I think there is something really special about preparing a cup of tea for yourself. It’s nourishing to the soul, and nutritive to the body. Herbal blends have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50 percent of what typically is found in coffee. Have you ever stopped to think about what little wonders teas are they have so many uses especially herbal and flower teas there is such an abundance of flavour available.
Turn tea into a spice mix.
Think of tea bags as convenient, pre-portioned spice packets. When ripped open, the finely cut leaves resemble oregano or basil and can be sprinkled into recipes just like those herbs. Stir a teaspoon or two of tea from bags of Moroccan mint green tea into Greek yogurt with other spices to make a dip, or add the leaves to a veggie-filled quiche custard.
Add tea to poaching liquids.
Brewed tea works wonders when it comes to poached dishes. It imparts subtle flavour to all sorts of recipes while cooking. Try poaching mushrooms in smoky lapsang souchong black tea, or some fish in a broth of jasmine green tea with fresh ginger and onions. Try steeping tea in broth for soups; poach fish in a strong brewed tea; add brewed tea to vinaigrettes and sauces; steep tea in cream, coconut milk or juice to flavor the base of ice creams, sorbets or your favorite baked desserts. Jasmine tea imparts a delightful taste to this chicken and noodle soup.
Cook your pulses, beans and grains with tea.
Swap out water for brewed tea when cooking your next pot of beans or rice! This is an opportunity to really play with flavours. Savoury teas are great options here. Or make a tea out of your favourite herb but have fun think about the floral and berry flavours too and how they will work in our recipe.
The tannins in tea make it a great tenderizer. Marinate food for several hours or overnight before roasting or grilling. Blend a BBQ rub from your favourite herbal tea or simply mix with coconut oil or butter and brush it on vegetables.
Use steeped tea leaves or ground dry tea leaves like a spice or seasoning in your favourite sweet or savoury dishes. Pulse tea leaves into the flour mixture or ground almonds for tea-infused shortbread cookies; add dried ground herbal tea to your favourite cake or pudding recipe; or toss steeped tea leaves into a stir fry.
Ferment it into Kombucha or Kefir.
So many flavours can be tried here add to green tea mix for kombucha or to hot water for kefir. Personally I think it works best in kefir adding delicate fruit or flower flavours and often a hint of a pretty colour. Try adding rose or blackberry based mixes for a lovely pink tinted drink.
Add tea to your smoothies as the liquid base
This is a great use of last night’s left over tea. Instead of nut milks or juice, use tea for your smoothies. Fruity teas work well here, but you can also use green tea, and rooibos.
Instead of drinking it hot, drink it cold
This is especially great on hotter days. Add some fruit or mint leaves for a lovely refreshing cocktail style drink.
Freeze it as ice cubes or lollies
This is another good one for the summer, but can be done at any time of year..
Churn ice cream
Add to a coconut milk based ice cream recipe for a real treat.
Bake into bread
Sweet fruity bread, matcha tea bread, herb flavoured bread the only limit is your imagination.
Boil Chinese marbled tea eggs
Boiled eggs are cracked and steeped in a savory tea/soy broth for an exquisite flavor and a beautiful marbled effect. Make a double batch and keep the eggs in the refrigerator for snacking, just store in an airtight container for up to a week. Dark soy sauce will give you a richer color and flavor, but using regular soy sauce will result in something just as delicious. Serve these tasty treats numerous ways: add to a noodle bowl, garnish a salad, or simply snack on it at a picnic.
Medicinal & Beauty Uses
Make a tea compress
- Make tea
- Dip clean face cloth (or fabric) in tea
- Wring out cloth
- Apply to area of concern
Compresses can be done hot or cold. Just make sure you don’t burn yourself!
- Use a lavender tea compress at the shoulders and neck to reduce tension, induce calm and relieve headaches
- Apply comfrey tea compress to wounds, sores, injuries
- Place a chamomile tea compress over abdomen to calm down an irritated belly
- Drape a thyme tea compress over the chest for coughs & colds.
Bathe in it- you will smell delicious.
For a hydrating bath, add 3 teaspoons of tea leaves to hot bath water and allow it to “brew” for 5 minutes. Before taking a dip, adjust the temperature of the tub by adding more cold water. Then, just relax and enjoy.
Freshen your mouth
The antiseptic and analgesic properties of peppermint create an effective and soothing mouthwash. Here’s how to make a Peppermint Tea Mouthwash: Boil 1 tablespoon fresh peppermint leaves and 1 cup of water. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Add 2 pinches of salt. Swish the warm liquid for up to one minute.
Wash your hair
Try chamomile or green tea Steep 1 tea bag in 1 cup of hot water for 25 minutes; cool. Mix tea water, 1 cup Castile soap and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil, like lavender or rose, for fragrance.
