In our 40+ years of business, we've been asked just about every question there is about herbs, spices, teas and even cooking.  Below are some of the most common.  If you have a question that isn't answered, feel free to email us at theherbshop@comcast.net.  Maybe we'll even add it here!


In what kind of container should I store my herbs and spices?

A:  Any glass jar with an airtight seal will do.  Get creative...we've seen repurposed baby food jars, mustard jars, jelly jars and mini Mason jars.  If you want a matching set, Ikea sells great jars in all different shapes and sizes.  Or try a craft store.  They often have airtight glass jars for pretty low prices.


Where should I store my herbs and spices?

A:  Away from the stove, at room temperature or cooler (but not in the fridge or freezer), and away from direct sunlight.  If you have the space, store them in a pantry, a cabinet or even a drawer (a reason to clean out that old junk drawer!).  If you're using a rack on the wall, just keep it away from the stove and the windows.  

One of the biggest problems we see is people storing their spices above the stove.  The steam from cooking gets into jars that aren't sealed properly and ruins your herbs and spices.  Sometimes it even makes them cake or clump together so you have to scrape them out of the jar.  Bonus tip: when you add an herb or spice to a dish, don't just shake it from the jar into the pot or pan.  Pour a bit into your hand and then add it to your dish.  Again, the steam from cooking will get into your jar if you hold it open over the stove.


How long until my spices go bad?

A:  This is a tricky question and one that seems to come with so many different answers.  First, herbs and spices don't 'go bad,' they simply lose flavor and/or intensity.  Second, a lot depends on the type of herb or spice, the quality, and where you bought it in the first place.  We have found, with our high quality herbs and spices, the general rule is:

Herbs - 1-2 years

Ground spices - 1-2 years 

Whole spices - 2-10 years

The great thing about The Herb Shop is that you can affordably buy in small quantities; meaning you won't keep any herbs and spices on hand long enough to find out when they start to lose flavor. 


What about storing my tea?

A:  Tea should also be stored in an airtight container, preferably one that isn't clear.  Tea tins work well, so long as the lid fits tightly.  Dark glass is also good, but plastic is not ideal for long term storage.  Like herbs and spices, keep your tea tins or jars at room temperature or cooler, but not in the fridge or freezer.  Store in a dry place.


How long until my tea goes bad?

A:  Like herbs and spices, tea doesn't 'go bad.'  If stored properly, our high quality loose leaf teas will stay tasty for at least two years.


I only need two teaspoons of basil for my recipe.  How much should I buy?

A:  On all of our product pages, we've included how many Tablespoons are in an ounce of each individual herb and spice.  There are 3 teaspoons in a Tablespoon.  Use this chart for other conversions.


My recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs, but I'm using dry.  Should I use the same amount?

A:  No.  The general rule of thumb is to use 1/3 the amount of dry herbs when substituting for fresh herbs.  In this case, you would use one teaspoon of dry since there are 3 teaspoons in a Tablespoon.


Do you sell wholesale?

A:  No, we do not.  Our goal is to provide the average home cook with affordable, high quality herbs and spices.  If we sold at wholesale prices, we would have to raise the prices of our smaller quantities.  If you really want to buy more than a pound of anything from us, feel free to contact us and maybe we can work something out.


What are your shipping terms?

A:  Click here for all things shipping.


Do you accept returns?

A:  If there is a problem with your order, please contact us immediately.  If you have a valid reason for returning something that is unopened, we would be happy to refund it for you.  No returns or refunds will be considered more than 15 days after receipt of your order.


What forms of payment do you accept?

A:  We take PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.  At the stand, we love cash!  Local checks are accepted there too.


Where is your physical location?

A:  We are inside of the beautiful Lancaster Central Market, in historic downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  We love our town and our farmer's market, and hope you can come visit sometime!


What are your hours at Market?

A:  Central Market is open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 7am-3pm.  If we will be closed on a normal Market day, we will post it on social media, so be sure to check there before coming down.  Any additional holiday hours can be found on the Lancaster Central Market website.  If you have any other questions about special hours, or want to make sure we will be open for your visit, feel free to email us at theherbshop@comcast.net