Controversial research says we should be microwaving our tea. We put it to the test

A scientist from the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle in Australia claims that microwaving tea – green or black – is the best way to brew a healthier and tastier cup, reports Huffington Post. Dr Quan Vuong’s work deals with extracting bioactive compounds with antioxidant capacities from natural products.

This article explains it in a way us plebs can sort of understand: “Dr Vuong’s study…found that the [microwaving] method activated 80 per cent of the caffeine, theanine and polyphenol compounds, and generated the best taste.”

His method is as follows:

1. Put hot water in the cup with your teabag.
2. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on half power.
3. Let it sit for a minute.

Tea inside microwave

Let’s do this. Photo by Linda Scarborough.

I put it to the test at home with a few slightly more complicated and highly scientific steps.

1. Open door of microwave and realise that it needs to be cleaned before a photo can be taken. (How did those crumbs even get in here? When last did I have rice?)

2. Spray liberally with cleaning product before realising weird toxins might make their way into the cup and ruin the experiment.

3. Wipe clean and decide on microwaving half a lemon for 30 seconds instead.

4. Give everything a wipe again.

5. Fill and boil kettle.

6. Let the water cool down to merely hot, as per the instructions, instead of just-boiled.

7. Pour into mug and add tea bag.

8. Consider whether the paper tea-bag tag is going to catch fire, and decide it’s probably safe.

9. Try figure out what half power on this microwave is.

10. Give up and just put it in at normal (full?) power for 30 seconds.

11. Go back to desk and wait for the ping.

12. Get annoyed by the insistent beeping. I HEARD IT THE FIRST TIME OKAY.

13. Take the tea out of the microwave and let it sit for a minute, as required.

14. Take a sip and burn tongue.

15. Let it sit for another minute.

16. Try again, only to find that it’s bitter as hell.

17. Steel self against the comments about the ‘proper’ way to drink tea, and add milk and sugar.

18. Really, though. Quite bitter and so hot.

19. Ooh, wait. Actually, it does taste more tea-y.

20. Take another sip. That’s not bad, actually.

21. Dip Royal Cream bikkie. Yes, it’ll do.



A post shared by Aswin Lutchanah (@aswinlutchanah) on


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