How many times can I re-use tea leaves?

Withered tea
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Oldster
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Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:00 am

I am using the White Needle sort of White Tea for its health benefit. I have steeped the tea leaves fives times now with no loss of taste, but I'm not drinking tea for the taste. Does anyone know how many times can I steep the leaves before the medicinal effect is depleted?
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pedant
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Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:35 am

difficult question to answer.

how many times a tea can be steeped depends on the tea itself, the brew temp, how much leaf, how much water, etc.

i would say that the majority of users here drink tea for flavor.

that aside, many of the chemicals in tea that may have health effects are flavorful, so i think flavor is a decent indicator of what's going on.
if the tea tastes spent, it probably is.
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pedant
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Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:41 am

also, i'm not trying to scare you or turn you off of tea. i'm also not a medical professional, and i'm trying to be mindful of our "health discussion" rule.

but i would challenge the automatic assumption that tea is always healthy. caffeine may or may not be healthy. also, most tea probably has agrochemical residue (pesticides). some teas are also known for having mycotoxin residues, but not generally white tea afaik. if your sole interest in tea is for health benefits with no interest in the flavor, i would research this topic and look for teas that are "guaranteed" (tested) to not have these likely-harmful residues. or at least have them below some likely-OK limits. i.e. not cheap ebay tea with no verifiable claims.
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