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what to do with old tea?

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I tend to collect tea. It's not that I drink it that often, just that I want exactly the right kind when I do. I have all kinds - green teas, oolong teas, black teas, herbal tisanes, etc. Since I don't drink it that often, a lot of it is fairly old. Are there any good suggestions for ways of using tea that isn't just plain drinking it? I guess it will make good compost, but that's not quite what I'm looking for. Thanks.

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    Professor Salt

    I make a strong Earl Grey tea, strain it, sweeten it to make a not-too-sweet simple syrup, then use it to roast apricots. You can also use it to poach pears.

    1. Loose tea is sometimes used to stuff pillows, particularly toss pillows, as well as fancy stuffed animals. Teas (loose or not) can also be use to dye fabric, as in tea-stained monk's cloth.

      Link: http://eatingchinese.org

      5 Replies
      1. re: Gary Soup
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        simply_victoria

        I just went to a bridal shower where the hostess gave as gifts silk eye pillows that were stuffed with tea and other dried herbs. I thought it was a great gift.

        Also, you could always make it into bath tea. I've bought some of that at the store myself and I think you have all the makings for it. I myself enjoy a good chamomile soak.

        1. re: simply_victoria

          I was going to suggest the same things as Simply Victoria did. Eye pillows stuffed with earl grey and lavender are very relaxing. I personally enjoy a rosehip or chrysanthemum tea soak. Rosehip tea also works well as a sachet for your underwear drawer.

          1. re: Juniper

            Do u first soak the tea leaves and let them dry before using them for stuffing eye pillows or sachets? Would this bring out the aroma better?

        2. re: Gary Soup

          I dyed my wedding dress fabric in tea...couldn't find the off white shade I wanted...I live in a small town full of virgin brides, apparently, and everything was glowing white and shiny...so I got the fabric I wanted, filled up the bathtub and threw in $400 worth of fabric. I don't know what I would have done if it hadn't worked, but it did! Beautiful results and now I do it to lots of stuff...vintage doilies and the like that I collect.

          1. re: Gary Soup

            Tea pillows are typically stuffed with leaves that have been brewed, then dried again in the sun. The leaves unfurl in the brewing, and you'll need to use less that way.

            They're great for hot, humid climates. Keeps your head cooler.

          2. Tea smoked duck (or chicken).

            1. if you're brave, and like wicked cocktails, you can take a little bit of green tea, infuse it for a few moments in vodka, and make a dangerous green tea martini. add twists of lime or lemon as appropriate.

              1. Here is a trick Mrs. Yimster did with older tea. She place the tea leaves in the teapot and put a little warm water in the tea pot and and quickly dumped it out. That help to remove som of staled taste of the tea. She then fill teh teapot with the hotter water and made the tea. She did not like to throw thing away unless she had no other choice. Then she would let me taste it, I normally found the tea good enough to drink. That is of unless the tea turn bad and you will know be the smell of the tea.