The temperature and length of time tea leaves are steeped affects their antioxidant properties, according to a recentJournal of Food Science study. The effects also differ across types of tea.
In the study, researchers tested six types of tea leaves that showed high levels of antioxidant capacity and activity. The most effective steeping temperature and time was dependent on the type of tea. The highest activity for white tea was in prolonged hot water and in some assays prolonged hot and cold extracts, and green tea showed the highest activity during prolonged cold steeping. Black tea showed the most antioxidant activity in a short hot water infusion. 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.