While it isn’t a habit for most American tea drinkers, Asian cultures have been eating their spent tea leaves for centuries. I was contemplating this recently while enjoying some gyokuro and decided to give it a try. We were having white rice with dinner (random boxed store brand) so I just mixed my leaves in when I was done steeping. The result was actually a lot more delicious than I had expected. It was refreshing and the tea helped to break up the starchiness of the rice.
I wouldn’t suggest doing this with all tea as black tea would likely be quite bitter. It worked well in this instance because gyokuro is a shade grown green tea with a sweet taste and hardly any astringency. It also helps that the leaves are relatively small in size. Have you ever eaten your tea leaves? Tell me about it in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!