The Healthiest Way To Make Tea Isn't What You Think

When it comes to tea, it seems as if everyone has a definite opinion (including the Queen of England). While some make their tea in a Keurig and some use a French press, the preferred method for most seems to involve boiling water in a kettle before pouring it over your bagged or loose-leaf tea. If there's one thing that nearly all tea snobs agree on, it's that you should never, ever make tea in a microwave. Microwaving water, according to scientists from the American Institute of Physics, will cause it to heat unevenly, which means your tea might not steep properly.

Whether or not microwaved tea's flavor is on par with tea prepared by other methods, a different group of scientists — food scientists, no less — say there is one pretty compelling argument for preparing your tea in the microwave — microwaving your tea will result in a much healthier cup than one prepared via tea kettle (via ABC Radio Sydney).

Why microwaved tea is better for you

Quan Vuong, who led a team of researchers from the University of Newcastle in Australia as they looked into better methods of tea steeping, spoke with ABC News about the results. They found that using a microwave can extract up to 80 percent of tea's beneficial antioxidants and amino acids in just 30 seconds. Tea steeped for the same amount of time will only release 10 percent of the same compounds (via the Daily Mail). Longer steeping is better, but you'd need to let your teabag soak for 20 minutes before you'd get the same benefits as you would from microwaving. By that time, of course, your tea would be stone cold. 

To prepare your tea the Vuong way, you'll need to fill your cup with hot water, add the teabag, and then microwave it at 50 percent power (assuming you can figure out how to get your microwave to do that) for 30 seconds. He says this method works with black tea, green tea, and even herbal teas, but in order to get the best out of your tea drinking, you'll need to consume at least three cups a day. Just be sure to stir it side-to-side as the royals do!