Around the turn of the century, coffee preferences splintered into a slew of subgroups. Our CBDs are now filled with the sound of baristas hammering out their spent beans.
Tea has grown into the new urban sophisticate in recent years, with a broad selection of exotic and herbal teas becoming de rigueur in educated health-conscious circles.
We’re becoming more picky about our beverages, but how much do we really know about the advantages and risks of tea and coffee consumption?
It was common knowledge in 1960s grandmotherly circles that you shouldn’t drink tea with your meals because the chemicals in the tea would bond with the iron in the food, limiting absorption.
Green tea and coffee use ‘may lower the risk of mortality from diabetes by more than half.’
People with type 2 diabetes who drink green tea and coffee on a daily basis may cut their risk of mortality in half.
Dr. Ali Rashidinejad, a food scientist at Massey University’s Riddet Institute who has spent years studying “bioactive” substances in food and drink, particularly teas and coffees, supports this wisdom.
All coffees and teas, particularly green tea, contain essential antioxidants that combat the damaging effects of free radicals, which are linked to many chronic diseases, and have a preventive impact against diseases like Alzheimer’s (now you’re paying attention!).
Take it as permission to keep doing what you’re doing, in moderation.
To demonstrate the presence of these antioxidants, Rashidinejad recommends an at-home experiment. Pour a cup of black or green tea into a glass and set it aside. Take note of the colour shift. With enough time, green tea can become crimson or even black.
This is due to the action of an enzyme that gradually degrades the effectiveness of certain polyphenolic antioxidants. If you want to get the most out of your tea, don’t let it steep for more than eight minutes.
Temperature is another element that influences the degree of bioactive benefit. Rashidinejad recommends making tea and coffee with water that is not quite boiling. Many bioactives are unstable in extremely hot environments.