Brace yourselves, good people of Britain (and everyone else that enjoys tea): according to science, the best way to brew tea isn’t in a teapot – but in the microwave.
We’ll give you a second to pick up the tea strainer or tea kettle you may’ve just dropped in horror.
But it’s true. Research shows that radiating your favourite type of tea in a cup of water via a microwave not only produces the best taste, but gets the most out of tea’s numerous health benefits.
Quan Vuong, a food scientist at the University of Newcastle in Australia, discovered microwaving tea activates 80% of its caffeine, plus all those useful amino acids and antioxidants buried within. And like we mentioned, it simply yields the yummiest of flavours.
How can microwaving be better than the purist method of a teapot brew?
According to Vuong, zapping natural products is the most effective way to extract their bioactive compounds like amino acids and antioxidants. Vuong conducted the research five years ago, but his findings recently resurfaced on ABC Radio after a U.K. television drama, Broadchurch, had a character brewing tea in the unorthodox method of microwaving. We know, tea purists, it’s all terrible stuff.
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If you’re ready to embrace this new brewing practice, here’s the best way to go about it:
- Add water and a tea bag to a microwave-safe mug.
- Place the mug in the microwave, and heat for 30 seconds on 50 percent power.
- Let the mug sit for a minute, before removing the teabag and sipping the tea.
- Repeat three times a day. (Yep, that’s how many cups you’ll have to drink every 24 hours to reap these benefits, Vuong says.)
Since the 2012 study, Vuong has been active in microwave-based research, proving tea isn’t the only thing that’s best from the machine. He’s also found zapping a lemon’s leftover skin, pulp, and seeds can bring out the most from its phenolic content, flavonoids, proanthocyanins, and antioxidants – in other words, good things for the body.