Tips, Tricks & Tales from the SESA Beverage Lab
Forget the Trash! Recycle your tea leaves
Ever wondered if there was anything else you could do with your used tea leaves other than throw them away? Never fear! There are a whole bunch of ways to re-use brewed tea leaves + we've compiled a list of our top 3 favorite ways to re-use old tea leaves.
It's amazing how many benefits tea has, from being an antioxidant powerhouse to helping reduce blood pressure, Camellia Sinensis (aka the tea leaf) is a seriously amazing plant. After you've had your tea, why just throw away those beautiful leaves when you can re-use them to make something wonderful + save a little more from the landfill?
Ever finish your cup of tea and wish it would magically refill? We do. All. The. Time.
Well, upon a first steeping, tea doesn't exude all of its yumminess, so a lot of teas can be steeped two or even three times to create extra delicious tea and saving you from having to use up more fresh tea! This is an especially handy trick if you're running low on stock of one of your favorites.
Go ahead and squeeze every last drop from those leaves and re-steep them! The flavor may be more mild upon second and third steepings, but you'll still reap the same rewards.
2. Compost / Fertilize Your Plants
Like most food waste, tea leaves, and even most tea bags, are compostable. But that's just the start! Tea actually enhances the composting process, speeding up the amount of time it takes to turn your waste into good old fashioned dirt! Just add your used tea to your compost pile and watch it become dirt.....well, over time.
No compost pile? No problem! Tea leaves act as great fertilizer around the root systems of most plants. Tea helps plants grow by providing nourishment and it even aids in water retention. Moreover, tea leaves can help prevent weed growth. Talk about a triple-win!
Next time you've finished up your cuppa, go ahead and add those used tea leaves to your favorite plant. It'll thank you!
3. Make a Body Scrub
Tea is loaded with antioxidants and other healthful compounds. If it is so good for us on the inside, why not use it on the outside too! Used tea leaves make a great exfoliating and nourishing addition to any DIY body scrub. You can dry them out or use them moist. If you use moist tea leaves just make sure not to leave a scrub out for days and days because the water content may invite mold. A great, simple scrub recipe is:
4-6 tbsp tea leaves (around 8 teabags)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
10-30 drops essential oil of your choice
Blend ingredients by hand in a bowl and store in an airtight jar.
There You Have It!
Our top three ways to re-use and recycle brewed tea leaves. Let us know your favorite way to recycle tea leaves in the comments!