Brewing a Great Cup of Green Tea/Precautions

Brewing Your Tea

Before writing this article I brewed my first pot of green tea and did it all wrong.


Green tea requires more delicate handling than many other teas. Bringing the water to boil and throwing in the tea bag just does not work for green tea (that’s what I did).


So bring your water to just 160-170 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer to achieve the most accurate temperature. But if you don’t have one you can guestimate the temperature by turning off the burner when the water starts to boil and then let it cool a few minutes.


Then pour the water over the tea leaves and let it steep for only 30 to 60 seconds. Wow that’s fast. However, Nilgiri and Darjeeling varieties of green tea require 3 to 4 minutes of infusion and Chinese Dragonwell needs 6 to 7 minutes.


The tea leaves will sink to the bottom of the cup but you may prefer to strain them out.


Personally I prefer tea bags, maybe a compromise to perfection but much more convenient. Measuring the amount of tea leaves requires weighing them because they compact more if cut small and take up more space if cut in larger pieces.


If you like to use the tea leaves without the bags here are the recommended amounts to weigh out using a small food scale:

Use 3 grams of tea to 5 ounces of water if brewing in a small teapot or cup

Use 4 grams of tea to 8 ounces of water if brewing in a larger teapot or cup

Be sure to use a measuring cup to determine how much water your cup or teapot holds.


Spring water makes the best tea with filtered water as a close second. Distilled water is not recommended because the lack of minerals prevents bringing out the full flavor of the tea.


A little trick to determine if your tea bags are too old:

Dump the tea out of a bag.

Bring your water to a boil and then let cool a few minutes.

Place the empty tea bag in a cup and pour the water over it.

Steep for 30-60 seconds.

If the resulting brew tastes like tea, then the flavor has moved out of the tea and into the bag. Buy some fresher tea.


For some innovative ways to serve green tea visit this web page and scroll down about ¾ of the way from the bottom of the page..



Pepper Increases Absorption of ECGC

Rats and mice that ingested green tea in combination with pepper (the spice) absorbed 130% more ECGC than the rats and mice that ingested only the green tea.

Does this translate to humans? We don’t know yet, but if you like pepper, add it to the food your eating when you have your green tea.


Green Tea and Drug Interactions

Green tea contains tannins which may interfere with the absorption and level of activity of the following drugs:

  • Atropine
  • Cardec DM®
  • Codeine
  • Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine
  • Lomotil®, Lonox®
  • Theoplylline
  • Aminophylline
  • Warfarin

Also, the tannins may interfere with iron absorption, helpful if you have too much iron, but obviously detrimental if you have low iron levels.

The caffeine in green tea may interact with the following drugs heightening their effects to dangerous levels: aminophylline, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, theophylline. (Remember that I recommend drinking decaffeinated tea.)

Precautions from the University of Maryland web site:


You have probably noticed that health food web sites and advocates tend to be exuberant in their descriptions of green tea (or other healthy drinks, food or supplements). But educational institutions and medical web sites tend to be more reserved, saying studies show “thus and so” but more research is needed to confirm these results.


Scientists want more proof and that’s a good thing. We have to look at research projects with keen discernment (and that’s a whole other topic that we won’t elaborate on now). So I recommend reviewing the above link from the University of Maryland, especially if you have any health problems and take medications.


This site has a good discussion of the green tea research, makes a balanced appraisal of it and contains a much longer list of drugs that may possibly interact with it.


So, if you are being treated for a disease or are pregnant, do not consume green tea without the supervision of your health care provider and be sure to read the information on the University of Maryland site:


This site says children should not drink green tea.


In summary, green tea research indicates it has many health benefits including preserving our brain function, preventing some cancer, heart disease and diabetes, increasing longevity, helping our bodies deal with stress better, increasing exercise endurance and aids in weight loss. That little cup of brew packs a powerful punch.


With your doctor’s clearance, let’s enjoy a cup of green tea.



Dr. Jo



About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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