Wednesday April 19, 2017 | 12 comments
The internet has been lighting up over an article about one scientist’s claim that microwaving your tea was the best way to make tea. …Excuse me, what?
Yes, indeed. Food scientist Quan Vuong, PhD says that microwaving your tea instead of the traditional (correct?) method of pouring “kettled” water over leaves and steeping for a few minutes. How and why does this work?
Vuong says microwaving is actually better at pulling nutrients out of the leaves. A lot better in fact. Steeping tea the old fashioned way nets you around 60% of the catechins in your tea and 76% of the caffeine, whereas nuking your tea in the micro nets you 80% and 92%, respectively. Vuong’s method calls for steeping your tea for thirty seconds with hot water and then sticking your mug of tea in the microwave for one minute. So, to be fair, this is technically “microwave-assisted” and not simply putting a mug of water with a tea bag in the microwave. But if speed’s your thing, this is the way to go.
This research resurfaced after a recent episode of the British television program Broadchurch shows one of its lead characters microwaving his tea. Cue the internet’s tendency to explode into heated debates over what amounts to hot leaf juice.
Color me skeptical, but it’s hard to argue with a food scientist with a PhD. This research is from back in 2012, so the fact that it hasn’t caught on yet means that either his team’s science is wrong and we’ve been doing it right this whole time, or the idea of making your tea in the microwave is just so abhorrent that to do so is anathema no matter how healthy it is for you or how tasty it is. Vuong also claims it tastes better from the microwave. I can tell you right now that is false, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
With home brewed tea consumption slumping in the UK, the place where tea was introduced to the West, I personally don’t give a darn how people make their tea as long as they are drinking it and enjoying it. Use a kettle, a microwave, or, heck, wrap your mug in an electric blanket. Whichever way you enjoy your tea is the right way. Unless you mix your iced tea with soda. That’s just gross.
How do you make your tea? Do you use the microwave to make your tea? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!