When I was in Starbucks Monday, I had a discussion with an employee about steeping green tea. He saw me remove the tea bag quickly, and said he thought that was the way to do it for the best nutritional result.
I steep green tea for less than a minute because I don’t like the bitter flavor that develops with longer brewing.
How long should you steep green tea to get the most nutrients?
Researchers indicate that using boiling water and longer steeping times increases the amount of polyphenols in green tea, according to Cathy Wong, writing on About.com: Alternative Medicine. Polyphenols are antioxidents in green tea that provide its health benefits.
Steep the tea for two to five minutes. This extracts 69 to 85 percent of the flavonoids; nearly 95 percent of tea's polyphenol compounds are flavonoids. Flavonoids degrade so drink the tea promptly. Bottled or canned teas don’t have flavnoids, according to HoustonMedic.com.
For strong tea, add more tea leaves. If you steep it for more than 5 minutes, the tea will be bitter. For weak tea, add more water. If you steep it for less time, it won’t extract the tea’s antioxidents, reports Healthy Loose Leaf Teas.
If you don’t want to drink the caffeine in green tea, purchase decaffeinated brands or steep the tea for 45 seconds in hot water, then pour off the liquid. Steep the tea 3 to 5 minutes with more hot water, suggests Dr. Andrew Weil on Yahoo! Health.
The Wikipedia site offers these tips on brewing:
- About one teaspoon of green tea per cup should be used. For high quality teas such as gyokuro, more is used, and the tea is steeped multiple times for short durations.
- Green tea brewing time and temperature varies with individual teas. The hottest temperatures are 180°F to 190°F water, and the longest steeping times 2 to 3 minutes. The coolest brewing temperatures are 140°F to 150°F, and the shortest times about 30 seconds. In general, lower quality green teas are steeped hotter and longer, while higher quality teas are steeped cooler and shorter. Steeping green tea too hot or too long will result in a bitter, astringent brew.
Tomorrow’s post will be on the health benefits of green tea.