Tea Bags: All Your Questions Answered

I think that some of you will agree (and some won’t) that tea bags are a worthy invention. There are however a lot of questions and misconceptions surrounding these little things. Below are some of the most common questions concerning tea and teabags, which we have tried to answer.

Tea bags FAQs

1. When did teabags become popular in the UK?

Historical records show that tea bags arrived in the United Kingdom in the early 20th century. They immediately became immensely popular and the drinking habits of the nation were changed forever.

2. Can tea bags be reused?

Yes. Tea bags can be reused. But you should know that after the first use, you lose much of its flavour and strength. To safely reuse a tea bag, store it in a moist medium like a small glass of water. This reduces changes of growth of mould and bacteria, and they continue seeping while they are being stored.

3. Where to store teabags?

Improper storage of teabags can make the tea go stale much faster. To ensure that your teabags are used for a long time, make sure that you store them in a dark place that is away from moisture and strong odours. A perfect place would be in an airtight, opaque container.

4. Are teabags biodegradable? / can tea bags go in the compost?

This has become a greatly controversial question. Recent research has shown that tea bags made by most popular tea manufacturers are only about 70 to 80% biodegradable. This means that while it could be used in compost, the heat-resistant polypropylene used to make the bags would still be left on compost heaps.

5. Can tea bags be frozen? / should tea bags be kept in the fridge?

There is nothing wrong with storing tea bags in the fridge. But it is best to keep them in an airtight bag because moisture in the fridge can make your tea bags go stale. If you are storing them for reuse, then keeping them in the fridge will help reduce chances of bold and bacteria growing in your tea bags.

6. Are teabags good for your face or skin?

Green teabags can be used to treat your skin of many conditions. Antioxidants in the tea have several benefits on your skin. Some uses include shrinking the skin, which results in a fabulous look and feel, reduces swelling around the eyes, and can be used as an exfoliating scrub when mixed with sugar and water.

7. Are teabags good for puffy eyes, styes, and conjunctivitis?

As explained above, green tea bags can be used to treat puffy eyes. Additionally, they can be used to relieve eye styes and conjunctivitis. Just place a warm tea bag on the infected eye. The warmth will relieve the itch while the antioxidant will help reduce swelling and pain. There is, however, no scientific evidence to back this up.

8. Can teabags help cold sores?

Yes. Hot teabags have been proven to help relieve the swelling and pain of cold sores. Pressing a hot tea bag on the infected area when it is at the full blown stage for 20 minutes helps to dramatically reduce the swelling and pain.

9. Are tea bags good for a toothache?

While many people would not think of using tea as a treatment option, black tea has been known to be good for oral health. It is, therefore, great for assisting in the recovery of abscesses and bleeding or swollen gums.

10. Do teabags get rid of smelly shoes

While there is no hard evidence to prove this, many people have said that using tea bags has worked for them. All you need to do is dry out your teabags after using them, insert them into your shoes, and then leave them overnight. The tea bags absorb the moisture and bad smell of the shoes.

11. Are tea bags good for plants?

Yes. Used tea bags are great for plants. But before using them as fertilizer, first make sure that the bag is 100% decomposable. If not, empty the contents of the tea bag and discard the bag. You can also add some mineral tablets to the mix to provide your plants additional nutrients.

12. Do teabags expire?

Not really. Teabags are usable even a year or more after manufacture. Note, however, that the colour and flavour may change. Therefore, how long your tea bags last will depend on how they are stored. The expiry date on most tea bags is usually for best quality and not for safety.

13. Can teabags go bad / mouldy?

If stored under the right conditions, teabags can be used for a very long time. This means that the longevity of teabags is greatly dependent on the storage method. To ensure that your tea bags do not grow mould, ensure that you store them in a dry place that is free of contaminants.

14. Are teabags bad for dogs?

Pets are generally more sensitive to caffeine than people. While the amount of caffeine in tea may not harm your dog, high amounts can prove to be fatal. Additionally, the bag could be harmful to your pet it ingested, so it is better to keep them away from your dogs.

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