The Healthiest Way to Brew Your Tea? Microwave It

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Research shows microwaving tea makes it tastier, too.

Brace yourselves, Brits: Science says the best way to brew a cup of tea is...inside a microwave, not in a teapot. (We know—the horror.) That's right: Research shows that zapping your favorite tea bag and a cup of water together in the microwave is the most effective way to garner the bevy of tea's benefits, and get the best taste.

After extensive research, Quan Vuong, a food scientist at the University of Newcastle in Australia, determined that microwaving tea activates 80 percent of its caffeine, plus amino acids and antioxidants such as theanine and polyphenol. This brewing method also, according to Vuong, yields the yummiest taste.

Why? According to Vuong, zapping natural products is the most effective way to extract their bioactive compounds—antioxidants and amino acids that lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes.

Vuong conducted his research in 2012, but his research recently resurfaced on ABC Radio after a U.K. television drama, Broadchurch, showed a character brewing tea not in a teapot or even on his countertop but in his microwave. (Again, the horror.)

Ready to embrace this new wave of brewing? Here's exactly how to do it:

  1. Add water and a tea bag to a microwave-safe mug.
  2. Place the mug in the microwave, and heat for 30 seconds on 50 percent power.
  3. Let the mug sit for a minute before removing the teabag and sipping the tea.
  4. Repeat three times a day. (Yep, that's how many cups you'll have to drink every 24 hours to reap these benefits, Vuong says.)

Since 2012, Vuong has been whipping up other microwave-based research, showing that tea isn't the only thing to benefit from this machine. For example, ABC Radio reports, he found that zapping a lemon's leftover skin, pulp, and seeds can maximize its phenolic content, flavonoids, proanthocyanins, and antioxidants—all good things.

Next up, Vuong says he plans to test his country's native flora, such as eucalyptus.

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