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smallthunder
05-27-2005, 06:06 PM
I know this is going to sound odd, but ...

I am writing a non-fiction book about tea, and I am looking for ways people make use of used tea leaves/tea bags. I already have found 100 ways -- believe it or not -- and so am looking for the more unusual uses, specialized uses.

So: I already know about using used tea leaves with regard to the houseplant/garden/compost, the deodorizer in the refrigerator, the puffiness/pain/itch reliever ...

If you use used tea leaves/tea bags as some sort of building material for a hobby -- or as an ingredient in some sort of non-human-food recipe -- I would be delighted to hear from you.

Thanks!

Sarita
05-27-2005, 06:41 PM
For a high school art assignment, my sister used slightly evaporated (thus condensed) tea as a form of ink on watercolor paper.

awatkins
05-27-2005, 08:50 PM
I know you can use tea to dye fabric for crafts, but I bet you already have that tip. Interesting project you've got going! Best of luck with it. :)

JennaGlatzer
05-27-2005, 09:55 PM
To reduce bags under eyes-- I assume you have that, too?

katiemac
05-27-2005, 10:16 PM
Similiar to art projects, we've used tea bags to discolor new paper to make it look old and worn, like old letters... but I bet that's already been noted as well. :)

Maryn
05-27-2005, 10:37 PM
Fabric dying, but not just for crafts.

In Ye Olden Tymes, when women of a certain build could not buy bras that fit in any color other than white, my mom and I used tea to dye ours a less-nunlike ecru. (Conventional dyes like Rit faded quickly, and bled on everything in the wash load.) We even experimented with flavored teas (popular now, rare then). The cinnamon one came pretty close to what Bali was calling 'blush,' and Constant Comment was a match for 'nude.'

Maryn, who does indeed get constant comment when she's nude (haha)

awatkins
05-28-2005, 12:31 AM
:roll: Maryn

Hummingbird
05-28-2005, 03:09 AM
I've seen tea leaves in candles. Some had the crunched up leaves from a tea bag, and whole leaves inside or around the edges of candles. I bought one, but I don't remember how well it smelled. It was interesting watching the white wax turn a slight yellow green from the peppermint.
I've seen leaves in soap too. They look pretty in glycerin soaps, but work well in milk soaps too. Peppermint has the same problem of changing white milk soap to a yellow green around it though.

smallthunder
05-28-2005, 05:45 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your responses so far -- I've got all of them, but its good to have things verified.

Now ...
I've seen tea leaves in candles. Some had the crunched up leaves from a tea bag, and whole leaves inside or around the edges of candles. I bought one, but I don't remember how well it smelled. It was interesting watching the white wax turn a slight yellow green from the peppermint.
I've seen leaves in soap too. They look pretty in glycerin soaps, but work well in milk soaps too. Peppermint has the same problem of changing white milk soap to a yellow green around it though.

Used (but dried) green tea leaves, I have read, smell nice when burned like incense -- I wonder if there's value-added when they are in candles?

I have also read of used tea leaves can be used as a mild facial scrub -- did they add that much texture to soap?

Medievalist
05-28-2005, 06:13 AM
Tea bags (and strong tea) used as a meat tenderizer--high in tannin, you know.

Oh, and to fake a peat bog, I used tea bags, or rather the tea from them, for a class demonstration.

Tea brack is a traditional food at Scottish teas.

mdmkay
05-28-2005, 06:48 AM
I'm positive you already have this one but just in case......they use to use teabags and still do for poultices for drawing out poisons in the body (teeth, boils, splinters,...etc) Just saying it for the sake of saying it...don't use cold teabags for teething babies if your that desperate and want a homeopathic cure, rub alcohol (as in whiskey) with your finger (not in the shot glass unless mom needs the shot glass part) on the gum. Come to thinking about old wives remedies and new mothers......we had an old doctor's remedy for baby's colic and it worked very well........a glass a wine and a rocking chair......mom drinks the glass of wine while rocking the baby......both mom and baby feels better. (Don't even start on the hate letters I didn't say you should be breast feeding and drinking alcohol but in the olden days...........well, nuff said). [for those wondering what the heck I'm talking about they used to prescribe a glass of beer for mother's having pb's with breast feeding--helped with relaxation and let-down of the milk]

