A life hack refers to any tricks, shortcuts, or other lifestyle changes that can improve the quality of our lives in big ways with very little costs. Drinking a can of soda through a straw and find yourself constantly finagling with keeping the straw in the can? Try twisting the tab around and placing your straw through it! Having trouble sleeping at night? Try eliminating sources of light in the room and reducing exposure to electronic devices up to two hours before bed! These are different kinds of life hacks, and fortunately for us tea drinkers, there are tea life hacks!
Hack #1: Black Tea for Blackheads and Wrinkles
Black tea is rich in tannins—a chemical that helps give it its color—and has a moderate amount of caffeine. As it turns out, tannins have an astringent property. If your black tea ever tastes bitter, for example, you probably steeped the tea leaves too long and extracted too many tannins.
When applied to the skin, astringents cause it to contract and tighten, helping to eliminate fine lines and pull excessive oils from the pores. Like tannins, caffeine can also have a constricting effect when applied topically. By containing both of these, black tea proves to be an optimal natural remedy for skincare. That’s precisely why it is starting to be added to skincare products.
We certainly wouldn’t advise you to waste fresh, high-quality black tea on your skin, but this gives you a great option for your tea leaves before you toss them out. Try placing the black tea leaves in a tea sachet, dampening it with warm water, and using it as an eye mask. You can also steep your leaves for ten or more minutes to create a facial cleanser. Just be sure to prep your face with some warm water to open the pores first. Creative, easy, natural, and effective!
Hack #2: Green Tea for Zzzs
If you ever had a good night’s rest after a good cup of tea, it may not have been your imagination after all. A study published last year in the journal Nutrients suggested that decaffeinated green tea not only helps reduce stress but also improves the quality of sleep. It’s important to keep a couple of things in mind.
First, you can naturally decaffeinate your tea by steeping it again! Rather than go out of your way and purchase tea that has been decaffeinated—a process that often involves chemical solvents applied to the tea leaves to break down the caffeine—you can decaffeinate your tea by simply having more than one cup. If you make green tea in the morning, for example, just steep it a few more times throughout the day. You can rest assured that any caffeine remaining in the leaves will be as negligible as any decaffeinated tea you can purchase.
Second, while a cup of decaffeinated green tea before bed can improve sleep quality, drinking and eating anything right before bed can also keep you awake through the night. Having a cup before bed should mean having a cup about 1.5 to 2 hours before bed. You may want to make it a part of your wind-down, lights-out ritual.
Hack #3: The Lazy Cup of Amazing Iced Tea
Those of us who are more acquainted with the world of loose leaf tea are well-aware that high-quality tea leaves can be steeped multiple times before they begin to lose their flavor. Not only is flavor sometimes optimal in the 2nd or 3rd infusion, but some teas retain amazing depth and complexity through as many as 9 and 10 infusions or more!
So what do you do when you’ve made that cup of tea for the day and never find the time to steep the leaves again? We’ve all been here. Sometimes we’re just really in the mood for our favorite tea even though it’s later in the day. Other times we have every intention of steeping our tea more than once but life gets in the way. The good news is that there’s a really great solution: iced tea!
Now maybe you’ve seen baristas make iced tea at coffee shops and think that it involves wayyyy too much effort than you’re willing to spend at the end of a long day. We get it. But trust us, this is really easy.
Try placing your tea leaves in an infuser or tea bag—or better still, purchase an iced tea pitcher that comes with an infuser. Next, fill up a mason jar with some cold water. Place your infuser or tea bag in the jar, gently screw the lid into place, and set the jar in the refrigerator. And voila! All done!
When you wake up in the morning, remove the leaves and gently stir or shake the tea before enjoying the easiest, best cup of iced tea you’ve ever made! If you prefer to use some sweeteners—like honey—you can definitely use those as well.
Do you have any tea life hacks you’d like to share? Comment below!