The second life of coffee and tea

It’s no secret that coffee is great for waking you up in the morning, but it turns out you can enjoy your morning cup of java again - even after you’ve finished drinking it. You’ll never throw away your used coffee grounds after seeing just how much you can do with them!


Be brew-tiful

You can use coffee grounds in a multitude of ways for health and beauty. They make an excellent body scrub: just add the used grounds to your favourite all-natural oil (coconut oil works really well), add 2-3 tablespoons of double cream and a tablespoon of honey, then rub it all over your body to remove dead skin. You can also prepare your own natural anti-cellulite treatment. All you need to do is mix the used grounds with warm water. Use it for ten minutes twice a week for best results.


Cool beans

Used coffee grounds come in handy around the house, too! Keep a little cup of them near your sink and rub over your hands after chopping garlic or onions to get rid of the smell. You can also use them to mask scratches on wooden furniture. Just mix them with some olive oil, then apply the mixture to the scratch with a cotton bud, and you’re all done!

Your garden will also thank you for used coffee grounds. They’re rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper, and as they degrade, they release nitrogen, making for a very rich compost. Try mixing the grounds with carrot and seeds to double your harvest, or use them as insect and pest repellent by sprinkling them around your plants.


It’s in the bag

Prefer tea to coffee? We have some good news for you: used tea bags can come in handy, too! Make your morning cuppa matter and reuse your tea bags rather than tossing them in the bin.

Here’s a tip for gorgeously glossy hair: brew some tea with your used tea bags, allow it to cool and use as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning. Tea gives natural shine to dull hair and adds extra volume. The caffeine it contains can also help it grow faster. Used tea bags also work wonders for puffy and tired eyes: just place them over your closed eyes and allow the tannins to do their work.


Turn a new leaf

Tired of scrubbing and scouring pots and pans? Drop two or three used tea bags into a sink full of dirty dishes and warm water, then leave to soak for five minutes or so. The tea will help break down grease and food stains, making it much easier to do the washing-up. Tea leaves are also great at absorbing odours, so you can use them to freshen up your fridge. Just pop a few used tea bags in an open container, put them in the fridge and let them soak up all the unpleasant smells.

If you’re a bit arty, try steeping used tea bags and use the weak tea to turn plain white paper into sepia-toned, antique looking parchment. If cooking is your thing, why not add subtle flavour to pasta and grains? Just hang the used tea bags in a pot of boiling water to flavour it, then add your carb of choice. Try experimenting with different types of tea, such as jasmine or chai.


Waste not, want not

No one likes to waste something that’s still good to use, and there’s a multitude of ways to give your used coffee grounds and tea bags a second life. Now that you know some of them, you’ll never want to throw them away again!


Written by Maggie Sychta

Anoushka Grover