Tue, May 16, 2017 - Page 4 News List

No need to discard first pot of tea due to pesticides: COA

BENEFITS:Nutritionist Cheng Hsin-i recommends a cup of tea after meals to help process fat, and says it also serves as a diuretic and a mental stimulant

By Lin Yan-tung and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An official from the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that tea drinkers do not need to discard their first pot of tea to remove traces of pesticides from tea leaves.

Seasoned tea drinkers believe an extra brew is necessary to bring out the leaves’ flavor, as they use water that is below the boiling point, Tea Research and Extension Station researcher Tsai Hsien-tsung (蔡憲宗) said.

He said that agricultural chemicals sprayed on tea leaves are water-soluble and are removed when the leaves are processed.

Any trace chemicals left on the leaves would be in such small amounts that they would be undetectable, Tsai said.

“Discarding the first pot is part of the tea-drinking culture, like some coffee drinkers heating their mug before pouring coffee,” Tsai said.

Tea leaves are kneaded into balls during processing and need time to unfurl and release their flavor, he said, adding that brewing them for 50 seconds to a minute would help the process.

“The second brew should be longer — about one minute and 50 seconds — to produce the best flavor,” he said. “The temperature of the water used when brewing should be between 85?C and 90?C — 90?C for high mountain teas.”

Formosa Cancer Foundation nutritionist Cheng Hsin-i (鄭欣宜) said tea has many benefits, such as diuresis and mental stimulation, and helps the body break down fatty substances.

“I recommend a cup of tea after every meal to help the body process fat,” she said. “However, people with sleeping disorders or stomach problems should drink less tea.”

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