Eating Spent Tea Leaves

Brewed gyokuro leaves in houhinIn a previous article, I wrote about how to dry used tea leaves. The idea was to avoid waste by finding another use for your spent tea leaves.

This time let’s see how we can eat the brewed green tea leaves.

Once you finished re-steeping your tea, the tea leaves still have a lot of nutrients in them. Some of them, like for example vitamin E, aren’t water soluble so you’ll never obtain them just by steeping in hot water.

Spent tea leaves in a dishIf you are brewing an expensive tea like gyokuro, you might want to fully use the high-quality leaves. Sometimes I do the same for sencha leaves that I like a lot.

Spent tea leaves smell wonderful and you can easily add them to all types of dishes, the most common being salads. The good news is that tea leaves have almost no calories to begin with.

Eating spent tea leavesWhile there are many recipes for using tea leaves, I’ll just show you a quick and common way to eat them. Just add a little soy sauce, or ponzu sauce if you can find one.

Be careful not to add too much, just sprinkle a bit on top of the leaves. I did this mistake once and ruined my gyokuro leaves 🙁

Try using them as soon as possible though, because when they are wet they degrade quicker.

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10 Responses to Eating Spent Tea Leaves

  1. I love eating spent leaves and will occasionally nibble on dry ones too. Already infused gyokuro works great in white rice.

  2. I am notorious for eating my spent Genmai Cha leaves, I mean it already is like a meal with all the yummy rice! One time I made a soup out of it with dashi and a little bit of salmon…that was good times.

  3. I love Tea s but I love Green Tea alot. I also enjoy eating spent green tea leaves like a real meal, especially as light breakfast.

  4. Gwendolyn says:

    I use mine in my green smoothies the next morning! It makes me feel good to know I am getting every last drop of goodness!

  5. Sam says:

    Hi! I’m fairly new to teas, and I am always wondering what to do with my used leaves. I often drink black/red teas though… Can they be eaten like green teas? Also, I sometime make tea before bed and only have time to steep the leaves once. I can’t leave them out on a flat surface to dry because of my cats and dogs, and I can’t leave them wet in the pot overnight. Can I use them again to make tea if I use my microwave to dry them? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Sam

      Yes, you can eat black tea leaves as well.

      If you don’t have time to steep them more than once before bed, you definitely don’t have the time to dry them.

      I suggest making a cold infusion, use the spent tea leaves to make another batch of tea in the refrigerator. The next day you will have your tea, the leaves won’t be degraded, so you just throw them away and you have your tea. It can be warmed before drinking if you wish.

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