To paraphrase, they say that the day begins at the bottom of a coffee (or tea) cup and I wonder if more relatable words have ever been spoken.
And even as I gulp down the last sip of my freshly brewed coffee and start my day, I realise it is the start of a second life for my grounds. Not to get too sentimental, but, the handful of grounds thrown out every day are fantastic skin exfoliators, compost materials and furniture dye.
Yes! All of that is the courtesy of our beloved and the much-needed coffee.
And before tea-enthusiasts huff, may I add that used tea leaves are also incredibly versatile in their usability. It can negate the stink of your feet, solve acne and even reduce the humidity in your room.
So the next time you enjoy your daily dose of steaming hot tea, don’t throw away the resourceful leaves.
So, how do these remains help our skin, odour and furniture? Here’s a list.
Skin and lip exfoliator:
If your idea of exfoliating skin is to spend your time and money in a beauty salon, we come bearing great news. The next time your machine bin is full with the coffee grounds, look at it as a bin full of facial scrub.
Mix a spoonful of the remains with a little bit of organic coconut oil (there is no set recipe. The oil is just to smoothen the scrub) and rub the mixture on your face in a circular motion. Let it work for about 15 minutes and wash it away with a chemical-free face wash.
Similarly, you can use the grounds as a lip balm too. Replace the coconut oil with honey in this case and use the concoction as a lip scrub!
A solution for sunburn:
Long exposures to the sun making your skin itch and burn? Tea is your champ! Bring about three cups of water to boil and add tea leaves to it. Let it bubble for about 15-20 minutes, then let the water cool. You can speed things up by keeping the pot in the fridge. You can also add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Soak a clean towel in this mixture and squeeze out the excess liquid. Apply the damp towel where you have a sunburn. Keep refreshing the towel at regular intervals.
Both coffee grounds and tea leaves are excellent at negating odours. If, for example, your fridge smells of stale food, place a bowl of coffee grounds to absorb the smell. Similarly, if you suffer from an acute case of smelly feet, get yourself a tea brew, stat! Soak your feet in warm water infused with tea leaves and walk out confidently.
Scratched furniture? Have a coffee!
Wooden furniture is often prone to scratches. If you dislike how the scratches stand out, here is a home remedy. Make a thick paste of coffee grounds and water. Using a cotton swab, apply the paste on the scratch and allow it to work its magic for 15-20 minutes. Wipe it off with a soft cotton cloth. The dark-brown colour of coffee will conceal the scratch.
Reduce the humidity in your room with chai
After you use tea leaves to make yourself a cup of chai, let the remains dry under the sun. Once they lose all their moisture and are crackling dry, keep a bowl of these leaves in a damp indoor corner. The remains will reabsorb moisture from around it. This will especially work in cabinets and shelves which are prone to dampness.
Coffee is rich in the nutrients that plants can flourish in. So after you are done energising yourself, why not use the coffee grounds to nourish your plants? Simply add the coffee remains to your composting kit and you’re done! Tea leaves also are excellent nutrient agents so you can add them to your compost bin.
If TS Eliot so famously said, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” we could go a step ahead and declare that we measure our lives with the coffee spoons we reuse as home remedies. Give them a try!
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)