Tish Davidson
05-28-2005, 07:37 AM
When my daughter had her wisdom teeth pulled, the dentist told me to boil a tea bag, cool it down, and let her bite down on it over the hole where the tooth had been if we had trouble with bleeding from the socket. I think (don't quote me) that he said the tannin in the tea promoted clotting.

mdmkay
05-28-2005, 07:48 AM
Ok I won't quote you but you're right. In that situation its ok because you aren't using it for any length of time. I'm sure he told you to remove it once the bleeding had stopped but for babies that are teething you would use it to much and it actually builds up and makes them really sick.(I'm talking seriously ill). Adults and bigger kids bodies have the kidney function and body mass to rid themselves of the poison. It also depends on the teabag---herbal teas can get you into some real messes.

SEE I told you I knew a little about alot of nothing in particular (or probably important...but occasionally I can be entertaining......now if I could just make my books more entertaining.......well still living and learning the craft).

sgtsdaughter
05-28-2005, 08:05 AM
Fabric dying, but not just for crafts.

In Ye Olden Tymes, when women of a certain build could not buy bras that fit in any color other than white, my mom and I used tea to dye ours a less-nunlike ecru. (Conventional dyes like Rit faded quickly, and bled on everything in the wash load.) We even experimented with flavored teas (popular now, rare then). The cinnamon one came pretty close to what Bali was calling 'blush,' and Constant Comment was a match for 'nude.'

Maryn, who does indeed get constant commend when she's nude (haha)

Maryn,

That brought back some fine memories!

And some of us had fundamentalist type mothers who would not allow us to wear anything but white . . . Hence, my sister and I made good use of tea bags.

sgtsdaughter
05-28-2005, 08:09 AM
Also,

loose tea leaves work well in your sink drain . . . they act like coffee grounds and reduce the sewer odor.

and tea leaves in bath water. realxing to say the least, but leave them in a cloth bag, or you'll have a fine time cleaning the mess.

smallthunder
05-28-2005, 08:56 AM
Also,

loose tea leaves work well in your sink drain . . . they act like coffee grounds and reduce the sewer odor.

I hadn't heard this one before -- But how do you use them without stopping up the drain?

smallthunder
05-28-2005, 08:59 AM
Oh, and to fake a peat bog, I used tea bags, or rather the tea from them, for a class demonstration.

Tea brack is a traditional food at Scottish teas.

A fake peat bog?! Now, that sounds interesting -- can you explain a little bit more?

I don't know what "tea brack" is -- I am assuming it is some kind of cake made with tea or tea leaves? In any case, I'm looking for non-food items, but thanks.

Betty W01
05-28-2005, 11:52 AM
Children's author Peggy Parish once used loose tea leaves in a cake, to see what it would do to the cake's appearance, for an idea she used in one of her Amelia Bedelia books. (I actually heard her mention doing it, during a lecture I attended.)

maestrowork
05-28-2005, 12:40 PM
Try tea-soaked eggs, Chinese styles. Delicious. (Use only oolong tea and hard boiled eggs)

sgtsdaughter
05-28-2005, 01:26 PM
I hadn't heard this one before -- But how do you use them without stopping up the drain?

I could have swore that I responded to this . . .

Just run water as you pour the used tea leaves down the drain . . . the should be crumbled (not whole pieces) so that they will go down.

Also, you can use tea leaves in bath water. Makes things rather relaxing. Rose and mint are just fine.

Tish Davidson
05-28-2005, 11:12 PM
Ok I won't quote you but you're right. In that situation its ok because you aren't using it for any length of time. I'm sure he told you to remove it once the bleeding had stopped but for babies that are teething you would use it to much and it actually builds up and makes them really sick.(I'm talking seriously ill). Adults and bigger kids bodies have the kidney function and body mass to rid themselves of the poison. It also depends on the teabag---herbal teas can get you into some real messes.

Yup, the dentist specified using black tea. He suggested something ordinary like Lipton or Red Rose, and yes, she was supposed to remove it when the bleeding stopped. I just wasn't sure what the mechanism of action was that caused the bleeding to stop.

smallthunder
05-30-2005, 03:42 PM
I love tea-eggs -- and once you shell them, the "marble egg" look impresses the heck out of unknowing guests...
I've used black tea as well as oolong -- oolong is best when used alone, black when you're using other ingredients (e.g. star anise, orange peel).

smallthunder
05-30-2005, 03:44 PM
It's the tannin that stops the bleeding -- and could cause problems -- as well as the caffeine (for babies/kids).

smallthunder
05-30-2005, 03:47 PM
I hear there are coffee enemas (used for sexual reasons), are there tea enemas?

