Whether you have just started drinking tea or you are a tea connoisseur, there must have been many things you must have heard about tea. But are all of them true? We had the same question and decided to do a bit of research. We wanted to find out whether these “facts” were backed by actual research or were made up my marketing companies to sell their products better and faster. After much research we found out some of these facts and saying were in fact not true by actually just myths.
Here is our list of top 5 facts that turned out to be myths about tea:
1. Adding Milk to Tea Negates the Health Benefits
Although many, including medical researchers, argue that adding milk to tea negates its health benefits. This is one of the biggest myths about tea. According to a study, which was later published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the absorption rate of anti-oxidants were same irrespective of the fact whether milk was added to the tea. The addition of milk had no effects on the benefits or the quantum of benefits that one got from drinking tea.
At the end of the day, whether you should or not add milk to your tea should be decided by what satiates your taste buds.
2. Black Tea Has More Caffeine than Green
All teas have the same amount of caffeine.
Irrespective of what tea you drink, all of them come from the same plant; Camellia Sinensis. What differs is the way they are processed post plucking. In a study published in Journal of Analytical Toxicology, the caffeine content of 20 different types of teas were analyzed and the researchers found that there was no correlation between style of tea and the caffeine content.
So what actually affects the caffeine content in tea? There are multiple factors that affect the amount of caffeine in tea such as where and how it was grown, the size of tea leaves and how it is processed. Teas that are processed, aged or fermented for a longer duration have in fact lower quantities of caffeine.
Another factor that affects the level of caffeine in a cup of tea is the time it is brewed for. Longer you brew the tea, higher the caffeine content.
3. Tea bags are just as good as loose leaves
In one word the answer is no. This is a two-fold problem and we will explain both.
Firstly, the quality of tea you drink depends on the type of leaves and the way in which leaves are processed are processed. This creates a huge spectrum in terms of quality of teas. On one side of the spectrum you have the first flush teas which are made from young and unbloomed leaves that are then hand rolled with minimal process. On the other end is the CTC Tea, which is made from crushing and tearing the tea leaves.
Besides the heavy processing, the kind of leaves used for CTC are mature. As a result, CTC’s have harsh flavors and low levels nutrients. This is a primary ingredient in all tea bags. In terms of nutrients, flavor, experience, benefits there is huge difference between loose leaf teas and tea bags.
Secondly and most importantly, most tea bags are made from paper or plant fibers that are then bleached. Although these are food grade, these are not exactly healthy. Some of the newer players in the market have now started using nylon tea bags, but these are known to have cancerous side effects and not exactly environmental friendly.
At the end of the day, there is no comparison between loose leaf tea and tea bags. Whether it is health benefits, flavor or the overall experience, loose leaf tea is better than tea bags by a mile.