Updated: Jul 11
Tea is a versatile, ancient drink. Legend has it that in 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water. Some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the brew which we now call tea.
Globally, 2,960,000 tons of tea is produced each year. Most of that gets brewed once and then discarded. But tea can have a second life!
1.) A second brew- people often brew a second cup of tea from the spent leaves. Some people describe this cup as milder and sweeter.
2.) Plant a seed- Tea makes an excellent fertilizer. Plant some kale, in the spent leaves (either in a tea bag or within the loose leaves). Once the seed germinates transfer the plant and the tea to soil.
3.) Dye cloth- Save your spent tea (in the bag or loose) and dye some light-colored cloth.
Add 4 Quarts of Water to a Pot
Add 2 Tbsp Salt
Bring to a Boil
Remove Tags from Tea Bags (if applicable).
Drop Tea Bags or Loose Tea in Boiling Water (10-20 bags or teaspoons, more tea produces a darker color)
Remove from Heat
Let Brew for 15 Minutes (longer brew times produce a darker color)
Wet Your Pre-Washed Cloth
Immerse in Tea for 2 Hours
Wring Out and Iron
When your tea has finished its second life, it can have a third as an excellent introduction to a compost system. Wasted Food Stops with Us!