Cathi
Well, I can't say that I've run across "tea enemas" in my research -- used for sexual, or any other, reasons. But hey -- I'll keep an open mind -- if someone wants to personally elaborate on this!

reph
05-30-2005, 06:20 PM
Used tea leaves can go into the compost bin. If you don't have a compost bin, bury the leaves in the garden so they can enrich the soil directly, or add them to potting mix.

Hummingbird
06-02-2005, 08:59 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your responses so far -- I've got all of them, but its good to have things verified.

Now ...

Used (but dried) green tea leaves, I have read, smell nice when burned like incense -- I wonder if there's value-added when they are in candles?

I have also read of used tea leaves can be used as a mild facial scrub -- did they add that much texture to soap?

So sorry it took so long to respond!
I've seen candles with tea leaves in them sell for higher, if that's what you mean. The few that I've bought though didn't smell that strongly of peppermint (pepperment tea leaf candles) I can ask around about different types if you like.

Oh yes! I forgot about the face scrub. Yes, if you have the crushed leaves in the soap then it can be a bit more of a scrub soap. I enjoy the dried crushed leaves from a tea bag in milk soap. It scrubs and moisturizes. ;) How much tea leaves you put in effects how rough the soap can be. If you pepper it with the dried leaves it looks cool and feels great.
Some time today I'm going to talk to my friend who has made the soap with wet leaves and see what she says about that. I'll add that info to the post once I've got it.

Edit: Okay, she says that when you add wet leaves, it's usually for a little texture and color. But the soap has a harder time holding it's shape.

smallthunder
06-03-2005, 07:36 AM
Oh yes! I forgot about the face scrub. Yes, if you have the crushed leaves in the soap then it can be a bit more of a scrub soap. I enjoy the dried crushed leaves from a tea bag in milk soap. It scrubs and moisturizes. ;) How much tea leaves you put in effects how rough the soap can be. If you pepper it with the dried leaves it looks cool and feels great.
Some time today I'm going to talk to my friend who has made the soap with wet leaves and see what she says about that. I'll add that info to the post once I've got it.

Edit: Okay, she says that when you add wet leaves, it's usually for a little texture and color. But the soap has a harder time holding it's shape.

Hummingbird --
Thank you so much for your detailed response to my inquiry!
I personally have been fascinated with soap-making for a long time -- perhaps after I finish this book, I'll finally get around to learning how. In any case, I was wondering approximately how much tea (leaves) you put into that milk soap -- just what's in one tea bag per bar? And is there any difference between using green tea leaves or black or oolong?
Ditto for candles.
Thanks again --

Hummingbird
06-04-2005, 07:42 PM
Hummingbird --
Thank you so much for your detailed response to my inquiry!
I personally have been fascinated with soap-making for a long time -- perhaps after I finish this book, I'll finally get around to learning how. In any case, I was wondering approximately how much tea (leaves) you put into that milk soap -- just what's in one tea bag per bar? And is there any difference between using green tea leaves or black or oolong?
Ditto for candles.
Thanks again --

Soap making is alot of fun! I haven't done much, but my friend that I asked about the herbs has taught me how. I need to get around to doing it sometime.

How much tea leaves? Hm... In the soap recipe, at least the ones we've done, calls for some water. Instead of normal water, we make tea (leaves from bags and all) to put in the recipe. So I guess it depends on how strong you like your tea. ;) I guess more or less a bag a bar. Unless you don't want a strong tea soap, then half a bag a bar.
I've only tried peppermint, but my friend has tried peppermint, black, and chamomile. As far as I know, she just made the tea to put into the soap as I said above. She did want me to tell you that Chamomile soap smells great and Black Tea soap is good to use on bug bites; it relieves some of the itching.
As to the candles, I still have only tried peppermint. :Shrug: I love that stuff. :)
My friend says that she's never tried Black Tea, Green Tea, or Oolong tea in candles, but thinks it's a good idea. I think she dries the leaves before putting them in the candles though. I imagine that if they're wet the candle won't set up properly, because once I dripped water in my wax and the candle had a hole in it where the water was. She also said fresh leaves are best for candles, but the tea would still work.

aadams73
06-04-2005, 09:01 PM
Tea is wonderful for reducing the sting from sunburn.

