11 Unexpected and Unique Ways to Use Tea Beyond Drinking

It turns out none of us have been using tea to its full potential! Apart from the afternoon cuppa, you can use tea in so many helpful ways — and not just for food. Here are 11 creative ideas for using tea beyond drinking.

  1. Add Tea to Your Favorite Dishes

Steep a strong cup of tea and add it to your favorite batch of chicken salad. Make sure the flavor of your tea is complementary to your chicken salad ingredients. The tea not only adds a hint of flavor, but it will help alleviate that dryness you sometimes experience, especially with lean chicken!

You can also use tea with your spice blend for rubs and seasonings on roasts and meat dishes. Or add some tea leaves to your marinade and let your dish sit overnight to tenderize and absorb all of that delicious flavor. Consider adding a splash of strongly steeped tea before you reduce the glaze for your fish. 

  1. Infuse Your Desserts with Tea

Earl Grey and chocolate? Yes, please! It’s a classic flavor combination that you will crave time and time again. Make a chocolate cake infused with Earl Grey tea and a hint of fresh orange zest. 

Desserts and tea are always a good idea, especially when you combine them. Steep a floral tea and create a simple syrup to glaze over freshly baked cookies. You can even make rich ice cream with your favorite chai tea, or tea popsicles set with fresh fruit for those hot summer months. Take a look at some iced tea recipes for refreshing popsicle ideas. 

  1. Make a Sugar or Salt Tea Body Scrub

Tea and sugar go hand in hand but so can tea and salt. Fun fact: did you know that some places around the world add salt to their tea instead of sugar? You don’t have to drink tea and salt, but what about using the combo for a body scrub?

You can make a tea-infused sugar or salt scrub easily at home — and they make wonderful homemade presents for your friends. Simply mix a half cup of either salt or sugar of your choice with a teaspoon of dry tea leaves, and a quarter cup of your favorite oil — coconut, olive, essential oils, or even honey works well. You can use your salt or sugar tea scrub for your legs and body once every few days.  

  1. Add Tea to Your DIY Teacup Candles

Tea is as beautiful to look at as it is flavorful, and adding it to your DIY presents is a brilliant way to add an extra special touch. How? Consider making homemade candles mixed with gorgeous dried tea leaves that release a beautiful scent when they’re lit. Take the project a step further and gift your friends candles set in teacups so they can put that cup to good use afterward. 

  1. Create Tea Infused DIY Soap Bars

Are you all about gifting your besties relaxing and therapeutic presents? Then tea-infused body soaps are a DIY project you’re going to love to make — and they are going to love to use! You can add strongly steeped tea to your soap mixture or add the dry tea leaves straight to your soap which will create an extra exfoliating effect as it’s used. 

  1. Decompress in a DIY Herbal Tea Bath 

The thought of relaxing in a bathtub steeped with herbal flowers, Epsom salt, and oil sounds spectacular — but the reality is the cleanup is a bit of a headache. In order to experience the full relaxing effects of an herbal tea bath from start to finish — with minimal cleanupdon’t add tea leaves directly to your water. 

Instead, steep a strong teapot full of an aromatic tea — like lemon mint chamomile — and mix in any essential oils or other ingredients. You’re going to want to strain your tea before you add it to your bath water — this way you can enjoy all of the benefits of bathtime herbal bliss without fussing over all of the leftover tea leaves in your tub. If you have a teapot or a tea kettle with an infuser, this works perfectly! 

  1. Feed Your Plants with Tea Leaves

Did you know you can add tea to your garden to increase the nutrients in the soil? You can sprinkle dried or used tea leaves directly into your garden. You can also feed your plants with certain kinds of tea bags — but not all teabags!

This is very important — you can’t add just any old teabag into your garden because not all teabags will break down into mulch. All teabags might be biodegradable, but biodegradable teabags aren’t good for the planet. Make sure your teabags are 100% compostable and not just biodegradable so your soil and plants get the nutrition they want. 

  1. Create Ancient Paper with Tea

Do your kids have a love for make-believe and adventure? — Or maybe they have a history project coming up. Use steeped tea to make “antique” tea-stained paper for pirate maps, top secret historical documents, or parchment from ancient Egypt. 

Here’s a tip: tear the edges of the paper and maybe even crinkle it in a ball a few times before unraveling the paper and painting it with steeped black tea. — oh! And make sure the tea has cooled down plenty before anyone uses it to paint the paper! Once the dyed paper is completely dry you can draw, write, or paint it to your heart's content. 

  1. Dye Natural Fabrics with Tea

If you love doilies but don’t like the stark white look of them, you can dye them with tea. You can also dye any other natural fabric or material with tea as well. This includes cotton, silk, hemp, wool, and anything that comes from a plant or animal. Synthetic materials like acrylic or polyester may take the dye, but maybe not as well as a naturally-based fiber. 

To dye materials and doilies simply steep a strong batch of black tea in hot water and let the doilies or fabric sit in the water for at least one hour. The longer you steep it and the more potent the tea brew is, the darker the fiber may get. You can even use this technique to dye white bandages and medical wraps so they aren’t so stark white against the skin. 

  1. Freshen Up Your Home with Tea

Did you know you can use tea as a deodorizer? Sprinkle either dry tea leaves or damp tea leaves onto your carpet and let them sit for 20 minutes before vacuuming them up. But, whatever you do, don’t use wet tea leaves because this can cause staining and ruin your carpet. 

You can also use tea as an air freshener — think of it as natural potpourri. Put your favorite loose-leaf tea in a sachet or tied cheesecloth bundle and stuff it in your dresser, or your car, or tuck it away in some corner of your room. You can even sprinkle dry tea leaves in your cat’s litter box to deodorize in the same way you use baking soda. 

  1. Soak Dirty Pans with Tea Leaves

Tea can be used for many things around the house — including dishwashing. Do you have a dirty pan with burnt-on stains? Try soaking it with a spoonful of black tea leaves. The acid in tea helps break down the tough burnt stains so they’re easier to clean and remove. 

Your Trusted Source For Teas and Teaware

Tea might be one of the most incredible and versatile plants on the planet — who knew you could use tea for scrubbing pans? If you love tea as much as we do, you’ll love the selection of USDA Organic teas available at Teabloom. 

Since the beginning, Teabloom has been on a mission to deliver honest, sustainable, and healthy teaware and teas to enthusiasts around the globe. They have the largest selection of handcrafted borosilicate glass teaware available in both classic a modern designs. 

You’ll experience exquisite flavor from their small-batch teas, and fall in love with teaware pieces made with pristine artistic taste. Find precisely what you’re looking for at Teabloom.