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Perchik's avatar

What can I do with old[used] tea bags?

Asked by Perchik (4925 points ) April 11th, 2007
I make a lot of hot teas. Is there anything I can do with the tea bags after I make the tea? Or should I just throw them away?
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8 Answers

sarahsugs's avatar
1. Used tea leaves are great food for houseplants! Tear the bag open and empty the leaves into the dirt at the base of your plants.
sarahsugs's avatar
2. Compost them, tea bag and all (but not the little staple holding the string to the bag, if there is one).
sarahsugs's avatar
3. Garbage disposal them (ditto on the staple).
sarahsugs's avatar
4. Reuse them. Some tea leaves are better (less bitter, mellower taste) on the second or even third steeping. I think that goes for fancier green and white teas...I'm not sure about the leaves that come in tea bags. But it could be worth a try. (My dad said once that his mother always had a used tea bag on a saucer in the fridge, awaiting reuse. In her case, though, it was out of extreme thriftiness, not for the quality of the tea!)
gailcalled's avatar
Used tea, either liquid or leaves, can kill houseplants that are not acid- loving. Great for compost, as sarahsugs suggests. Even better to brew from fresh tea leaves...I simply throw used leaves out my back door onto shade, acid-loving spring garden. (Tea bags tend to be filled w. tea leaf dust, if you have ever opened one before using).
nomtastic's avatar
if you tend to drink one particular kind of tea, you can steep it really strong (like a concentrate) and then add it to the amount of hot water you like when you want to drink it. you'll use less teabags this way.
gailcalled's avatar
Saving used tea bags (they were always orange pekoe, i.e. Lipton's) was a dominant characteristic of the generation raised during the depression. My mother, also, saved used bags. We used to find dried-up unidentified dessicated little things on jar lids - also a sign of thriftiness - in fridge.
gailcalled's avatar
The tea made from these undelectable objects was was bitter, overloaded w. tannic acid and short on flavor. My generation always threw away the bag after one use, but then discovered real tea leaves and the art of brewing.

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