By Giedre Trumpiene
Hello, tea lovers! This is Giedre. An exciting time of the year in a tea world, right? Amazing freshly pressed sencha aromas and flavours fill the air here in Obubu. This Friday, to switch things up, I would like to talk about what happens after brewing the tea. Sometimes it is so sad to bin tea leaves which made a perfect cuppa, especially if you are in a rush and didn’t have a chance to do more infusions. Reuse them! Used green tea leaves (called chagara) can be reused in many different ways. Five of them are listed below:
1. Green tea has many healthy properties but did you know that around 30% of nutritional catechins can be found in a Japanese green tea liquid and the other 70% stays in a chagara? That is one of the reasons why matcha is considered a superfood – when we drink matcha we drink grounded tencha leaves as well. You can cook amazing dishes with chagara such as pesto, salads, appetizers, rice dishes, add to curry, fish and others. An easy example is chagara salad – put a bit of soy sauce to your used tea leaves, sprinkle some genmai on the top and enjoy!
2. Summer survival – iced tea. Put your chagara of any tea directly to your water bottle or keep it in a fridge for the next day.
3. Natural beauty care! You can make a face mask, eye pack, hair conditioner, foot bath and others. One of the easy ones we tried last week and my skin just loved it – face washer. Blend tea leaves with a blender, squeeze some lemon juice and wash your skin with it. More ideas are on Obubu blog .
4. Tea leaves can be a great household helper! It can be used to eliminate odor, as a dust catcher, assistant for indoor air cleaning and others. For example, to eliminate odor in your house pack chagara into filter bags or cloth and put them in places that picks up smells such as refrigerator and shoe rack. More ideas are on Obubu blog .
5. If you can’t reuse your tea leaves – compost it or use it as a natural fertilizer! Tea leaves are decomposing material containing some remaining nutrients (this depends on your number of steeping). Sprinkle chagama on your plants and it can help them grow better.