It’s time to hang up your trusty winter-y mugs and dust off your summer sippers, because spring is rapidly turning into summer. Yes, the temperature is surging extra early this year (well, for some of us), but that doesn't mean you should stop drinking the caffeinated beverages you thrive on, and love! Both tea and coffee are delightful in various chilled forms, too. Also, extra bonus – tea leaves and coffee grounds are absolutely wonderful for your burgeoning summer garden.
Coffee or Tea?
First, choose your chilled, caffeinated poison – do you want fresh-brewed sun tea or iced coffee? For tea lovers, we've extensively covered how to make sun tea in the past (Beat the Heat with Homemade Organic Summer Sun Tea). Now, a relatively simple recipe for homemade iced coffee concentrate from Craving Comfort:
Serves almost 16, 8 ounce glasses
1 gallon of water
1 pound bag of organic coffee (course ground)
Coffee filters, or several layers of cheesecloth
Fine, mesh strainer
A large bowl
Glass pitcher large enough to hold a gallon
Pour gallon of water into large bowl.
Dump bag of coffee into the water in bowl.
Stir; make certain grounds are saturated with water.
Leave for 12 hours or overnight.
Line mesh strainer with coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth.
Set strainer on top of pitcher.
Pour (or ladle) coffee mixture into the strainer (this takes awhile – you may want to do something else while the mixture filters into the pitcher).
If using coffee filters: you may need to replace several times during the filtering process.
Once all coffee concentrate has filtered, put in fridge.
It lasts for a month.
Feed Your Garden
Coffee and tea making complete! Now, take the coffee grounds or tea leaves and head outside:
- Have a compost pile? Add coffee grounds or tea leaves to give compost material a rich, natural boost.
- Green tea keeps nasty insects and pests at bay. It also serves as food for garden plants (or in house plants -- just add water!).
- When potting houseplants, add tea bags to the bottom layer of the planter before adding soil. The tea bags will help hold water, and seep some nutrients.
- Coffee grounds work as mulch in acid-loving plants (pines, evergreens, blueberries, raspberries, roses, azaleas, gardenias, ferns, rhododendrons, lily-of-the-valley and marigolds).
- Coffee grounds also keep pests at bay. Sprinkle grounds around ant infestations and snail/slug problem areas to keep the annoyances away.
- Mix dried coffee grounds and carrot seeds together before sowing. The bulk added by the grounds makes seeds easier to sow. The grounds also nourish surrounding soil.
- Feed coffee grounds to worms. The worm excrement and aeration from tunneling worms will help your garden!
Image: Nomadic Lass