As the second-most consumed beverage after water, tea is drunk by many people all over the world. In a study published in the Journal of Food Science, researchers found that the time and temperature at which tea is steeped can affect the antioxidant properties that differs across different types of teas.

The study tested black, green and white teas, looking at two different types of each. They were tested in hot water for two hours, hot water for five minutes, cold water for two hours, and cold water for five minutes. The antioxidant activity varied by which kind of tea was being tested. The white tea had a positive correlation between time steeping and an increase in antioxidants. The temperature didn’t matter. For the black tea, antioxidant activity was found in short amount of time and high temperature. The longer the time, the less antioxidant activity. Green tea showed temperature sensitivity and also time dependence — prolonged cold steeping (two hours) yielded the most antioxidants.

In addition, the overall antioxidant capacity of white and green tea was found to be greater than that of black tea. The authors conclude that this information can be used to develop a standard and integrated method of preparing different types of tea infusions to maximize their potential health benefits.

For more information, read the full study.

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