green tea made in bottled water is richer in antioxidant EGCG

In a strange and unexpected study of green and black tea, researchers found that it makes a very big difference where the water comes from.

Next to water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world. And, it turns out, the water you use goes a long way in determining how healthy that tea you’re drinking is.

In this just published study, black and green tea were brewed using bottled water, tap water and deionized water. When the people in the study drank the green tea brewed in tap water, they liked the taste more than green tea brewed in bottled water: it tasted less bitter to them. From a taste perspective, that may be nice. But from a health perspective it’s not: the bitter taste in green tea is produced by the antioxidant flavonoid epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and it is the EGCG that is responsible for green tea’s health benefits. That means that green tea brewed from bottled water may taste more bitter but be more healthy. In this case, bitter means better. Green tea brewed in bottled water actually contained almost double the EGCG compared to tap water.

The bottled water—and also the ionized water—was able to extract more EGCG from the tea leaves. That may be because tap water is higher in calcium, though the calcium content of your water may depend on how hard or soft the water in your region is. High calcium levels may affect extraction of active ingredients in tea.

Drinkers of black tea were not really able to tell the difference in terms of taste. That may be because black tea is much lower in EGCG than green tea.

Since many people who drink green tea drink it for its health properties, it is important to know that green tea brewed in tap water is significantly poorer in terms of health giving EGCG antioxidants than tea brewed in bottled or deionized water.

Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 80

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