There’s nothing like the sound of a kettle beckoning you to pour a cup of tea and snuggle on the couch. It’s relaxing, right? Well, you’d better get ready to throw that Zen moment out the window, because soon we’ll all be hearing the microwave do its obnoxious beep-beep-beep when our tea is hot enough to drink.
Quan Vuong, a food scientist from the University of Newcastle, says that if you want the best cup of tea for your taste buds (and health), you need to use water you’ve only boiled once. Vuong initially conducted his research in 2012, but it has recently resurfaced on ABC Radio after a U.K. television drama, Broadchurch, showed a character brewing tea, not in a teapot or even on his countertop, but in his microwave. This prompted practically everyone to dig up research to figure out why.
Here’s part of what most of us have been doing wrong: “Usually when people’s tea goes cold, they reboil the kettle and make another cup. But doing this, you’re guaranteed to give yourself a dull cup of tea.”
Vuong’s study showed that in order to extract, isolate and purify the important components of green tea and black tea — and thus activate 80 percent of the caffeine, theanine (a relaxing compound) and polyphenols (which can lower your risk of heart disease) — we must get rid of Grandma’s kettle and nuke our tea instead.
Vuong really gets into the nitty-gritty, recommending a super-specific process for properly making tea: First, add water and a tea bag to a microwave-safe cup; then pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, ideally on 50 percent power; let it sit for one minute before removing tea bag, and presto — you’ll supposedly have the best-tasting and healthiest cup of tea.
Oh, and Vuong also suggests doing this three times a day to get maximum benefits — well, I guess my microwave’s about to start getting a lot more action.