Organization and clean-up
How do you all empty your tea leaves and clean up without getting tea leaves in the drain? I’m afraid I’m going to get the sink clogged. Plus, it’s hard to clear the infuser. Any tips/tricks?
Plus, I bought some glass canisters for the tea (pretty) but then I read that light will ruin the tea. How do you keep the tea fresh longer?
It’s interesting you brought this up. I have a food waste container under my kitchen sink but whenever I emptied out a teapot (or strainer), it would make a bit of a mess. Leaves would end up not in the bag or fly around a bit. Hubby suggested having something like an old empty coffee cup on the countertop and emptying my leaves in that. It’s been working out great but I don’t like the cheap ugly disposable coffee cup on my countertop so I’ve been looking for something different.
My infusers are all from Davids Tea, and have straight sides. I tip it into my compost bin (small one under the sink). I bang it on the edge a couple times to loosen things and if there is too much left I use a dirty utensil or my finger to scoop them out. I actually hate doing it and think it’s really gross. Then I rinse everything and make new tea, forgetting the grossness.
I let a small amount of debris go down the drain but I live rural and also worry about clogging my pipes. The last thing I want is a backup, so I do what I have to to get them in the compost. Another idea is to use a bit of napkin or paper towel to wipe it out, that gets stuff out well with less grossness. But then I’m wasting stuff and I hate creating more waste.
I have a fine mesh sink insert that I got at the druggist. It catches all the leaves and sink gunk, so I can just rinse stuff directly into the sink, then empty the insert into the bin.
I dump my infuser out into the trash, and bang it on the edge a few times to get most of the leaf out. I have multiple infusers, so sometimes I’ll just let them dry out overnight, so that the used leaf falls out cleanly.
I also have a fine mesh insert for my sink, which keeps all but the tiniest debris from going down the drain.
I run water through the infuser when it’s upside down to get most of the bits out. Then I put the infuser into a mug, fill it with water, swish it around and dump the whole thing quickly, which gets the last of the remaining particles out.
I do the bang on the trash can and let dry method as well. Hadn’t thought about the mesh insert.
My thinking is then with the mesh insert don’t you have to do the same thing that you’re already doing with the infuser in the first place? Otherwise, I do the same.
I have a large porcelain lined metal bowl that I use to hold used leaf until it goes to the compost. I dump what comes loose easily then leave the rest until it dries in the teapot, press, or infuser basket. Once dry the rest comes out easily. Usually just a quick rinse and its good to go.
I keep a small container on the countertop to compost my used leaves.
I also have a little mesh thing in my sink as well and will rinse of any remaining leaves .. It catches them for me. I leave it in my sink all the time to catch anything that might try to get through.
Thanks everyone! I hadn’t thought of letting it dry, thought it’d stick. But I do have a strainer in the sink, but it’s not a very good one and a lot gathers around edges and ends up down the drain.
I have a fine mesh strainer on the sink too. But for most of the time I also have a fine mesh strainer on a handle that I use when I have to empty tea leaves out of my infusers. I swirl some water around the infuser, and catch it in the strainer. I can then bang that against the side of the trash can. The strainer is all metal, so I don’t mind being a little rougher with it compared to my gravity steepers. Sometimes I let the leaves hang out in the strainer over a bowl over night to dry out a bit so I’m not dumping so much moist stuff in the trash. For basket type infusers I stick the whole thing in a bowl of water and squish it around to get the leaves out into the water, and then that tea leaf water goes through the strainer. I do find that dry leaves get stuck in fine mesh more easily than wet leaves, which is why I do it this way.
I use the fine basket type strainers (unless using a yixing) and i tap it against the side of the compost bucket and use a scrap of paper towel to get the rest out and put the towel in the compost as well. I use little pieces of the paper towel and get about 20 uses out one towel. Or – I let it dry and falls right out.