Since you can get about 2-3 cups out of each bag of BeLight Tea, I often get asked,
“How can I save the tea so I can re-infuse it later?”
Good quality teas, whether loose leaf or some pyramid bags like ours, can be steeped multiple times. While that’s definitely a bonus, sometimes you don’t want multiple cups now (or don’t have time). Of course you could just go with one-and-done approach and toss it after the first cup.
But if you want to get maximum use out of the tea and save it for later, you need a convenient way to preserve your tea, such that it won’t lose the rest of its flavor, won’t get moldy, and you won’t end up with cold, over steeped tea.
If I’m planning to make my next cup within an hour or so, I just leave the tea (either in a bag or strainer) sit on my tea saucer. I don’t want it to go far since I’ll be making another cup of tea soon.
For longer periods between infusions, such as overnight, my recommendation is to shake off the excess water then place your tea leaves (or tea bags) in the freezer. It will preserve most of the flavor and your tea will definitely remain mold-free. You likely won’t have a problem with freezer burn, unless your freezer temperature is too cold or you keep it in there for more than a few days. If that’s the case, it’s time to toss the leaves and reclaim your freezer space (and steepware).
With the freezer trick, you don’t need to worry about wasting the tea leaves nor chugging a second cup as you run out the door.
Flavored teas, spiced teas, and conventional paper tea bags don’t save particularly well. Oftentimes their flavor is too transient such that there’s no taste left after freezing.
This method works best with pu-erh teas, some oolongs, and many whole leaf black teas because these teas have so many levels of flavor with a new one being experienced on each steeping (the freezing method takes away about a half of a steep).
That’s my tip of the day.
What do you do with once-steeped tea? Trash it? Or do you have a clever way to save it for later?