Stephanie
06-06-2005, 01:27 AM
You may wish to post your request for tea/tea leaf use on travel boards or expat hang-outs. I did a piece on potatoes once, and it was amazing what uses came up when I started talking to some people in Poland.

smallthunder
06-06-2005, 10:35 AM
You may wish to post your request for tea/tea leaf use on travel boards or expat hang-outs. I did a piece on potatoes once, and it was amazing what uses came up when I started talking to some people in Poland.

Sounds like a good idea -- could you provide me with some URLs that were useful? I think I could use some global views -- I've seem to have the US traditions/uses covered.

ideagirl
07-01-2005, 09:22 PM
Has anyone else mentioned that you can use a wet teabag of black tea on dental abscesses? Before you get the tooth pulled (or root canalled), you can hold the warm, wet tea bag against your gum and it helps draw out the toxins, bringing the abscess to a head so it can stop hurting so much. Once the tooth is pulled, you can put a teabag on the gum to stop the bleeding, if the usual process (clenching gauze between your teeth) doesn't stop it.

This is only recommended for BLACK tea. Not herbal, green, or mixes/flavors of black tea, just straight-up black tea. The tannins in it are apparently what has the medical benefits.

smallthunder
07-03-2005, 11:32 AM
Has anyone else mentioned that you can use a wet teabag of black tea on dental abscesses?
This is only recommended for BLACK tea. Not herbal, green, or mixes/flavors of black tea, just straight-up black tea. The tannins in it are apparently what has the medical benefits.
Hi, Ideagirl -- yes, I've got this one, except I hadn't heard before that one should only use black tea. Green tea also has tannins, so I'm wondering why one cannot use it. Are you sure that green cannot be used? Or is it that black tea is just better?
As for herbals -- they're not real tea, so I agree that they'd be useless.
Thanks for replying!

ideagirl
07-03-2005, 09:28 PM
Hi, Ideagirl -- yes, I've got this one, except I hadn't heard before that one should only use black tea. Green tea also has tannins, so I'm wondering why one cannot use it. Are you sure that green cannot be used? Or is it that black tea is just better?
As for herbals -- they're not real tea, so I agree that they'd be useless.
Thanks for replying!

I think the reason black tea is recommended is because it has way more tannins than green tea (as you can see from the color--tannins are partly responsible for the darkness of tea). In order of least to most tannins, it's green tea, oolong, and black. Tannins are astringent and apparently also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. I guess the astringency helps pull the infection out, and the anti-bac qualities are also good for healing.

I found a page on tannins in tea here: http://www.ochef.com/197.htm

threedogpeople
09-11-2005, 11:34 PM
I've read that used tea bags are good for insect stings, you use them as a compress.

johnnysannie
09-12-2005, 12:10 AM
I've read the thread and didn't see any mention of using tea leaves to tell fortunes. Whether just for fun or serious (as in ye olden days), tea leaves can be used to predict the future. Must be tea leaves - not bags - though. A crossed stem can portend a journey, as one example.

Most of the others I know were already mentioned...including sunburn. I have used tea bags to relieve the pain of an extreme sunburn and that worked.

smallthunder
09-12-2005, 03:57 AM
Although no one here wrote about telling fortunes by reading tea leaves, don't you worry -- that's on my list, for sure!
Thanks for weighing in, johnnysannie.

pdr
09-12-2005, 05:12 AM
Used Green tea leaves can be used in making paper. The black tea leaves can too but remember they will darken the paper.

All tea leaves are used around camellias to help keep the soil as acid as they like it.

Used Black or green tea leaves mixed with bran help make a bran mash for domestic animals like pigs and hens. Some liquid tea is included. The proportion is one quarter tea leaves to three quarters bran if I remember correctly.

Used black or oolong tea leaves makes an interesting sherry type cottage wine.

smallthunder
09-12-2005, 04:58 PM
Used Black or green tea leaves mixed with bran help make a bran mash for domestic animals like pigs and hens. Some liquid tea is included. The proportion is one quarter tea leaves to three quarters bran if I remember correctly.

