1. A tea bag works well as a compress on swollen, puffy eyes. Soak two teabags in boiling water for 30 seconds, then let cool before placing the bags on your closed eyelids. The tea will have a cooling effect as well as constricting the blood vessels to reduce puffiness.
2. Dry unused tea leaves which have been crumbled up can be added to fish or meat rubs for a crunchy and delicious flavoring. Tea leaves can also be used in other manners of cooking, such as a garnish, or as the basis for a sauce or marinade. Matcha tea powder can be used in cookies or other baked goods, as well as in smoothies and shakes.
3. Use tea as a fertilizer for your plants. Pouring leftover tea (tea without any sugar or milk in it) into your plants, or stuffing used tea leaves down under the soil can vastly improve the health of your plants. They love tea as much as you do!
4. Use tea to tenderize meat and add unique flavor. Tea is extremely rich in tannins, which work very well at tenderizing meat. To use tea in this way, you need to marinate the meat in a mixture of tea. A good recipe for this is to use 4 tablespoons of black tea, and steep them in a pot of warm (not boiling) water for 5 minutes. Next strain the leaves from the water and stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar until dissolved. Pour this liquid over pre-seasoned meat and cook (covered) in a preheated 325°F (165°C) oven for approximately 90 minutes or until extremely tender. You can use different flavored teas for different effects, for example, Lapsang Souchong marinade goes especially well with smoke-flavored meats.
5. Make “tea ice cubes” made from leftover tea in the summer. Pour your tea into ice cube trays and allow to freeze. Use these ice cubes in iced tea, kool-aid or other summer drinks for a fun change of flavor.
6. As a hair rinse, tea can be used after shampooing to remove residues from your hair and leave your hair soft and shiny. Use Black Tea for darker hair and Green Tea or White Tea for lighter hair color, and you can make the tea rinse as strong as you like, just remember to let the water cool to the touch before applying. It is not necessary to rinse with water afterward.
7. Use tea to clean your house. A strong solution of unsweetened plain tea, preferably green tea, can be used to clean hard surfaces in your household, leaving a sparkling, streak-free and shiny finish to counter-tops, mirrors and metal surfaces as well. Black tea is especially good as a wood polish however, or as a cleaner for wooden floors and is also fantastic for removing light residue.
8. Tea also makes a fabulous skin toner due to it’s high tannin content. Use cooled off used clean teabags (that have no sugar or milk in them) to lightly apply tea to your face after cleansing it. This also can also improve acne and your overall skin condition. Any type of tea may be used for this, but it’s likely that green or white tea – having the most antioxidants and polyphenols – will probably yield the best results. And speaking of tea and healing skin, teabags can also be used to stop bleeding if you’ve cut yourself while shaving. Simply hold a used teabag on the cut for several seconds.
9. Cooled teabags can also be applied to sunburned areas of skin for some soothing relief. Be sure the teabags are cooled, and you may even wish to refrigerate them first for this use!
10. To make scented bath sachets from tea leaves, simply add your favorite essential oils to dried unused green tea leaves, then place the scented leaves into muslin bags. Tie the muslin bags completely shut, then you can store the bags until you are ready to take a bath. When you take a bath, add the scented tea sachet to the warm bathwater then relax and enjoy your aromatherapy bath!