What is the best way to reuse tea leaves?
I’m not really a fan of reusing tea leaves for two main reasons:
1) I like to change up the type of tea I have regularly (I’ll rarely drink the same tea twice in a row)
2) I don’t know how to properly store the wet leaves
I use a metal infuser to steep my loose leaf tea (for reference: http://bit.ly/vNHoww) but I find that if I leave the tea in there I run into the two problems mentioned above. I’m going to want a different tea, so what do I do with the leaves? And if I leave them in there, they stick to the side and depending on the size of the leaves can harden in the small openings of the infuser.
So my question is what is the best way to reuse tea leaves?
You can reinfuse the tea right away and then refrigerate it for another day. :) you don’t even have to hot steep it. You can cold brew it in the fridge. Then either microwave or drink cold. I think some people would be averse to the microwave but sometimes you just need a convenient cup of hot tea.
Well saving the leaves in plastic bags is absolutely out of the question. Back when I was a tea noob I did that and my teas tasted gross. Plus they molded. Now I put them in little metal containers. Found like 30 of them at a goodwill for 10 bucks.
After you are done with steeping it, you can let it dry and keep it in your cabinet. It absorbs smells and odors.
This is going to sound absolutely stupid, but are you using whole leaves? Using whole leaves shouldn’t clog up your infuser at all… at least it hasn’t from my experiences. If you are, and you’re really having a genuine issue with what to put your leaves in, might I suggest making a tea box with nylons (new) tacked (not stacked) midway up the box in parallel- a pseudo shelf if you will. Nylon is odorless after it airs out, it doesn’t mildew, and would provide a lot of air circulation for properly drying the leaves very quickly so they’re less likely to absorb odors and produce an “off-taste”. That might be a dumb idea, but it’d be the first thing I’d try to preserve the moist leaves.
Get a smaller teapot, or use less leaf in the first place, and a longer infusion time.
In other words, use an amount of leaf that’s reasonable for the number of times you plan to brew the tea. While some teas can be brewed later in the day or the next day (in which case, store them in the teapot), it’s generally better to just make what you plan to drink in one sitting.
I actually use tea filter bags – like the ones Adagio sells for $3 a pop. I have a little dish next to the teapot (or water heater, if I’m at work). I just place the used tea filter in the dish and reuse when I’m done with the first cup. This isn’t a long term solution, of course! But I generally use up the tea leaves in the same day anyway.
Just my thoughts! And for the 20th time, no, not associated with Adagio! ;)