Rinse your hair
For a cleansing hair rinse, steep 2 tea bags in 2-3 cups of hot water for a few hours, or overnight. Use the tea as a final rinse for hair.
Condition your hair
Steep 2 tea bags in 1 cup of hot water. Cool. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Mix well and apply to scalp and hair. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse well.
Reduce under-eye bags
Apply warm, damp tea bags over closed eyes for 20 minutes. Tannins in the tea reduce puffiness.
Green tea has replenishing antioxidants — whether you’re drinking it or letting it absorb into your skin, you’re getting benefits: Soak a flannel or muslin cloth in cooled green tea, then lift it and squeeze the excess liquid. Lie back, put it on your face and relax!
Relieve insect bite pain
Apply wet tea bags to affected area for soothing relief.
Brew 1 cup of green tea. Cool the tea, then apply the tea water to skin and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse and follow with a moisturizer.
Drain a boil
Put a wet black tea bag overnight on the boil. It should be drained in the morning.
Soothe sore gums
After losing a tooth, check bleeding and relieve pain at the same time by applying a wet black or green tea bag to the sore area.
Settle a sore tummy
Herbal teas, in particular chamomile, can be good for people with irritable bowel syndrome because it is an antispasmodic, ginger teas can calm nausea and there are lots of wonderful blends for pregnancy, menopause, digestion etc.
Home uses for tea
Soak dirty pans
For stubborn burnt spots, fill a pan with hot water and a black tea bag. The tannic acid in the tea will help breakdown the grease.
Just soak the dishes overnight with hot water and few brewed tea bags, the tannins from the tea with break down the grease by morning.
Spruce up the scent of your drawer or closet with a few flavored tea bags or muslin bags filled with scented dry herbal tea leaves. Just open a few used herbal tea bags and spread the wet tea on some old newspaper to dry. Then use the dry tea as stuffing for the sachet.
Wood floors and furniture.
Moisten a soft rag with bit of strong-brewed, room temperature tea and rub it gently into hardwood floors or wood furniture for a bit of natural color and shine. Use white or green tea on lighter wood and oolong or black tea on darker wood.
Mirrors and windows.
Place a cold brewed tea in a spray bottle and use it to make mirrors and glass sparkle.
Throw a few tea bags into the toilet, let them “steep” for an hour or so, then remove and discard them before scrubbing the toilet with a brush and flushing down the tea liquid.
Add wet tea leaves to the ash in your fireplace before cleaning it out. The moisture helps soak up the ash so it doesn’t blow around as much.
Regular tea gives cotton an antique, sepia tone. The longer the fabric soaks in the tea, the deeper the colour. Use three tea bags for every 2 cups of boiling water. Steep for 20 minutes and cool before soaking. Try some of the berry teas as well for interesting tones.
Place scented tea leaves in small containers to add fragrance to a room.
Place used tea bags at the bottom of the pot before adding soil. The tea bags hold moisture and provide nutrients to the roots.
Mulch into soil.
Add new or used tea leaves to the soil around plants and trees. The tea leaves create good bacteria for the soil and roots.
Tea leaves are highly absorbent and can attract odor from anything they come in contact with or even sit next to. Which is one reason you should take care to store fresh tea away from pantry items with strong odors, such as coffee and spices. But it’s also the reason you can reliably turn to tea when you need to rid different areas of your household of a stubborn odor.
Sprinkle dried or steeped tea leaves across a stinky carpet and let them sit for 20 minutes to an hour. Then vacuum them up. If you used steeped tea leaves, make sure they’ve started to dry out; you don’t want them too wet or they may stain the carpet. If you use a flavored tea, like lemon or cinnamon, you’ll get a nice scent left behind.
Sprinkle dried tea leaves into the litter box and just change them out whenever you change out the litter.
Tea can soak up nasty fridge odours just like baking soda. Place dried out tea leaves in the refrigerator in an uncovered container and they’ll soak up those odours in a day or two.
Rub stinky fish, onion or garlic hands with brewed tea or wet steeped tea leaves to remove unwanted odours. This also works on cutting boards.
Place a new or steeped then dried tea bag inside each shoe to remove a odour.
Fill homemade eye pillows with dry, flavored tea leaves scented with relaxing rose, lavender or chamomile for a peaceful, calming rest.
Spruce up the scent of your sock or underwear drawer with a few flavored tea bags or muslin bags filled with scented tea leaves. (Note: Make sure the tea leaves and the tea bags are dry.)
Car air freshener.
To invigorate your car’s interior, hang a few flavored tea bags from your rear view mirror or fill a muslin bag with scented tea leaves and stash it somewhere in the center console.