Used black or oolong tea leaves makes an interesting sherry type cottage wine.

Hi, pdr --

Thanks for weighing in. I know about the paper-making and plant/soil enrichment, and while I had heard about feeding used leaves to rabbits, no one came up with details. So, I really appreciate the bran mash info!

As for the "sherry type cottage wine" -- I am INTRIGUED -- please tell me more. You can either answer here or send me a private message (pm).

Again, thanks alot for the info!

pdr
09-13-2005, 07:17 AM
Thank you for the reminder! I'd forgotten that. It was a cottager's trick or for anyone who raised a few rabbits for the pot. What was left in your tea pot was stirred into milled oats to make a moist feed to which bits of vegetables and greens were added. (Maybe you'd call the oats rolled or even whole porridge oats?)

Craftwise there was a simple way to make Batik which used left over black or oolong tea. It was nice and safe to use with kids or if you wanted the batik effect without the days of work.

Tea leaf Sherry recipe coming up when I have either got my son back home in NZ to go into our storage unit and find the box of cookery books or SOSd my mates to see who has still got a copy of my recipe. Have patience.

pdr
09-13-2005, 11:09 AM
My boozy friends came through and saved my son a difficult task.

This is an NZ/UK recipe so the imperial pint is 20 fliud ounces not the American 16 fluid ounces.

This wine was made by thrifty women who used and re-used what they had. The tea should be good, strong, first-pick-of-the-harvest tea. Something like English Breakfast or Darjeeling. Use whatever your favourite tea is from whichever country you prefer.
DON'T use scented teas like Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe as they alter the wine's fruity sherryish flavour.

If you must use tea bags don't tell me and don't complain about the insipid wine you'll make. If you do use tea bags you'd better add 8oz of raisons to improve the flavour, but it isn't proper tea wine!

Tea Wine
You can make more or less of this wine if you remember that for every pint of tea you need 5oz of sugar. It is better not to make more than a gallon at a time though as it's harder to control the fermentation process successfully.

You need:
4 pints of Tea
2 large juicy Lemons
1 lbs Sugar
Yeast and wine maker's nutrient

1. Save the last dregs of tea and leaves from every pot in a glass or eathenware bowl until you have got 4 pints. (Always cover your bowl tightly.)
2. Strain the 4 pints of tea into a pan to remove the leaves. (Put the leaves in the compost.)
3. Bring the liquid to a quick boil, then add all the warmed sugar. Only boil the liquid long enough for the sugar to dissolve.
4. Pour the liquid into an earthenware or glass blowl with a lid or cover and add the juice of the lemons with the half teaspoon of yeast nutrient.
5. Let it cool.
6. When cool add the teaspoon of dried yeast. (Winemaker's yeast is best but good quality baking yeast can be used.)
7. Cover well and sit in a warm place.
8. After the first vigorous ferment has finished stir the wine gently.
9. Pour all the liquid into your glass fermenting bottle and cork it with the trap.
10. It will continue to work for about 6 weeks and then the wine clears.
11. Rack and bottle.

Drink with caution. Well and properly made this wine has about 13% alcohol but has such a pleasant taste you don't notice.

smallthunder
09-14-2005, 04:12 AM
Fantastic!
:banana:

I can't wait to try it -- thanks ever so much!

pdr
09-14-2005, 06:53 AM
No problem, my pleasure.

vickys
03-27-2006, 08:04 PM
im at university and am currently making a skirt out of used tea bags for an art project. There is an artist Jenna MacNeil who has done something sounds like an interesting subject youve choose when the book is finished could i have details please as would help me with my work.

Sury
03-27-2006, 10:19 PM
In India, while applying henna to their hair, some women use juice extracted from used tea leaves. To do this, some cold water is added to the tea leaves and kept aside for a few minutes. When it gets a dark brownish colour, the water is strained and added to the henna mix. This is done to get a deep brownish tint for the hair.

smallthunder
07-10-2006, 02:42 AM
im at university and am currently making a skirt out of used tea bags for an art project. There is an artist Jenna MacNeil who has done something sounds like an interesting subject youve choose when the book is finished could i have details please as would help me with my work.
Hi, Vicky --

I put aside work on my tea book for a while because of greater success with novel writing ... but now I'm back, and focused!

