‘What to do with used tea leaves?’ is a question we often get asked at Bird & Blend and the answer is: lots!
Used tea leaves are called 'chagra' and have been used by people all over the world, particularly Japan, for thousands of years. You simply dry your used tea leaves out in the sun or a dry place until they are void of moisture, and then you can use them for a range of things including plant food or bath sachets!
As we are always trying to encourage people to recycle we would love to share with you our favourite uses for your brewed tea leaves.
What can I do with chagra?
- Collect your used tea leaves in a tin or Tupperware box on the side and weekly sprinkle on your flower beds, no need to dry them out first. You can also mix them into soil or compost before planting new plants. The nutrient-rich leaves will help plants grow, rose plants especially like chagra!
- Dry your favourite flavour of tea on some kitchen roll on the radiator, in the sun or in the oven on a very very low heat. Place into little muslin bags to scent your drawers, cupboards or rooms.
- To make a bath sachet, follow Step 2's drying tips and then throw in the tub for a great aromatic soak.
- For a great deodoriser, sprinkle damp leaves onto stained or smelly carpets and hoover up to leave your carpets clean and smelling fresh.
- Place your damp black, green or white tea leaves into a muslin bag and place over tired and sore eyes to refresh them.
- Sprinkle damp leaves onto chopping boards and surfaces that have absorbed strong odours like fish or meat and scrub clean as normal, this will help to absorb unwanted smells and leave your chopping board fresh.
- Use rooibos tea leaves to make an amazing, healing skin tea facial scrub! We have a DIY recipe for this here.
What about used tea bags?
You'll be glad to know that your tea bags can also be reused and recycled creatively. Our tea bags are 100% plastic free, natural and compostable, read more about this and our eco-friendly approach here.
You can easily remove the tea leaves from the parcels by cutting them open and putting them in tupperware and following the steps above, or reusing the teabags themselves.
- Have an aromatic relaxing bath with a herbal tea bag like Dozy Girl. Simply hang over the tap while you run a bath.
- Rehydrate your skin by putting a green tea bag over your face.
- Refresh your tired eyes with damp black, green or white tea bags.