Black Tea: Fun and Practical Uses
Black tea – it’s not just for drinking! Here are a few fun and practical uses for black tea:
- Deodorize your feet: Boil three or four black tea bags in one quart of water for ten minutes. Add enough cold water to make a comfortable soak. Soak your feet 20 to 30 minutes, then dry and apply food powder. Do this twice a day until odor is under control. Then continue twice a week.
- Tenderize meat: Add equal parts of strong brewed black tea and double-strength beef stock to a tough pot roast or stew. The tannin in tea is a natural meat tenderizer.
- Highlight brown or red hair: Rinse red or brown hair with brewed black tea for golden highlights.
- Polish black lacquer: Wash pieces of black lacquer with strong brewed black tea, then wipe dry with a soft cloth.
- Invigorate houseplants: Water ferns and other houseplants once a week with a weak, tepid brewed black tea.
- Relieve sunburn pain: Pat your sunburn with cool wet tea bags.
- Soothe tired eyes: Place tea bags soaked in cool water over your eyes for at least 15 minutes.
- Fix a broken fingernail: Cut a piece of gauze paper from a tea bag to fit the nail, coat with a clear nail polish and press gently against the break. Then cover with colored nail polish.
- Dye graying white fabrics: If bleach will not whiten a graying white garment, soak the item in hot, strong brewed tea until it is a shade darker than you desire. Then rinse in cold water and let dry.
- Accelerate the germination of grass seeds: Mix two tablespoons of cold, strong brewed tea into each pound of seed, cover and place in the refrigerator for five days. Before sowing, spread the seed to dry for a day or two on newspapers on the garage or basement floor.
- Deodorize stuffy rooms: Mix one quart brewed tea and four tablespoons lemon juice, strain through a coffee filter and store in empty spray bottles.
And of course, drinking black tea can be fun and very practical! Try the following recipe. it’s great year-round, but especially great for the up-coming fall season.
Honey Apple Black Tea Recipe
4 bags of black tea
3 cups boiling water
1/3 cup honey
3 cups unsweetened apple juice
Place the tea bags in a heat-safe pitcher or teapot. Pour the boiling water over the bags and steep about 15 minutes. Pour into 2-quart serving pitcher. Discard bags, add honey and apple juice and stir well. Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices. Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.
Avoid the Growth of Bacteria
Making tea with the rays of the sun is unhealthy. This method can cause the growth of bacteria called Alcaligenes viscolactis. The Center for Disease Control and prevention discourages the practice.
The bacterium is in the water. While the caffeine in black tea will help prevent its growth for a few hours, the effect will not last all day. Rather than brewing tea in the sun, the DCD and the National Tea Association recommend you use water heated to at least 190-degrees.
If you cannot boil water, you may steep the tea in the refrigerator overnight where the cold temperatures will prohibit bacteria growth. For the same reasons, make only as much tea as you will drink in a day and store brewed tea in the refrigerator. If the tea develops a thick or syrupy appearance, discard it.