Go Green: Creative Ideas For Old Tea Bags!!

What do you do with teabags once you have used them?  You probably throw it in the trash like everyone else. Well, "everyone else" is wrong. Remember old is gold? They were referring to old teabags, while a fresh teabag has only one use, an old one has many uses.   All you need to do is think outside the box (or teacup). Here are a few creative ideas to do with old tea bags.

Make Stronger Tea
First, you can brew stronger tea. Okay, nothing new here but you don't throw it out after one use. While I may like my tea weak, some of us love it brown or green and strong. You save yourself the cost of using two fresh teabags by using an old one to add more flavor. You can use this technique on all teabags though white teabags are a bit too delicate for this. 

Pest Control
Pests are tea haters. While you enjoy sipping tea, the mice in your garden just wonder why you enjoy such filth. So, when you are done with that teabag, open it and sprinkle it on your plants and you will have bid farewell to pests. The tea leaves are a double blessing to the plants since they add nutrients to the plants.

Air Freshner
Teabags are good for your mouth and old teabags are good for your nose. Tea laves are excellent odor absorbers. So, you can hang a few of them in your refrigerator and in a few hours, the fridge will be the best smelling place in your house. The same can be done anywhere in your home, and there are so many fragrant teas out there.

Cast Iron Rust Prevention
Know how your cookware seems to rust when you don't use it for a few weeks or months? That old teabag that you wanted to throw in the trash can solve this problem. Wipe your iron cookware with a damp used teabag after use. The tannins in the tea create a protective layer that prevents oxidation. 

Are you single and lonely? A teabag is not your solution but it helps you prepare tastier food the next time you have a date. Used teabags add flavor to grains and pasta. Simply hang the teabags in the boiling pot to flavor it. Depending on the flavor you want, experiment with different types of tea bag such as chai, jasmine, or cinnamon. Also, use the leftover tealeaves to marinade your beef, pork, or chicken. The tea not only flavors your food but also tenderizes the meat.

If you hate scrubbing dishes, then a teabag is your best partner. Teabags are excellent grease removers. Warm the water and drop one or two teabags in before putting in your greasy utensils. Wait for the utensils to soak for five minutes. The tea will have broken down the food stains and grease. With a little scrubbing, your utensils are as clean as new.

The uses of a teabag seem to increase once it is used.  You can experiment as much as you want with your old teabags.  Just ensure you don't throw them away before they serve you in another way outside of your cup. 

Sleepless? Some Teas That Will Knock You Out Right Away

For hundreds of years people from different cultures have consumed different teas for a number of reasons. Some teas are believed to have a tonic or calming effect, and others are thought to have curative powers. Whether true or not cannot be substantiated in most cases. However, the culture of taking teas is deep-rooted in our societies and people take them mostly before bed. Nobody knows why teas are preferably taken before bed but they have been known to have sedative effects. Some of these teas that can help you get some sleep at the end of a strenuous day are:

1.) Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is one of the most common before bedtime teas. It is widely believed to have sedative powers and also helps one to calm their nerves. Some compounds that are used in supplements that help one to sleep are extracted from chamomile tea. Chamomile leaves can be easily dried out and brewed into tea and millions of people all over the world take it for sedative purposes. Researchers Diane McKay and Jeffrey Blumberg of Tuft's University found evidence of cholesterol lowering effects too.

2.) Valerian root
Valerian has been found by researchers in a Swedish study to contain compounds with sedative effect. People all over the world have used it for millions of years for anxiety and also to help get sleep. The root of the Valerian herb has been used in medicine to make sleep aids. It is said that the herb is undoubtedly one of the best cures for insomnia. The fact that it is all natural, and doesn’t have any side effects also makes it a popular choice. The tea can make one feel groggy when they wake up the next morning so taking the right amount is crucial.

Lavender is another popular and yet very effective herbal elixir. It helps to relax the nervous system and get rid of anxieties. This helps a person to fall asleep faster than they would if they took nothing. One can steep the tea and drink or inhale vapors made of it. Either way, you will feel refreshed and ready for bed.

