Making better tea


Screenshot showing the scientist and journalist in a lab with a mass spectrometer

The BBC ran a video last year about how we all drink tea wrong. Normally I give clickbaity titles like this a hard pass, but I watched it in a moment of weakness and found it surprisingly interesting. Unlike so many of these you’re living life wrong videos, it had science to back its claims.

These were their steps to improving your tea:

  • Use a ceramic or glass mug, not plastic. Styrofoam especially absorbs flavour. Drink it out of a red mug if you find tea too bitter, because psychologically we perceive red as being ripe and sweet.

  • Filter your water. Hard water leads to scum, especially with milk, which removes flavour.

  • Steep for five minutes. That extra time allows more antioxidants, flavour molecules, and caffeine to be released from a given bag.

I also appreciated that they started with a reference to loose leaf, but went to discussing teabags given most people in the real world use them. Now all they need to do is avoid the milk!

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