Food & Drinks

Microwaving your tea is actually better for you

Step away from the kettle.
Mary Poppins tea

Your microwave can do a lot of things, from reheating last night’s leftovers to making a chocolate pudding, but now they might even replace your kettle.

A 2012 study, conducted by Dr Vuong from the University of Newcastle, looked at the best way to extract antioxidants from tea, and found there’s a special trick that will help you get more benefits from your regular cuppa.

According to the ABC, Dr Vuong aimed to “extract, isolate and purify the important components of green tea and black tea” and found the best method to get the most out of your brew might be slightly controversial.

^ Yep, we’re sceptical too.

Dr Vuong suggests microwaving your tea, yes microwaving, to get 80 per cent of the caffeine, theanine and polyphenol compounds from the leaves. Theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid which promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Polyphenol is also natural occurring and is an antioxidant which is linked to lowered cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol.

Microwaving your tea is also said to give you the best taste, but the jury is still out on that one.

Dr Vuong’s method for the perfect cuppa is this:

1. Put hot water in the cup with your teabag.

2. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on half power.

3. Let it sit for a minute.

Extracting the most from your tea can be advantageous in the long run, as although we think of tea as a healthy drink, we’re probably not getting all the benefits we could be.

“In food products, people are concerned with health benefits but also with food quality and shelf life […] microwaving is one of the advanced technologies to get more bioactive compounds from the products,” Dr Vuong told the ABC.

This breakthrough will probably sit nicely with some Americans, as it recently emerged most people living in the US don’t own a kettle; they’re not widely available for purchase, and most homes and even hotels don’t have them. So how do they boil water? They microwave it.

Yep, we just don’t know what to think anymore.

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