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  • Eating tea leaves...

    So, it's an ancient Chinese custom to add spent tea leaves to salads, soups, and as a garnish on top of meats. In addition, the Japanese brew matcha tea from a powder of ground tea leaves and drink the powder along with the liquid. They also utilize various tea extracts and powders for a wide variety of culinary purposes. Anyone else use tea in their cooking?

    I'm going to start making better use of my leftover tea leaves and not just toss them in the garbage. Waste not, want not! I don't know what kind of benefit I'll get from this, but it's a plant-based food that has been around for thousands of years, so why not?

    Anyone here ever used tea for non-drinking purposes? This should be interesting to try out!
    "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

  • #2
    I put them in the compost heap, so they are at least recycled....

    Comment


    • #3
      I've used them to season things, yes.

      I also do a lot of herbals, so those of course get used in lots of ways.

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      • #4
        Aren't you the guy who got high on yerba mate? Dump that pesky water and eat the leaves straight.
        5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by oxide View Post
          Aren't you the guy who got high on yerba mate? Dump that pesky water and eat the leaves straight.
          I wasn't TRYING to get high!

          But I was DEFINATELY, ummm... Buzzed.

          I should try eating the leaves of the mate after I'm done brewing it.
          "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by oxide View Post
            Dump that pesky water and eat the leaves straight.
            Before or after brewing?

            Recently I've been adding green tea leaves (from a tea bag) to my omelettes.

            What is the difference, nutritionally, between brewed and unbowed tea leaves?
            By consuming a tea-bag-full of tea leaves, am I getting more (in a bad way) nutrients than brewing it?

            PS I'd rather bump this thread than start a new one.

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            • #7
              I eat tea leaves frequently, as I drink tea every day.

              Drakelet: Brewed leaves will have fewer polyphenols, tannins and other dissolve-able materials in them. These escape the leaves during the steep.

              When you consume them whole, brewed or unbrewed, it isn't going to hurt you.

              Tea-bags, however, tend to be low quality leaves, and they're finely chopped and rather oxidized in comparison with the full leaf stuff. I'd say the processing can be sketchy.

              If you're interested in starting full leaf teas, though, check out TeaGuardian sometime.

              M.

              Comment


              • #8
                I use tea as a seasoning for stir-fries and stews. Always add near the end.
                The texture is odd, so you may want to start with just a little and scale it up, but a whole teabag (2-5g) per person is good.
                --
                Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

                --
                I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
                I'd apologize, but...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kochin View Post
                  I use tea as a seasoning for stir-fries and stews. Always add near the end.
                  The texture is odd, so you may want to start with just a little and scale it up, but a whole teabag (2-5g) per person is good.
                  I'd think that you wouldn't have texture issues and would get better flavor and more antioxidants if you used full tea leaves rather than the overprocessed "tea powder" used in most cheap teabags. Just my two cents though.
                  "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
                    I eat tea leaves frequently, as I drink tea every day.

                    Drakelet: Brewed leaves will have fewer polyphenols, tannins and other dissolve-able materials in them. These escape the leaves during the steep.

                    When you consume them whole, brewed or unbrewed, it isn't going to hurt you.

                    Tea-bags, however, tend to be low quality leaves, and they're finely chopped and rather oxidized in comparison with the full leaf stuff. I'd say the processing can be sketchy.

                    If you're interested in starting full leaf teas, though, check out TeaGuardian sometime.

                    M.
                    Yes, unbrewed leaves will have more antioxidants in them, but if you're drinking the brewed tea before you eat the leaves, then presumably you haven't lost the antioxidants in any way because you get the stuff from the tea you drink AND the leaves, so itmdoesn't really matter one way or the other.
                    "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
                      I'd think that you wouldn't have texture issues and would get better flavor and more antioxidants if you used full tea leaves rather than the overprocessed "tea powder" used in most cheap teabags. Just my two cents though.
                      I just do it for the taste, but I DO use my better tea (sometimes loose tea) when cooking, as the taste is far better.
                      Yeah, throwing tea into a pork stir-fry was less "tea is good for you!" and more one of my "bright ideas" (of the variety that actually turn out to be bright).

                      I'll see if the local Asian stores have some decent tealeaves, though. They probably sell whole ones, if I find the right place.
                      Unsure what the texture is, but it's kinda like when you dry parsley out too much before using it, and it ends up between "fluffy" and "grainy". It's odd. Maybe whole leaves will eliminate that issue...
                      --
                      Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

                      --
                      I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
                      I'd apologize, but...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Drumroll: You are correct! I think I simply forgot to say all that.

                        Also: When consuming full leaf teas, greens are always the most tender. White peony still leaves are alright, but anything with more oxidation ("fermentation") than that gets tough quick. Anxi style double bake oolongs are the worst, though.

                        M.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kochin View Post
                          I just do it for the taste, but I DO use my better tea (sometimes loose tea) when cooking, as the taste is far better.
                          Yeah, throwing tea into a pork stir-fry was less "tea is good for you!" and more one of my "bright ideas" (of the variety that actually turn out to be bright).

                          I'll see if the local Asian stores have some decent tealeaves, though. They probably sell whole ones, if I find the right place.
                          Unsure what the texture is, but it's kinda like when you dry parsley out too much before using it, and it ends up between "fluffy" and "grainy". It's odd. Maybe whole leaves will eliminate that issue...
                          I have a local Chinese tea shop that sells wonderful, high quality tea leaves. The kind that produce sublime brews if you know how to properly brew each type of tea leaf. I would never use those leaves souly for cooking though because they are so wonderful and of such good quality. I have, after brewing them, added them to various food items with good results however. These are the kind of leaves that are so nice that even after you brew them several times, they still have a significant amount of flavor in them.
                          "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
                            Drumroll: You are correct! I think I simply forgot to say all that.

                            Also: When consuming full leaf teas, greens are always the most tender. White peony still leaves are alright, but anything with more oxidation ("fermentation") than that gets tough quick. Anxi style double bake oolongs are the worst, though.

                            M.
                            Green works well, as does any lighter oolong tea along the lines of a Ti Guan Yin (though I'd never simply eat leaves that nice without brewing them, it's just for an example of the type) and the more oxidized oolong and black teas work wonderfully as well provided that you have brewed them first, to soften them up. I would never try to add a highly oxidized tea straight to a stir-fry or something and expect them to tender up in the pan. Won't happen.
                            "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Agreed. Sipping on some double baked Tieguanyin at the moment, too.

                              Oh, and pu'er tea is like eating balsa wood, in my experience. The shu type, anyways.

                              M.

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