In addition to water, tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. Dating back almost 50 centuries, tea has long been a special place in people’s diet, so it’s no wonder why the drink is still so popular and so widespread now. But its long-standing place in human history is not the only reason people drink tea. Also, because the prepared drink has some incredible health benefits.
Dozens of studies (and thousands of years of anecdotal evidence) have found that antioxidant-rich tea has many health benefits, including preventing many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and obesity. .
Given that almost 21% of the American adult population considers themselves tea drinkers, we thought it would be helpful to share the most common mistakes people make when preparing a batch. Making these mistakes may not completely nullify the benefits of tea, but they certainly do nothing to help this miracle drink. These mistakes range from destroying flavor to preventing the extraction of the most beneficial compounds.
Keep this in mind the next time you put the kettle on the stove, and if you need something more compelling to order some tea leaves, it might be worth taking a look at what happens to your body if you drink tea every day.
You shouldn’t rely on that whistle on your teapot. If you are, it means that your water has come to a boil and is too hot. The heat can make those delicate tea leaves taste bitter and less sweet. Studies show that hot water can also destroy delicate, health-promoting compounds, such as catechins. For the perfect cup of tea, you want the water to be just boiling, you can be around when small bubbles start to form near the kettle.
Now, there is no temperature that works for every tea – everyone is different. For example, green tea should be brewed between 180 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit, while water for black tea should reach 206 degrees, according to Art of Tea. To be so precise, it may be worth investing in a teapot with a thermometer.
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Don’t put it down and forget it! As with the temperature, the time for which you soak the tea will vary depending on the leaves. White teas should last between one and three minutes, green teas for three minutes and black teas for three to five minutes. Moreover, your tea will become bitter as it releases tannins. And, yes, tannins are the same compounds you find in wine. Speaking of wine, have you heard of the 10 hidden reasons why you always overpay for wine?
It’s like pieces of gold! Too hot and your tea becomes bitter, too cold and you will not extract the right compounds. Depending on the chemical composition of the compounds trapped in the tea, they are released in specific stages in the soaking process, according to a Food Chemistry study. The first compounds that pass when you soak those tea leaves in water are the chemicals that contribute to the flavor and aroma profile of the tea. After that, the beneficial micronutrients – flavanols and polyphenols – as well as caffeine are released. Finally, the heavier micronutrients and bitter tannins come out. If you do not soak your tea enough, you may lose these beneficial compounds and you may not get as much caffeine as you want!
They may be convenient, but tea bags are not the best way to reap the benefits of tea. The standard tea bag at your grocery store contains broken, leafy tea leaves called “dust and fans” – those that do not qualify for use as loose leaf tea. These finely chopped tea leaves have fewer essential oils and release more bitter tannins than whole leaf tea. If you don’t have the patience for loose leaf tea, no problem. Look for drinks that are packed in pyramidal sachets. These are usually high quality teas, and the bag is specially designed to allow adequate water flow. It also has an advantage over traditional tea bags, as those flat bags are often bleached paper, which can add unwanted chemicals and flavors to your tea.
It’s time to dump her and move on. With high quality teas, you will actually experience unique flavors after two or three drinks – flavors that you would not taste after just one drink. To do this correctly, there is a rule: do not let the tea leaves boil after they have been infused. Make sure that when you remove the tea leaves from the cup, let them dry. It will prevent the leaves from becoming bitter. If you soak the tea several times, be aware that you will be extracting more caffeine each time you do this (although in much smaller doses than the first infusion).
For the best cup of tea, you will want to use filtered water. Tap water is disinfected with chlorine and may contain sediment, fluoride and other minerals – basically, many compounds that can contribute to the unwanted aromas in your tea. Bonus tip: if you need to use tap water, make sure you use it cool not HotTwo leaves and a bud of water. While it is true that using hot water will bring water to a boil faster, it will add additional impurities to your home’s water heater, accordingly.
It will not necessarily reduce the health benefits of tea; however, it will affect the entire flavor of the tea and will definitely increase the number of calories in your cup. According to a study published in Public health, 33% of tea consumers drink tea with added calories. The most popular tea supplements are sugar or sugar substitute, honey and whole or low-fat milk. The same study found that improving the glass can add another 69 calories to the plate, which can be added if you are not careful. If you need to use supplements, opt for healthier options, such as low-calorie milk alternatives, and use small amounts of natural sweeteners, such as honey.
Because the tea is infused at a relatively high temperature, you will want it to cool before you drink it. The larger surface of a wide-mouthed cup – unlike a standard cup of coffee with a small, high mouth – will allow the top of the tea to cool enough to drink. The depth of the cup will also limit how much tea you pour once. This way, when your tea is at the right temperature, the whole cup will be at the right temperature. If you are looking for something to put in that cup of coffee, make sure it is not one of the 7 things you should never add to your coffee.
If you want cold tea, you should only drink iced tea. If you pour a large cup of tea, there is a high probability that the cup will cool to a less than ideal temperature before you finish it. This is where the reliable teapot comes in. Using a teapot allows the tea to stay warm longer. Pouring a little tea into the cup one at a time will always be the right temperature when you drink it. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. See these: 10 signs that you are drinking too much tea.