Let’s get something straight. Microwaving your tea is an abomination to mankind. I don’t care if it has health benefits- which it does – it still doesn’t change anything.
Apparently, zapping a cuppa in the microwave is the way we should all be doing it. According to Australian scientist Dr. Quan Voung from the University of Newcastle, microwaving your tea extracts, isolates and purifies its compounds. Dr Voung focusses on “adding value” to natural products and discovered that using a microwave for tea instead of a kettle or stove top activates 80% of the caffeine, theanine (a crucial amino acid promoting relaxation), and polyphenol (antioxidants associate with good health properties including lower hypertension, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease) in the drink.
Now, if you were to attempt this way of making tea (even though it is morally wrong) how would you unlock these health benefits? Firstly, put hot water in with your tea bag, zap it for 30 seconds on half power, let it sit for one minute and you’re good to go. Vuong claims that this method has the equivalent health benefits of drinking three cups of tea.
Dr Vuong hasn’t just stopped at tea, he is a bit of a microwave fanboy and sees “microwaving as one of the advanced technologies to get more bioactive compounds from the products.” Vuong found that zapping lemon pomace- the skin, seeds and leftovers once it’s been squeezed- released additional antioxidants such as flavonoids and proanthocyanins. “Lemon or apple pomace which is coming from the food factories, they still have antioxidants, so if we can recover the benefits from this waste, we can make more functional food products,” he said. He also found microwaving Macadamia skins enhanced its phenolic compounds and these “compounds could be used in functional food production in the food industry. They are linked with anti-cancer and cardiovascular disease and potent antioxidant properties.”
I think we can all get on board utilising every part of our food, drawing out all the nutrients we can, but tea… Tea does not belong in a microwave and never will.