Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without
--saying from the Great Depression era
I don't know about you, but with all the doom and gloom descending upon the economy these days, I'm giving extra thoughts to ways I can tighten the spending belt and save my pennies. I'm thrifty by my nature, so it's always a fun challenge for me to find ways to save money.
Are you using your loose tea to help you save money?
I think of high-quality loose tea as an affordable luxury. One ounce of loose tea will make approximately 8 - 12 cups of tea. That's assuming the teaspoon per cup ratio (give or take) and also assuming single consumption. You can extend this tea further by re-using it!
Not many people realize that you can re-steep loose teas. Yes! This is one of their joys. In addition, since caffeine is highly water soluble, the second pot you brew will have significantly less caffeine (around 60%). Here's what I do: 1 - Make a pot of fresh leaves in the morning. 2 - Stick the used leaves (in my cotton tea sock) in a mug and put them in the fridge or set them on the counter. 3 - Reuse those same leaves in the afternoon/evening (with less caffeine).
Think about the magnification principle here. Now, you can get between 16 and 24 cups of tea from your one ounce. That's pretty cost efficient! Many of my Serendipity Teas prices hover around $2.50/oz. At 16 cups/ounce, that's 15.6 cents per cup. Try finding that at Starbucks!
Some green and oolong teas stand up to multiple steepings. You may want to slightly increase the steep time and/or temp for the second or third steep. (This is where a tea tasting notebook comes in handy - keep notes about how you like that second steep - at what temp/time?)
So, drink your tea wisely and reuse those leaves! And when you're done, use them as compost.
How are you saving your pennies these days, tea-wise or other?
Photos from corbis.com