I can't say when it'll be finished, of course -- but if there is any way I can help you with your work now, please just let me know.

chicagogal
07-14-2006, 09:21 AM
hope this does't gross you out, but it does work: cool camomille tea bags soothe hemmoroids. HONEST!!!!

Nuoddo
07-19-2006, 02:07 AM
I break open used tea bags and sprinkle on my houseplants. Lots of people do this with coffee grounds, but it works with tea, too. You may already have this...


Also, in my family we've always used tea to pull the heat out of sunburn. If you're really desperate and don't mind staining the tub, you can bathe in it...Otherwise, in a bowl of water with a washcloth...and then lay the used tea bags on your shoulders, nose, cheeks...really burned parts. It works better than anything on the market, including aloe.

That's all I can think of....

:)

smallthunder
07-30-2006, 09:28 PM
I make oil and lye soap. Liquid that has been reduced from soaking regular tea bags can be used as a colorizing agent to create a baked "bread like" color. (Instant coffee also does the same thing and isn't as cumbersome as using tea bags.)

Different varieties of tea i.e. raspberry or blueberry may also be used to create different colors.

Hi --

If you read way back in this thread, you'll see that I mentioned my separate interest in making soap (the real old-fashioned way).

As I understand it -- which is to say, not very much -- making soap with oil & lye is pretty much a chemistry experiment. Would adding tea -- tannin, alkaline -- mess up the chemical process in any way, or is it added so late that there's no problem?

Plus -- is there any "value added" to the soap by the tea besides coloring? Tea has antiseptic & deoderant properties (to name just two) -- does this carry over to the soap?

kikazaru
08-01-2006, 05:15 AM
When I was new mother, the doctor recommended slipping used, cold tea bags in my bra to help sore nipples. It looked and felt ridiculous, but it worked.

The Victorians, used to sprinkle used tea leaves on their carpets and then sweep them up. I assume the dust and dirt were absorbed by the leaves.

historian
08-01-2006, 05:29 PM
When nylon stockings first came on the market they were not colour fast and tended to fade after several washings. We rinsed them in tea to restore the colour.

historian

laralynzy
08-04-2006, 02:22 AM
You can use used tea bags on sunburn to help soothe and cool it and help give your skin a richer tan.

You can also add used tea leaves and coffee grinds toyour flower pots as substitute mulch.

Lynn

smallthunder
08-04-2006, 05:22 PM
Thanks, guys -- I have all of these (nursing, sunburn, dye, etc) down already, but appreciate your thoughts, nonetheless.

Two areas I would like to explore further, however, are examples of how to use tea leaves:

1. as material for a HOBBY/CRAFT

2. in relation to ANIMALS/INSECTS (in some way: as feed, medicine, bedding, grooming aid, deterrent?)


Any ideas or experiences?

Stephen DeBock
08-07-2006, 01:10 AM
My wife was suffering from fatigue due to overwork: eyes itched so bad that at times she wanted to scratch them out. A chemist friend recommended using tea as an eyewash, as the tannic acid would remove scaling. I made up a pint of tea and my wife washed her eyes out twice daily, using an eyecup, and when the tea was gone so was the itchiness.

Stephen DeBock
08-07-2006, 01:42 AM
I can't veify the accuracy of this, but it might be worth checking out. In olden days, after a shipment of loose tea was unloaded from the ship at its destination port, the hold would be covered with tea dust; i.e., the leaves on the bottom that had been crushed by the weight of the leaves above them. Tea dust was considered trash, as it was too fine to put inside a perforated tea ball, and it was discarded. Then some genius came up with an idea: put the dust into a membrane that water could circulate through and extract the flavor. The tea bag was thus born, and "trash" tea dust became a prized commodity. (This was told to me ages ago by my late father, who in his youth was a longshoreman. Whether he learned the information through personal experience or heard it from his fellow dock workers, I'll never know. I do wish, though, that he'd been the genius who invented the tea bag!)

smallthunder
08-08-2006, 01:20 AM
I can't veify the accuracy of this, but it might be worth checking out. In olden days, after a shipment of loose tea was unloaded from the ship at its destination port, the hold would be covered with tea dust; i.e., the leaves on the bottom that had been crushed by the weight of the leaves above them. Tea dust was considered trash, as it was too fine to put inside a perforated tea ball, and it was discarded. Then some genius came up with an idea: put the dust into a membrane that water could circulate through and extract the flavor. The tea bag was thus born, and "trash" tea dust became a prized commodity. (This was told to me ages ago by my late father, who in his youth was a longshoreman. Whether he learned the information through personal experience or heard it from his fellow dock workers, I'll never know. I do wish, though, that he'd been the genius who invented the tea bag!)

