What To Do With Used Tea Leaves

Diet Earth Concious Garden Recycling

Andres Nava 
Tea enthusiast and owner of Tao Te Tea

Fancy salad on white ceramic plate

For the longest time I had never really considered what to do with all of my spent tea leaves. At first I would dispose of my tea leaves in the trash bin, but then I became more conciensious of where my tea leaves were going and how they could be bennificialy used at home.

After being used for tea, tea leaves can be used in the garden or even eaten!

It is not a bad idea to offer your steeped tea leaves to your plants, but I would advise that you limit it to your outdoor plants. Steeped tea leaves tend to attract alot of small flies and may be a nusance to have indoors.

fresh garden tomatos on a vine

If you are planning on using your spent tea leaves in the garden, it would be best to offer them to acid-loving plants like tomatos and roses. 

Though spent coffee grounds can also be used in the garden, tea leaves offer your garden all of the "big three" nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as some trace minerals.

Spent green tea leaves are an excellent addition to savory salads. I reccommend using green tea leaves for salads above any other type of tea leaf.

White tea tends to be too "tippy" and not have enough leafy material to produce a good salad. Black and yellow teas are commonly roasted and do not produce as plesant of a flavor.


fresh mandrin salad

In my opinion, spent green tea leaves are perfect for makeing salads and can be used as a substitution for caper leaves in Greek salad recepies. Your spent green tea leaves make for an excellent addition to savory salads that pair well with vinager and herbs, like Greek salad, Asian ginger salad, and Italian salad.

After steeping, store your spent green tea leaves in an air-tight container in the refrigerator after steeping. Tea leaves that have been steeped multiple times have a softer texture and tend to produce a better salad.


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