The economy is in bad shape, and everyone is tightening their belt to save every penny. So here are ways you can use tea leaves that would otherwise be thrown out.
First you want to make sure you are getting the most out of the leaf, and to do this once you have steeped the leaves to what you think is exhaustion, simply throw them in cold water and put them in the fridge over night. This long infusion will make sure every last ounce of drinkable enjoyment comes from the leaves, but the cold temperature will help keep the tannins from creating an astringent brew. So in the morning you can pour yourself a glass of ice tea, filtering out the leaves of course.
But you don’t need to throw the leaves out there. You can also compost them, or put them around potted plants, as a fertilizer. The leaves contain many nutrients your plants will love, which will be released into the soil as they break down and decay. This is a very green way to go as you aren’t filling up a landfill with mounds of tea leaves.
If you are enjoying a delicate green tea, some people even eat the leaves afterward for full enjoyment. The leaves are safe to eat if they are safe to steep. Some of the older forms of enjoying tea come from powdered tea, which was not strained but rather consumed in the water much like Matcha is today. They taste almost like spinach in their strength but usually you can pick up the tastes you found while enjoying the tea. I’m sure if you only steeped your loose leaf green teas a few times, you could make a great Tea Salad!
So next time you think your leaves are spent, think if there is another way you could use them before letting them go to waste. If anyone has another way to use spent tea leaves, leave a comment, I would be glad to hear them.