The secret: filtered water.
If you brew tea with tap water, you’re missing out on antioxidants, according to a new study in the journal Nutrients. The findings show that green varieties have nearly double the amount of EGCG (the most abundant catechin in tea) when they’re brewed with bottled H2O compared to tap water. Using filtered water would likely have the same effect.
Tap water is full of calcium, iron, and magnesium, which can reduce the nutrients extracted from tea and coffee, says study author Robin Dando, associate professor of food science at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Filters—such as reverse osmosis systems and Brita products—remove them so you can get more antioxidants from every cup.
THE BOTTOM LINE
When brewing green tea, use filtered water. The strategy won’t have as strong of an effect on black teas, however: They undergo an extra oxidizing process that changes their color and flavor and makes them less antioxidant-rich to begin with.
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