Many avid tea drinkers are accustomed to boiling water for tea with a kettle, but one scientist in Australia is recommending otherwise. Through years of research, Dr. Quan Vuong, a food scientist at the University of Newcastle, suggests that microwaving your water and tea can be the most effective method when trying to reap its benefits.
To test the theory, Vuong conducted a study to extract, isolate, and purify compounds in green tea and black tea, ABC reported. In the study, researchers put hot water in a cup with a tea bag, microwaved the tea on half power for 30 seconds, and let the tea sit for one minute. Results showed that the method not only gave the “best” taste, but also activated 80 percent of compounds including caffeine, theanine (which promotes relaxation), and polyphenol (which helps protect against degenerative diseases).
If you can’t seem to stay away from your tea kettle, tea expert and chairman of the Tea and Infusions Association, William Gorman, has some words of advice: Don’t boil the same water more than once for tea.
“Usually when people's tea goes cold they re-boil the kettle and make another cup,” Gorman told The Telegraph. “But doing this you are guaranteed to give yourself a dull cup of tea. You need freshly drawn water for a good cup because re-boiling it takes out all the oxygen and nitrogen out of it.”
But even Gorman suggests that if your tea runs cold, you can microwave it for 15 to 20 seconds without sacrificing quality.
“When you microwave tea, all you're doing is from a scientific point of view is just moving the molecules around and getting it back up to a decent temperature,” he said. “It is not impacting the flavor at all.”