Sorry -- no disrespect meant -- but your dad's story doesn't hold (hot) water. The tea bag was invented by a tea salesman as a means to distribute samples of his goods. I can't remember his name at the moment -- but the chap is credited in many legit sources.

smallthunder
08-08-2006, 01:29 AM
Sorry if this is a repeat, but I didn't read all the posts (how lazy of me). Our vet told us to put tea bags in our dog's water to keep his urine from staining the grass.
And what about dipping pearls in tea?

Hi, Trixie -- thanks for responding to my query.

Now THAT is one I haven't heard -- the tea-dog-urine nexus! Did your vet tell you anything regarding watching the caffeine? Of course, if it's a used teabag, the caffeine already pretty much disappeared into the teacup ... nonetheless, did the vet elaborate? And heck -- does your dog have a preference (black tea, green tea, Earl Gray)?

I wouldn't think you'd want to dip pearls into tea -- stain them yellow-brown? Is there something I'm missing here?

TheIT
08-08-2006, 02:07 AM
This is a long shot, but it might help open up some new questions on the tea leaves for hobby aspect.

I'm an amateur polymer clay artist. I'm not certain if you're familiar with polymer clay, but there are some incredible effects you can get with polymer that cannot be done with earth clays. Polymer clay is sold in craft stores under the brand names Sculpey, Fimo, and Kato. It's cured at low temperatures (275 degrees Fahrenheit) so no kiln is needed. People use it for sculpture, jewelry, covering objects, and many other things.

One of the "colors" of polymer clay is translucent. When cured, the finished piece will be almost clear (not quite as clear as glass). Some artists put "inclusions" into translucent clay to add texture and visual interest. Some possibilities are old spices from the kitchen cupboard, metal leaf, dry pigment, and inks. Some people choose inclusions for their aromatic properties, too.

I haven't heard of anyone specifically using tea leaves as inclusions, but I don't see why it couldn't be done. The leaves would need to be dry before mixing them into the polymer clay otherwise the excess moisture might cause the polymer to cloud or create air bubbles. The effect would probably be similar to what was already mentioned about adding tea leaves to candles.

ETA:
For information on how to use polymer clay, I recommend the Glass Attic website: www.glassattic.com

OverTheHills&FarAway
08-08-2006, 02:27 AM
Here's a site I found while looking up good tea recipes. My favorite one is using tea to stain new plastic guitar parts to make them look vintage. Other than duct tape, tea looks to be the most useful concoction of modern man!

http://www.stashtea.com/ydwwtea.htm

Stephen DeBock
08-08-2006, 11:15 PM
Sorry -- no disrespect meant -- but your dad's story doesn't hold (hot) water. The tea bag was invented by a tea salesman as a means to distribute samples of his goods. I can't remember his name at the moment -- but the chap is credited in many legit sources.

Thanks for clearing up the misperception. Urban legends obviously date back a long, long way.

smallthunder
08-09-2006, 03:39 AM
One of the "colors" of polymer clay is translucent. When cured, the finished piece will be almost clear (not quite as clear as glass). Some artists put "inclusions" into translucent clay to add texture and visual interest. Some possibilities are old spices from the kitchen cupboard, metal leaf, dry pigment, and inks. Some people choose inclusions for their aromatic properties, too.

I haven't heard of anyone specifically using tea leaves as inclusions, but I don't see why it couldn't be done. The leaves would need to be dry before mixing them into the polymer clay otherwise the excess moisture might cause the polymer to cloud or create air bubbles. The effect would probably be similar to what was already mentioned about adding tea leaves to candles.



Interesting ... there's a type of jade that has splotches of green on a white background (called "moss-in-the-snow" jade by the Chinese). I've seen a necklace of beads made from this jade, and it was absolutely stunning. I wonder if one could do something that looks a bit similar using green tea leaves and polymer clay?

That reminds me -- anybody have any idea what 'trixie' meant about dipping pearls into tea a little while back?