4.) Passionflower
There are different kinds of passionflower and not all have sedative effects. Some species of the plant have been found to have toxic compounds and so taking the right one is essential. Passiflora Incarnate is the kind of passion flower tea you should use for sedative purposes. Take a teaspoon of the tea leaves and steep them in boiling water for a soothing and calming effect.

5.) Magnolia bark
The magnolia bark has been used for ages by Chinese to increase sleep and reduce anxiety. A study showed that mice put on magnolia bark tea were able to sleep faster than those which were not. The magnolia bark contains a substance called magnolol that helps in increasing sleep.

6.) Lemon balm
This herb has also been widely used as a sleep aid. Although there is no scientific evidence of its effectiveness, people love to take it in combination with other teas. Most herbal teas in the market are a blend of more than one herb. Therefore, it is hard to figure out which of the blend’s components is more effective than the other.



Top 9+1 Places for Tea in Greater Los Angeles, CA

I know, right? Hot tea in the L.A. summer heat sounds absurd. But hold on – tea actually offers tons of benefits over your favorite shot of expresso or vodka. It is not only calorie-free, can have less caffeine than coffee, helps you to hydrate, is known to help battle cancer, is good for your metabolism, and has antioxidants that keep your immune system at optimum levels.

Here are our top ten picks for where to have tea in Los Angeles. These are considered the best tea spots based on customer reviews, unique brews, and exceptional service.


1. Chado Tea Room

You can find this spot at the Japanese American Museum. It has a great ambience, over 300 varieties of tea (yes, there are that many in existence) and you can also enjoy your pick of pastries. A top pick for L.A. tea lovers.


2. Wolfgang Puck at Bel-Air

If you are looking to sit down for a $60 afternoon tea and dine on some of the best scones in the baking business, then this is the place to go. It offers a variety of brews and will accommodate gluten and sugar free sippers. If you want to include your kids in your afternoon tea, Wolfgang Puck offers a special Little Royals Tea for the youngsters.


3. L’Ermitage

Looking for a buzz at the bottom of your tea cup?  This is a strictly over 21 affair and includes tea infused cocktails, and liquor infused baked goods.  Talk about high tea!  The experience is customized, so you should order your tea 72 hours in advance.


4. The Four Seasons Tea Room

Dust off your white gloves for this tea tryst. You get amazing tea blends, a pastry bar and all the fun things that come with high tea, such as edible flowers. And the best part: the experience is quite affordable at about $17 a head.


5. Tea Garden

Along Beverly Boulevard lies a serene and ambient tea spot, appropriately named the Tea Garden. Here you get to enjoy herbal teas, and other products. It has been in business since 1988 so we like to believe that they know a thing or two about serving tea to L.A. residents.


6. Teavana Tea Room and Gourmet Shop

Our favorite Teavana location is on Santa Monica Boulevard and is the perfect place for any tea virgin. You get to try out tea blend samples before you purchase your cup or pot of tea. In addition, they have a variety of unique flavors such as chocolate tea, Moroccan Mint, Kamiya Papaya Oolong tea and many others. Many people love it for its ambience, and serenity in the heart of a busy L.A.


7. Bourgeois Pig

A strange name for a tea spot, but if you look beyond it is well worth a try. Located on Franklin Avenue, they have an extensive tea, coffee, and other beverages collection. They also have a variety of snacks and pastries to enjoy with your cup of tea.


8. Rose Tree Cottage

By now everyone has a soft spot for the series Downton Abbey. Well, this is the one tea spot in the heart of LA which offers Downton Abbey style tea gatherings. Located along S. Pasadena Avenue, you get to enjoy a true English tea affair complete with cucumber sandwiches, Yorkshire pudding and scones. And, if that’s not enough, you can celebrate the Queen’s birthday!


9. American Tea Room

Despite the arguably ironic name, this is one of the best places to have tea in Beverly Hills. They have a unique tea brewing system that gets guests their favorite cup within 60 seconds. And the afternoon tea service comes with some snacks for your tea.


10. Anywhere

On a mountain, in a boat, on a plane.  You can do it all in L.A.  And let’s face it, tea is good pretty much anywhere, anytime.  Well, you at least need water.  Fresh water.  So you can still do this in L.A. for now…