There are many benefits to drinking tea, but did you know you can get some of those same benefits by using it in a different way? Below are a few creative ways to repurpose those tea leaves and tea bags you’ve already steeped. It’s both sustainable and easy to incorporate into your everyday life.

1. Hydrating face mask

You’ll need:
  • 2 tbsp green tea leaves
  • 1 tbsp mashed banana
  • 1 tsp plain yogurt
  • 1 cup water

Instructions:

  • Mix 1 cup of water in a pan and 2 tbsp of green tea leaves.
  • Boil it in the low flame for few minutes.
  • Allow it few minutes to cool and then strain the tea.
  • Add 1 tbsp of banana and 1 tsp of plain yogurt to the green tea.
  • Mix the ingredients well to make a smooth paste.
  • Apply the paste to your face and leave it on for 20 minutes.
  • Wash off with cool water.
  • Repeat this method twice or thrice in a week.
  • Follow this remedy till you get relief from this acne issue.
Note: You can replace banana with peach or papaya.

2. Acne fighting mask

Green tea has antibacterial properties and honey does as well. This combination plus the rice will help reduce oils and bacteria on the skin, which will reduce acne.

You’ll beed:
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp or 1 green tea bag
  • 3-4 drops of lemon juice (optional)

Instructions:

  • Take ½ cup of boiling water and boil the green tea powder in it.
  • Add 1 tbsp of honey to the mixture.
  • Add 2 tbsp of rice flour to make a thick paste.
  • Increase the content of honey or rice flour to make the paste thick enough to apply on your face.
  • Mix the paste well to avoid lumps.
  • Apply it on your face with your fingertips.
  • Keep it on for 20 minutes.
  • Remove it using warm water.
  • Apply it twice a week to quickly reduce the spread of acne and remove the scars.

3. DIY fabric dyeing

Dyed Tea Swatches via Lost In Paris

Dyed Tea Swatches via Lost In Paris

You’ll need:
  • 100 tea bags
  • 4 tbsp salt or vinegar (optional and to your discretion)
  • A pot large enough for the fabric to move freely
  • Large spoon or thongs to stir
  • Approximately 1 yard of fabric per 4 cups concentrated tea (natural fibers work best: cotton, wool, silk)

Instructions:

  • Wash the fabric first to remove any manufacturer’s chemicals which may interfere with the dyeing process. (I recommend experimenting with small swatches first.)
  • Fill pot with water.
  • Simmer tea bags with salt (or vinegar) for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Remove tea bags from the pot (leaving them in results in splotches where the bags make contact with the fabric.)
  • Add fabric to the pot. The fabric must be damp first, to eliminate air pockets.
  • Soak fabric for up to one hour, depending on the desired shade. Stir every few minutes so the fabric takes the colour evenly.
  • Rinse in cold water.
Note You can also do this with Easter Eggs!

4. Green tea ice cream with earl grey dark chocolate fudge sauce

green tea ice cream

Traditional Japanese Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe

You’ll need: 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
 
Instructions:
  • Put the cream, milk, sugar, matcha powder, and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk ingredients until combined. Try and whisk the majority of lumps away, but don’t worry if it’s not perfectly smooth. The next step should help eliminate most of the lumps.
  • Heat the mixture on medium-high heat until it comes to a full boil. Keep whisking until it starts to foam. At this point, your mixture should be pretty lump free — the heat will have eliminated most of the lumps. Remove from heat.
  • Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and let it cool down. Cover, then refrigerate the mixture in the coldest part of your fridge for at least four hours, or, ideally, overnight.
  • When the mixture has chilled, remove cover and give the mixture a whisk to bring it together. Churn for 20 – 25 minutes in an ice cream maker, or, according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Serve freshly spun — it will have an incredibly creamy texture (almost that of soft serve) at this point. For a more traditional ice cream texture, transfer to an airtight container and freeze overnight.

Earl Grey Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate earl grey fudge sauce

You’ll need

  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 garl grey tea bag
  • 1 ounce 72% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2  tbsp unsweetened, dutched cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan or in a tea cup in the microwave. Remove from heat, add the tea, and let steep for 4 minutes or longer (depending on how much you want your fudge sauce to taste like tea).
  • Wring and remove the tea bag and pour the tea into a medium bowl. Add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and heavy cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir intermittently while bringing to a boil over high heat. The moment it boils, pour it into the bowl holding the chocolate. Let sit for 1 full minute.
  • Slowly begin to whisk the mixture. Then continue, increasing the vigor of your whisking every 30 seconds, until the mixture is glossy and silky-smooth. This will take 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your speed and strength. You can use the sauce at this point, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Do not freeze.

Source

5. Eye depuffer

Brew two bags of tea, wring them out then simply apply a tea bag on each eye. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. It really does soothe tired eyes, and it’s easy enough to incorporate with a face mask to achieve total spa level relaxation.

6. Bug bite relief

Repeat #5 above, rather place tea bag on bug wounds. Green tea bags make a great itch reliever.

Tea never disappoints. For something so old, we’re constantly finding new ways to use it.

What are some other ways you’ve discovered to creatively use tea?