Effects of Burning a Cup of Tea

Hey all!

So I’ve scoured the internet and have never come across any substantial answers to the question I’m about to pose.

I love to drink tea for more than just the inherent “health benefits” it has to offer, but I was curious: does burning a cup of tea (oversteeping the leaves, steeping at too hot a temperature, etc.) so that it becomes unpleasant and bitter do anything to reduce the health benefits offered in a cup? For example, would a green tea steeped for 6 minutes (absurd, I know) have a reduced amount of antioxidants and other phytochemicals than a cup steeped for 1-2 minutes? Or do the antioxidants/phytochemicals stay constant regardless of time/temp. steeped at? Any insight would be wonderful! Thanks

2 Replies
Lala said

This is an interesting question, and I never thought about it like that before. I always just looked at the effects of burning the tea on the taste. The way I look at it is black tea also has antioxidants and phytochemicals. But less so than green or white tea. I always assumed this was due to the processing of the tea leaves. You steep black tea in boiling water. So I would assume the temperature doesn’t have much change on the antioxidants but I am not sure. Something worth discussing and researching I think.

When I think about reading about the antioxidants in broccoli. A lot of articles/nutritionists, etc, suggest steaming the broccoli until soft but not soggy. So maybe overcooking does have an effect.

I didn’t even think of the broccoli analogy. But if I remember correctly, I believe I remember learning that when you cook vegetables in boiling water (carrots, for example), some nutrients may be lost in the water during the cooking process which you’ll never get back due to the fact that you discard the water after they’ve been boiled. However with tea, you consume the water and discard the leaves, so maybe oversteeping wouldn’t have so much of an effect since the nutrients are still in the water. Scalding on the otherhand might be a different story…

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