The Japanese have been dealing with used tea leaves for so long that they even have a name for them: chagara (茶殻).

If you brew loose-leaf tea daily, you’ll also find yourself discarding a lot of steeped leaves.

Did you know that steeped tea leaves can be reused?

I’m not talking about steeping (which you should already be doing to make use of your tea leaves fully), but rather finding other services for tea leaves that you would otherwise throw away.

Table of Contents

There are two general ways to start reusing tea leaves:

Using the right after steeping them

Drying them first

In this post, we’ll explore the drying method.

Drying tea leaves

steeped tea leaves dried tea leaves last longer and is easy to use. After you finish reading this article, you’ll be drying tea leaves effortlessly!

The main ways to dry tea leaves are by drying them under the sun (slowest), drying in an oven (faster) and using a microwave (fastest).

Drying with sunlight

steeped tea leaves on paper towel place the leaves on a flat surface, preferably with a paper towel/cloth under them. It’s easy, but it could take a lot of time depending on the temperature and weather.

Drying in an oven
Place the tea leaves on a cookie sheet and use the lowest temperature possible. Keep checking to make sure that you don’t accidentally burn the leaves.

In my case, it took about an hour.

How to Dry Used Tea Leaves
How to Dry Used Tea Leaves

Read Next – VAHDAM Radiance Glass Tea Pot with Infuser

Drying in a microwave

drying tea leaves in the microwave this is the fastest method and the one I always use.

First, put a paper towel on top of a plate, then spread the tea leaves as evenly as possible.

In the picture, I used a small amount of steeped tea leaves (about a third of leftover leaves for a cup of sencha, I ate the rest 🙂 ) but you can use much more.

Place another paper towel on top of the leaves and put the plate inside your microwave. The paper towels will absorb the moisture that’s evaporated from the tea leaves.

Use the microwave for 1 minute and then check if the leaves are dry or not. Repeat this procedure for 30-second increments until the leaves become dry.

If you overdo it, you’ll burn the leaves so be careful.

Dried tea leaves this time it took me 2 minutes.

You’ll find that the required time changes depending on the power of your microwave and the number of tea leaves.

The dry leaves will crumble easily, but that’s ok. You can also store your dried leaves in a container if you don’t use them the same day.

How to Dry Used Tea Leaves
How to Dry Used Tea Leaves

Read Next – Lipton Green Tea Review

How to use your dried tea leaves

Dried tea leaves have two primary uses:

As for seasoning for food

Sprinkle the dried leaves on to food as you would with herbs and spices. It adds a nice touch plus it’s low in calories!

Read Next – Buoyancy 550ml Portable and Stylish Glass Tea Bottle with

As deodorizer

Dried tea leaves naturally absorb odours. Like baking soda, you can place the leaves in a small bowl, and they will deodorize on their own.

For example, you could use them to absorb smells from the refrigerator, bathroom and even the oven after cooking.

Put dried tea leaves on an ashtray, your cat’s litter box or inside your shoes.

Also, try sprinkling the leaves on the rug, let them deodorize for a while, and vacuum them.

There are endless ways to use your dried tea leaves. How will you be using them?

Read Next – Genuine Swan White Ceramic Tea Maker

PG tips Loose Leaf Black Tea, 1.5kg (480 Servings)

£10.75  in stock
5 new from £10.75
Free shipping
as of

The Tea Masters Loose Leaf Tea Premium English Breakfast 1kg

 out of stock
as of

The Tea Makers of London Natural Chinese Jasmine Green Loose Leaf Tea 250g Pack

£12.50  in stock
as of

Clipper Fairtrade Organic Loose Leaf English Breakfast Tea 125 g, Pack of 6

£15.18  in stock
5 new from £14.53
Free shipping
as of

PluieSoleil Square Glass Teapot with Infuser, 500 ml Borosilicate Tea Pot with Strainer, Clear Leaf Tea Pots for Loose Tea

£13.99  in stock
as of

The Tea Makers of London Ceylon Earl Grey Supreme Black Loose Leaf Tea 250g Pack

£14.50  in stock
as of

Ahmad Tea Ceylon Tea - 500g Loose Leaf Tea

£7.15  in stock
7 new from £6.49
Free shipping
as of

Heavenly Tea Leaves 9 Flavor Variety Pack, Loose Leaf Tea Gift Set, 9 Assorted Teas & Herbal Tisanes

£25.00  in stock
as of

Birchall Great Rift Loose Leaf Tea, 1 Kg

£16.50  in stock
4 new from £14.00
Free shipping
as of

Assam Black Tea Leaves (200+ Cups) I Strong, MALTY & Rich I 100% Pure Unblended I Single Origin Black Loose-Leaf Tea I Make ICED Tea, Hot Tea or Kombucha Tea I FTGFOP1 Long Leaf Grade, 454g

 in stock
as of

VAHDAM, Assorted Loose Leaf Tea - 10 TEAS, 50 Servings - Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Chai Tea, White Tea | Tea Variety Pack | Hot, Iced, Kombucha Tea | Loose Leaf Tea Sampler Gift

£9.99  in stock
as of

Ocha & Co. Organic Japanese Gyokuro Sencha Loose Leaf Green Tea 100g

£21.00  in stock
as of

Clipper Organic Green Loose Leaf Tea 100g (Pack of 6)

 in stock
4 new from £12.00
Free shipping
as of

Tealyra - Premium Dragon Well - Long Jing - Green Tea - Best Chinese Loose Leaf Tea - First Grade - 200-gram

£21.99  in stock
as of

Tea-Direct Lapsang Souchong Loose Leaf Tea, 250 g

£10.99  in stock
as of

VAHDAM, Darjeeling​ Black Tea Leaves​ from Himalayas, (120+ Cups) 255g | 100% Certified Pure Unblended Darjeeling Tea | FTGFOP1 Grade Loose Leaf Tea | Packed & Shipped from India

£19.99  in stock
as of

Original English Breakfast Black Tea Leaves, (200+ Cups) 454g | Strong, Rich & Aromatic | Loose Leaf Tea, World's Finest Black Tea Loose Leaf | Brew Hot, Iced or Kombucha Tea, FTGFOP1 Long Leaf Grade

 in stock
as of

London Pottery Farmhouse Loose Leaf Teapot with Infuser, Ceramic, Yellow, 4 Cup (1.2 Litre)

£38.49  in stock
2 new from £31.35
as of

Organic Hibiscus Flowers 1 kg top-Quality Loose Leaf Herbal Tea, raw, Sun-Dried (not Freeze Dried), Natural Flower Blossoms and Pedals, Without additives 1000g

£19.99  in stock
as of


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here