Elle said

Many steeps over a multiple day period - tea leaves?

I’ve been poring over the various reviews (thank you all, so interesting!), and I see quite a few that reference many steeps over a multiple day period. How does one preserve the tea leaves across multiple days?


13 Replies
mrmopar said

Leave them in the brewing vessel or put them on a saucer to dry. There will be some difference as the tea will oxidize a bit after having water on it.

AllanK said

I find the tea is never quite as good the next day. I have done this on occasion but only for really expensive tea. I usually don’t want to drink the same tea two days in a row anyway.

Dr Jim said

I agree. I’m just about always disappointed the second day.

andresito said

me-three…I"ll usually brew the leftover tea to ‘test’ it out to see how it held up, more for science, but then dump it and start fresh.

Usually I’ll spread my leftover tea leaves out to dry and save them for a ‘boil’ when I mix a lot of used puerh leaves together and boil them to extract the last remaining goodness, and only with high quality expensive puerh do I do this.

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I experimented with this early in my tea days, usually spreading my tea leaves out on a sauce or on a paper towel to help them dry out; however, I wouldn’t recommend it now except under very specific circumstances. For one, it’s too easy to get this wrong, at best diluting the flavor or at worst promoting bacterial or mold growth. It’s not worth the effort IMHO.

Having said that, I have zero problems reusing tea in the morning if my first steep was late the night before. My rationale for this is that I will sometimes brew some tea in the morning before work and return to a second or third steep 6 or 7 hours later without any problems. Thus, when I’m in the mood for a late cup and it’s the first steep, I’ll leave it in my gaiwan and make a second steep early in the morning. I haven’t run into many problems doing this, but on some rare occasions, the flavor was weaker than usual. I usually toss it after that morning steep though.

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Random said

I have been known to keep using the same tea leaves a second day. It mostly depends on how many steeps I got our of it the first day as well as my current mood.

I just tend to leave the leaves in my infuser basket on my desk here at work. They’re usually dry the next morning.

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Ken said

If they are large leaves put them out on a paper towel to dry, this works better if you live in a dry area. But yes whatever you do get them dried off. Mei leaf tested this extensively and couldnt tell much difference between a 12 hour dry and just leaving it sitting in the strainer or gaiwan for an hour between steeps, which is what most of us do.

My new technique is when Im done for the day, Ill steep the heck out of them put the tea in a thermos and make iced tea for the next day. This is much more convenient as I dont have to dry out and then steep the leaves the next day which is a real pain in the rear hindquarter.

Conversion into iced tea for the following day is always a great option! I’m not much of an iced tea drinker, but we’ve done it a few times and it works out well!

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Psyck said

While I’ve done this a few times in the past, it is generally rare nowadays, since I try to start out with as many grams as I plan to finish the same day. With some teas like Shu or Blacks (Reds), I may boil the last steep to extract whatever it has left. If I still happen to have some leaves unfinished at the end of the day, I may store the final brew & leaves in the fridge for iced tea the next day (may have to add some more fresh leaves if it is light) – though this cannot be done for all types of teas. I have also seen several posts about people brewing the leaves from the same pot/gaiwan over several days/weeks without any issues – maybe not even bothering about removing them from the pot unless it is clay.

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LuckyMe said

Tea brewed from yesterday’s leaves always tastes a little moldy to me. I think cold-brewing is the best use of half-spent leaves.

I rarely encounter this problem though thanks to smaller teaware which lets me use only what I need for the session.

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Elle said

Thanks, everyone. I have been spreading them out to dry because I just can’t drink all those little cups of tea in the morning before work and I don’t want to waste those fancy oolongs and pu’ers. Also, most of my teas are samples and I’ve been trying to get a sense over a couple of days how I feel about a particular tea. But it doesn’t taste as good next day, and I have been worried about mold issues when the gas heat is no longer cranking and drying out those little leaves thoroughly.

I just need more tea :)

LuckyMe said

You might find this video from Mei Leaf useful:

How to Keep Loose Leaf Tea Between Infusions – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfog_jJ9zis

He tastes various methods of storing used tea leaves (in the fridge, covered, air dried) and comes to the conclusion that air dried tea tastes the best.

onjinone said

One way to preserve the tea leaves a little better is to leave a very small amount of water in the cup. It’ll be good for a few hours.

It’s generally not as great from a taste and health perspective to be drinking used tea leaves the next day. Simply less fresh.

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