How to Get the Most Catechins from Tea


Catechins in tea are key to its hailed health benefits. A potent antioxidant, catechin is a member of the family of chemicals known as flavonoids. It is found not only in tea, but also in wine, raisins, cocoa, chocolate, barley, broad beans, fruits and certain nut varieties.

Epigallocatechin gallate, also known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate or by its abbreviation EGCG, is a type of catechin and is the most abundant catechin in tea.

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The plant from which tea is made, Camellia sinensis, is very rich in catechins. White tea and unfermented green tea are thought to have the highest concentration of this powerful compound among all natural foods. Oolong tea is close behind, while black tea has slightly less.

Catechins are important antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can damage the body’s cells, which may lead to cancer, heart disease, and various other degenerative diseases.

To get the most catechins from your tea…

1. Select white, green or oolong tea rather than black tea
2. Use loose leaf tea rather than teabags
3. Extend the steeping time

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But remember: Catechins are astringent and so steeping for too long will result in a brew that’s bitter. Also, EGCG may be partially destroyed by boiling hot water. However, in the typical 3-5 minutes steep time the amount lost is quite minimal. Brewing your tea in the temperature that is optimal for a particular type of tea will ensure a delectable cup that’s loaded with those healthful catechins.

Helpful Tip > Using a variable temperature tea kettle will help you brew a perfect cup each and every time.

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