A Tea Addict's Journal

Unwanted teas

May 12, 2008 · 9 Comments

What do you do with teas that you no longer want, but is a waste to throw away?

I was going through my tea closet, and found this one sealed and unopened canister of longjing. It was a pretty good grade longjing that was given to me, but since I almost never drink green tea, I never opened it. It’s been almost two years now, I think. I’m sure it’s still good, because recently I opened some other can that is basically a two or three year old green tea. Still tastes rather ok.

It’s a waste to throw away the tea. If I open the can, then I know it’ll be spoiled sooner or later because I just won’t drink it fast enough. If I don’t open it, it will languish….

Iced tea, I suppose, is one way to dispose of the tea, but I can only drink so much iced tea….

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9 responses so far ↓

  • Anonymous // May 13, 2008 at 12:36 am | Reply

    I have the same conundrum. Sometimes I give it to my mom, but she rarely uses loose leaf, so that’s not a good option.

    I have a couple of spring oolongs that give me tummy ache, and a couple of black teas that are really harsh, plus some others that just don’t really get used. The blacks I can use for iced tea but you’re right, you can only drink so much.

    The thought occurred to me that if I can’t find a home for the teas, or drink them up, they’d make a good mulch. Ha!

  • Anonymous // May 13, 2008 at 1:16 am | Reply

    I remember a thread about this on Chowhound a while back – some interesting suggestions there. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/364135

    My girlfriend makes a big deal about not being picky about tea, especially tea she drinks at work, so sometimes I can pawn stuff on her. Sometimes I try to go through and use up samples, or teas that I only have a little left, so I can free up canisters / space. If you’re visiting friends / family / fellow tea friends, you can gift / re-gift it to them. They might not like it either, but at least now it’s taking up space in their closet. :>

    And some teas I have a lot of, like, but don’t drink a lot – these ones I try to make sure are ones that will age Ok, and hopefully I’ll remember to roast them if it becomes necessary.

    Sometimes you just have to admit you’re not going to drink it and throw it away.

  • iwii // May 13, 2008 at 3:05 am | Reply

    Maybe it is the right time to think about starting to age longjing? Well ok it is not a new idea as many puerh collectors are already doing that these days…
    But seriously, instead of trashing them, why not forget your cans in a corner for 20 years, just to see how it taste afterwards? Maybe you’d be able to achieve something interesting? Probably not, humidity should make it turn sour but who knows? as long as you’ve got storage space (and since a couple of cans are not that bulky), it could be a fun experiment.

  • MarshalN // May 13, 2008 at 9:15 am | Reply

    So right now my options are:

    Drink it iced
    Give them away
    Age them (i.e. leave the sitting here)


  • mama_jess // May 13, 2008 at 10:23 am | Reply

    You could donate them to a church (little old ladies love tea! of course, they’ll probably be mad that you don’t have any earl grey to give them…), or better yet, hold a tea tasting party! Or, a tea swap party, if you know enough tea drinkers in the neighborhood (might be a good way to meet some)…

  • Anonymous // May 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm | Reply

    1) Convince some kid to open a koolaid stand but sell the tea instead.
    Split the profits.

    2) Make icecream

    3) Season some pots

    4) ebay it.

    5) convince Heidi from trading spaces to glue it to the walls on the next episode.

    6) Put it in a nice glass jar in layers with other teas you’re never going to drink and put it on display next to the one with beans, and the other one with novelty pasta.

  • shichangpu // May 13, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Reply

    tea eggs. a good way to dispose of unwanted oolong. green, maybe not.

    but please, don’t drink your longjing iced. talk about digestive damage… 🙂

  • Anonymous // May 14, 2008 at 3:42 am | Reply

    Oh yeah – you can make one of those Japanese / Korean dishes where you mix tea in with rice (or pour it in a stone bowl that once had rice in it). I think that’s usually done with green tea, but the gf made it recently, and I brewed up a bunch of some greenish twese oolong I had laying around…

  • mulcahyfeldman // May 14, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Reply

    You can also use the teas for dyes — T-shirts or fabrics, handmade paper, stationery, insoles for shoes. You’re very creative. Spill it on backlit paper and take photographs for your book’s endplates. I like the idea of the glass jar with layers but over time, the color will be lost.

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