Coffee grounds and tea leaves don’t just belong in your cup, they come in useful in a variety of surprising ways.
There are many ways to use coffee grounds and tea leaves and you’ll be surprised with how you can put them to good use. The best part is these methods are kind to Mother Earth and good for your bank balance too.
After you’ve had a cup of your favourite coffee, don’t toss those grounds just yet! Here’s how you can make use of them:
Used coffee grounds are the perfect ingredient for a homemade body scrub. Simply mix three tablespoons of coffee grounds with two tablespoons of coconut oil and use immediately. Caffeine in coffee is believed to help with cell regeneration as it stimulates blood flow and circulation. Occasionally giving your skin a good scrub also helps to remove dead cells. This improves your skin’s ability to absorb nutrients.
It’s not just humans who can enjoy the benefits of coffee, your plants can benefit too. Put a batch of used coffee grounds to good use by adding it to soil. A lab analysis conducted on coffee grounds revealed that it is rich in magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. The grounds are also slightly acidic which is great especially for roses, azaleas, hydrangeas and camellias.
Coffee grounds can be used to fill the gaps in wooden furniture. According to Reader’s Digest, all you need to do is to mix some coffee grounds with water to form a thick paste. Put the paste on a small knife such as a butter knife and gentle fill the crack or gap. This works well especially for dark-coloured wooden furniture.
Purchasing durians from a roadside stall and surprising your loved ones may seem like a great idea until you get into your car the next day and it smells like something died in there! You can eliminate this and other unpleasant odours from your car by placing some coffee grounds in a closed container after piercing a few holes in the lid. Coffee grounds are great for absorbing any kind of strong odour.
Re-brew your used tea bags, leave it to cool and pour it into a spray bottle. Use this environmental friendly solution to clean your glass windows and surfaces. Tannin found in tea is believed to be responsible for leaving your windows spotless. However, as no chemicals has been added to this solution, be sure to use up the solution within a day or two.
Chilled, used tea bags are a natural and effective way to soothe small cuts or burns. From mosquito bites, minor burns and paper cuts, simply apply a chilled tea bag to the affected area. If you are feeling adventurous, bathe with herbal tea leaves such as chamomile, by adding some of the used tea leaves to your bath tub. You can also add some dried flower petals. Chamomile is believed to help soothe irritated skin. However, it is best to conduct a patch test before bathing with any kind of tea leaves. A patch test is a method used to determine if your skin is sensitive to a particular ingredient by applying a small amount of it to your skin. Patch tests are usually done on your arm or neck.
Food odours such as those from fresh garlic and onions can be pungent and remain on your skin for a relatively long time. Try scrubbing and washing your hands with used, loose green tea leaves. It not only eliminates the odour but leaves your hands smelling fresh too.
Get a breath of fresh air Used tea bags can easily be turned into air fresheners. Simply dry the tea bags and apply two to three drops of your favourite essential oil. Most tea bags come with a string and this allows you to hang them anywhere; such as in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or car. The best part about making your own air freshener is that you can be creative and use any scent you like — be it a single scent or a combination.
There are many ways for you to reuse your coffee grounds and tea leaves. So go ahead, be creative and know that you’re also preserving the environment by using natural ingredients.
The art of drinking coffee and tea
“Defining what constitutes a good cup of tea or coffee is very subjective,” says certified Barista by Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA), owner of Caffé Crema, and a true blue coffee lover, Elvin S. “It all depends on the individual. Some may like it bitter, a little sour or with milk and sugar.”
While the taste of a good cup of coffee or tea depends very much on the individual, Elvin draws a line between what is acceptable and what isn’t.
Up to the barista
According to Elvin, there’s a journey to creating a good cup of coffee. “It all depends on the origin of the beans, the blend, the way it is roasted and how it is brewed,” he says. Once a good blend and roast have been chosen, it is all up to the barista to prepare a good cup of coffee.
“There is a middle ground between the amount and size of the beans and the amount of water used,” he stresses. “Too much or too little of any of these, will tremendously affect the cup of coffee that will be served and it can go from sour to extremely bitter.
This balance is more complicated when milk is included like in a latte. The correct milk temperature of about 60 to 70 degree Celsius is important as it will ensure that the coffee and milk mix well.
It’s in your hands
As for tea, it is all about time. “The amount of time you take to steep the tea leaves is critical. That is why, here at Caffe Crema, a thermometer is provided for you to keep track of time,” says Elvin. “If you are distracted or caught up with something such as talking to your friends, you might steep the tea leaves for too long and the next thing you know, you’ll be requesting for some sugar and milk. This is because steeping tea leaves for more than the recommended period of time can cause your tea to taste bitter.
The amount of time needed to steep a perfect cup of tea depends on the type of tea. “To know the ideal amount of time needed to steep the tea leaves or tea bag, check the instructions,” advises Elvin. Guidelines to making a perfect cup of tea can usually be found on the label of the tea box.
Whether it’s coffee or tea, the most important thing is that you enjoy your beverage. “Don’t always stick to your usual beverage, “says Elvin. “Try something new because that ‘something new’ might just be your new favourite drink. Excite your taste buds and yourself!”