A Short Cut to Good Health?

Can you recommend a specific brand of green tea extract (liquid version) that might be an easier way to receive the benefits of the tea without the home brew process? I’m looking for a version to add to my water bottle when on-the-go.

– April 10, 2003

Updated 3/30/2005

I realize that green tea extract in liquid and capsule forms is being widely promoted on the Internet and elsewhere as a convenient alternative to brewed green tea. However, I don’t know how well these products would dissolve in your water bottle.

Green tea extracts have proven health benefits, but brewing green tea is so easy and quick that I don’t see why you need a short-cut. Here’s a “refresher” course:

  • Pour fresh cold water into your tea kettle (use good quality bottled water or filtered water if your tap water has a chemical taste). Swirl some hot water in a ceramic tea pot to warm it up.
  • Use about a teaspoon of loose green tea leaves per cup (eight ounces of water).
  • Don’t let the water in your kettle come to a boil (for green tea, a temperature of between 170-185 degrees Fahrenheit is best); pour it into the teapot and let the tea steep for one to three minutes.
  • You can reuse the tea leaves several times. Just heat more fresh water (don’t reuse the water remaining in the kettle, which can result in a “flat” brew).

You can also make iced green tea by putting a tablespoon or so of leaves in a quart of room temperature drinking water and placing it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. When the tea gets to the strength you like, you can pour it off into your water bottle.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

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