Ok. I’m sure many of you have heard that you can put used leaves in the garden. Supposedly the leaves can be composted, added to the watering can or sprinkled right onto the soil to add nutrients and keep the buggies away. Some companies like ITO en make pens and tatami mats out of used leaves. I was thinking about what else I could do with the leaves once the cup is empty.
Firstly, if it is really quality tea steeping the leaves multiple times is worth doing to experience the varied character of the tea. But after tossing pot after pot of leaves that have given up their last I thought there must be something else I could do. Then I thought as people paint with brewed tea why not ‘paint’ with the leaves themselves. This idea was compounded by my receipt of a big box of samples that were old and not properly stored. All the textures and colors were still in place, but other than the airtight puerh samples nothing was worth drinking. So my child-art-project self was tweaked. With a bit of glue, art paper, canvas, paint and some ideas I started to play. The purpose was even more process than product really. I got my hands on the leaves - feeling and seeing the differences in their textures: the twisted, rolled, broken and fannings and on and on. It was a great opportunity to expand on my experience with the leaves while having fun with them in a different way (check out this post on savoring tea in-depth). If you have children this could be a fun way of sharing tea with them. Even adults need play time though, so children or no I encourage you to get your creative juices going and play with your tea!
What do you think would make a great bit of tea art? Let us know on twitter, facebook, pinterest etc. Let the joy of tea spark your creativity.