History lessons wouldn’t have been the same without learning how to Tea stain paper. However, if you’re anything like us, that was a little while ago - indeed, it has become history unto itself.

Perhaps you even have children of your own and want to show them a new craft. Allow us, then, to remind you how to make Tea stained paper in an easy and fun manner. Nostalgia awaits!

We can’t provide you with the paper nor the writing utensils, but we can, at the very least, offer the finest Loose Tea or Tea Bags. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company pack each of our products fresh to order here at our Kent-based factory.

This ensures not only quality but also consistency. Once you know the facts, in other words, be sure to buy from us. You won’t be disappointed.

Basic Staining Tips

How to Tea Stain Paper: The Basics

Let us jump right in because the process is relatively straightforward and requires little work on your part. The chances are you’ll have your document looking centuries-old in no time at all.

The first port of call will be to have everything to hand. That means the paper, the pen and the ever-important beverage. But which type of Tea should you have for the activity that follows?

The trick is to make the paper brown, so it stands to reason that a darker cuppa is your best bet. Black Tea is the answer, be it Pluckley Tea, Assam Tea, Ceylon Tea or China Black Tea.

You’ll end up making a brew as you would normally, though without Milk or a Milk Alternative. Just DON’T do so before you’ve written what you want on the paper as otherwise it’ll produce, well, a mess.

The calligraphy is down to you. Consider an “olde-worlde” style to make the end product appear ancient. What, exactly, you write is likewise your choice (a word to the wise: “LOL” might feel dated now, but it’s not THAT old).

Then and only then can you think about applying the Tea. There are two primary methods of doing so: Taking the paper to the Tea or the Tea to the paper.

How Do You Tea Stain Paper

How Do You Tea Stain Paper: The First Method

This is where you take the paper to the Tea. It should take around five minutes and involves filling a pan with a shallow layer of Black Tea. The pan should be large enough for the paper, which you soak in the liquid.

The longer you leave it in there, the darker it’ll be. The advantage is that the finished document will seem relatively uniform in its brownness. However, there is an element of risk.

Leave it in there for too long, and you might find that the paper turns to mush. We therefore recommend monitoring the process, maybe even treating yourself to a cup of Loose Tea or Fresh Coffee while you wait.

It shouldn’t only be the paper that benefits from our expansive range, after all, so have some spare just for you. We’ll talk about what comes later… later in the article.

When Using Tea Bags

How to Tea Stain Paper with Tea Bags

First, we need to show you how to make Tea stain paper with Tea Bags, which is the second and most popular method. A pan still helps to prevent mess, but it isn’t necessary as, unlike the above method, you don’t need to fill it with liquid. Should you choose to use it anyway, make sure it’s dry before placing the paper inside. Next, get a Used Tea Bag and dab it over the paper.

Continue until the brownness covers the whole page. And try not to worry if you don’t get a perfect application; it’ll almost certainly look more authentic if the colouring is a little uneven. You can even attempt to be a bit experimental, utilising a paintbrush, straw, or fingers to create different effects. But what happens once you’ve completed this stage? What comes afterwards?

How Long Does Tea Stain Paper Take to Dry

How Long Does Tea Stain Paper Take to Dry?

A quick recap: We’ve shown you how to Tea stain paper from the basics to the intricate (we use that word lightly) details. You know when you can write on Tea stained paper (a reminder, it’s before it’s stained) and what Tea type will serve best.

Now for the “after,” starting with drying. The fastest way is to heat the oven to the lowest setting, then bake the paper under strict observation.

Leave it unchecked, and you might return to find it brittle or, worse, scorched. Five minutes - if that - should suffice. Would you prefer knowing how to make Tea stain paper without an oven?

It’ll take longer, up to twenty-four hours, but air-drying can sometimes look better. The two golden rules are to avoid sunlight and ensure there is plenty of circulation. And that’s it - in theory.

We have one more consideration for you: To rough up the paper if it doesn’t look old enough. This you can do by crumpling it, tearing it, adding extra stains or singing it with a flame.

Take care with the latter, and blow out the flame as soon as the paper catches; otherwise, it’ll burn up quickly. We wouldn’t want you getting hurt, nor would we want to see your hard work quite literally go up in flames.

Summary for Tea Staining Paper

The bottom line is that none of what you’ve read is rocket science. If you come out with a rocket on the other side, then you’ve done something wrong - though unmistakably amazing.

Show your kids how to Tea stain paper to make it old or, if you’re feeling childish (which we’re all for!), do it for you. Why not get cracking and buy from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company today?

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.