How to Store Tea Leaves for Reuse

By October 29, 2016

Ever wonder how to store tea leaves for reuse? Ever wonder whether it is safe to reuse loose tea leaves the next day? If you are a tea lover, you may have a hard time tossing your precious tea leaves after just one steep. Then, you have come to the right place.

brew tea leaves

Is it safe to reuse the tea leaves the next day?

Unlike tea bags which are not suitable for multiple steeps, it is OK, actually best for you, to re-steep loose leaf tea, which can bring out more subtle flavors and notes. Given the different types of tea, how many times each tea can steep differs. And there is always a debate on how long the tea leaves can sit around before you reuse them.  Some said tea leaves must be discarded 3 hours after it has been steeped, other thought it is safe to reuse for the next day. Actually, it is not suggested to reuse the overnight tea for the fear that the moisture in the leaf can encourage harmful bacteria or mold growth. However, we can re-steep the tea leaves for several times during a day. 

is it safe to reuse tea leaves the next day

How to store tea leaves for reuse?

How to store tea leaves for reuse, or to say, how to store tea leaves between steepings? From our article How to Brew Tea, you may know that you should avoid steep tea leaves so long, which will makes the tea taste bitter. You should take out the tea leaves after 3-5 minutes steeping. So, you need to well store the tea leaves for next time steeping.

dry wet tea leaves

The key is to avoid moisture. It is bad to leave the wet tea aside in the tea infuser for extended periods. Bacteria thrive on both moisture and heat. So to store the tea leave for reuse, you need:

  1. Dry out the tea leaves. Remember not to squeeze, which will cause broken tea leaves. You can use a tissue or a handkerchief to absorb the excess moisture.
  2. Spread the tea leaves out in as thin of a layer as possible on a flat surface.
  3. Place them in a well-circulated room.

Store the tea leaves with the above methods can reduce the bacteria and mold growth to a large extend. What do you think? Is there a better way to store tea leaves for reuse the next day? Share with us below.

Comments (5)



  1. Thank you for beautiful article Scarlet! So helpful.
    My way to store tea leaves for reuse the next day? :I simply drain well the leaves in a .little tea basket, put basket in a cup or jar, cover it up, and store it into the fridge till afternoon,, then same procedure again till next morning if used 3 times. Not sure if it is acceptable, it works for me.

  2. I put the tea leave already steep in the jar or bowl in the refrigerator. When i ready to steep i take it out and steep again.

  3. LOVE this about tea thank-you