Tea once used only as medicine is a favorite everyday beverage for many. Some tea drinkers use tea as their daily caffeine fix and combine that with their busy lives, they are also looking for convenient ways to prepare their tea. This is when tea bags come into the picture. Teabags are a much more convenient way to prepare tea and it is not void of the health benefits. Now the question that’s on most tea enthusiast's minds is can tea bags be reused and if it is safe to do so.
Teabags are made from 100% biodegradable material which has increased their popularity because what’s good for the environment is good for you in one way or the other. So if you are wondering if you should use your tea bags after steeps or even in between steeps you should definitely do so. But it is best to steep tea leaves only twice so that there is still flavor left, if you steep tea bags for more than that it will make your tea weak. Also, it's advisable to not store them for more than 24 hrs., because after that no matter how they are stored after that is not safe to consume.
Let's look at how you can store and reuse tea bags safely for a second use.
Firstly, tea needs to be stored in a moist medium, because once they become dry they are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. So when storing tea bags store them in glass, preferably a shot glass filled with water.
Though you can store them in the kitchen, it's advisable to store them in the fridge for less chance of bacteria growth. Also even after you have stored them carefully, the tea bags end up having a funky smell trash them. Or even better use them as compost. Cold tea bags when placed on the eyes also helps in reducing dark circles or puffiness, another way to reuse them other than steeping. Soaking your feet in tea also helps refresh skin and remove odor.
Flavor Profile Of Reusing Tea Bags
If you are an ardent tea lover you may not want to reuse tea bags because a second steep with a teabag will have a weaker flavor compared to the first steep. Probably if you add some new teabags in the teapot with the old ones it might enhance the flavor, but it's not the same as the first steep. Also, tea made from reused tea bags will not have the kick of caffeine in comparison to the first steep. However, if your first tea is of less duration the second steep will still retain the flavor and the kick. Some say that reusing tea bags is ideal for milk tea, as it won't use as much tea as black tea, but still will not be as strong as the first steep.
With all been said, loose tea leaves are more reuse-friendly in comparison to teabags, mainly because you can reuse loose tea leaves without them losing their flavor. If you wish to not be wasteful, sure go ahead and reuse tea bags, but make sure to reuse them immediately and you should be just fine. Re-using teabags works for people who drink frequent cups of tea, but if you are okay with waiting for that perfect blend, throw away that tea bag after that first steep.