The One Thing You Should Be Doing with Tea Bags (Besides Making Tea)

published May 27, 2022
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Someone dipping tea bag into tea mug.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Black, green, and all sorts of herbal teas are great for drinking, of course, and tea is also a wonderful ingredient to impart flavor to desserts and treats, like these peach iced tea pound cake trifles, Chinese marbled tea eggs, and these black tea and orange ice pops. So if you have some extra tea bags on hand, you should be trying this simple hack for flavorful, tea-accented sweets.

If you’re from the South or simply love sweet tea, then you’re probably used to adding generous amounts of sugar or homemade simple syrup to homemade tea. For a delicious twist, use your tea bags to make an infused simple syrup for desserts, sweets, drinks, and more. A tea-infused simple syrup adds both sweetness and a unique flavor to all sorts of things like coffee, cocktails, or lemonade.

This idea comes to us from Susanna Grace of Susanna Grace Creates. Grace mentions this clever trick in an Instagram video, encouraging people to use any kind of floral or citrus tea — such as lavender, orange blossom, and peppermint — to make this simple syrup. To make it, Grace says to bring 1 cup of water to a boil on the stove, remove from the heat, and add two tea bags. Then you’ll steep the tea bags for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the tea bags, bringing the water back to a boil, and adding 1 cup of granulated sugar, stirring until dissolved. Finally, remove from the heat, let cool, and store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Try drizzling some of this simple syrup into a glass of iced coffee, fruit-flavored seltzer, or over a fresh fruit salad.