder to maximize its freshness, flavor, nutrients, and shelf life.
Here are the 5 essentials for how to store matcha:
- Don't open your new matcha until you are ready to use it
- Consume your matcha as soon as possible after opening
- Reseal your matcha promptly after each use
- Keep your matcha sealed airtight
- Keep your matcha cool and dry
Let's take a look at closer look each of these essential steps for maintaining your matcha.
Don't open it until you are ready to use it
Freshly ground and packaged matcha typically has a Best By date of one year. Well-sealed, unopened matcha should retain its freshness, flavor, and nutrients for at least that long provided you keep it cool, dry, and sealed airtight.
If you won't be using it right away, don't open a new tin or bag of matcha until you are ready to begin consuming it, as matcha will gradually lose its freshness once opened.
Consume it as soon after opening
The newer the matcha, the fresher and more flavorful it will be, so as a general rule you should try to consume it as soon after purchasing as possible.
Think of matcha green tea power like freshly ground coffee. Whole-bean coffee has a longer shelf life than finely ground beans, which should be consumed as soon after grinding as possible.
Since matcha is packaged in the tin already finely ground, like ground coffee it is extremely sensitive to to air, heat, humidity and moisture. Once opened, it quickly begins to lose its freshness.
Therefore, an opened tin of matcha is not something you should save for special occasions. Buy only as much as you can reasonably consume, and enjoy it liberally while it is still fresh and flavorful.
Reseal it promptly after each use
The secret of matcha is that unlike regular steeped tea, matcha is ground to a power so fine it allows us to consume the entire tea leaf, which is how we can enjoy the full totality of rich umami, antioxidants, and green nutrients that matcha is known for.
To retain your matcha nutrients and flavor, follow these two simple steps each time you prepare a serving:
- Keep your matcha tin or bag closed until right before scooping
- Scoop what you need and then, before you go one step further, seal your matcha back up immediately
This may seem a bit obsessive, but look at it this way. If you prepare a 1g serving of matcha from a 30g tin every day for 30 days and leave your container open for about the five minutes or so it takes to prepare a serving, that's over two hours of exposure, which will definitely diminish your matcha freshness and flavor over that span of time.
By opening, scooping, and resealing quickly, you can significantly reduce the time your matcha is exposed to the freshness-killing elements and greatly extend its shelf life.
Keep it sealed airtight and cool
Whether your matcha comes in a tin with a tightly fitted lid and a foil bag or in a bag with a zip-lock, there are a couple more crucial storage steps you need to follow to preserve the shelf life of your matcha.
Between uses, refrigerate your matcha, especially during hot and humid months. But bear in mind that when refrigerating, matcha can be sensitive to surrounding food odors.
To counter these odorous threats to your matcha, do the following:
- Seal your matcha tin or bag in a zip-lock bag
- Place the zip-locked inside either a Tupperware container or an opaque airtight container, such as an airtight coffee tin
Once fully sealed and protected, you can safely store your matcha in the fridge between uses.
Is Matcha Better in a Tin or a Bag?
Matcha is typically sold in either tins or zip-locked bags. While each has their pros and cons, purely from the standpoint of storing and preserving freshness and flavor, we definitely believe that matcha in tins is the way to go.
Matcha tins come in a wide range of types, but compared to bags, which only have a flimsy liner and zip-lock standing between your matcha and the elements, most matcha tins offer sturdy exteriors, tightly sealed lids, and house a foil bag (there are also some that come sealed with an internal pull-top tin lid).
Keep in the bag or pour in the tin?
Matcha sold in tins is often further packaged inside a plastic or foil bag. Is it better to keep the matcha in the foil bag or dump the contents of the bag into the tin?
We recommend keeping the matcha in the bag. Why not dump the matcha straight into the tin?
- Good matcha powder is so fine that it may waft in the air and you may lose some of it in the transfer process
- There is a danger of spilling it
- The bag offers yet one more layer of protection for your matcha
So keep the matcha in the bag, scooping out for each serving, seal the bag closed with a rubber band, small clip, or a twisty tie, and then enclose the bag inside the tin.
How to store matcha tea long term
What if you won't be using your matcha for several weeks or longer? In this case, put your UNOPENED tin or bag in a zip-lock bag and/or Tupperware container as described above, and then freeze it.
Only freeze unopened matcha. Once you're ready to open it, let it first warm back up to room temperature. After opening, DO NOT put it back in the freezer, but follow the refrigerated storage steps for opened matcha described above.
Does matcha go bad?
Many people want to know if matcha can spoil or become rancid if not stored properly.
Matcha doesn't go bad in the sense that it spoils and becomes unconsumable to the extent that it would make you sick. But without following the matcha storage steps outlined here, over time your matcha will lose its freshness and flavor, go stale, and lose its magical matcha nutrients.
It may seem like an exhaustive effort to properly store your matcha green tea powder, but the little bit of extra effort will be worth it. In reality, these additional steps only take a few extra seconds, but will greatly extend the shelf life, flavor, and nutritional benefits of your matcha green tea.
Are you ready to give matcha a try? Shop our selection of Matcha Moon premium organic matcha teas.
Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter and receive your Free Matcha Starter Guide plus 15% Off Your First Purchase!