Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea
How to get more EGCG from your green tea bag

How to get more EGCG from your green tea bag

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Green tea bags are great! You don’t have to buy all the equipment, they’re easy to use, and there’s literally no mess. But do they contain all the good stuff? It’s a question I really didn’t want to think about since they are so convenient.

Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea

I was disappointed to find out that not all tea bags contain as much of the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). In fact, some tea bags only have half the amount as loose tea. And decaffeinated tea bags are even lower (see table below).

The color of green tea brewed from tea bags is also not as green as loose tea (see picture at top: Loose tea on left, tea bag on right).

A study at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition compared the catechins and caffeine of popular green tea bags. The tea bags were steeped for 3 minutes in 100 ml of boiling water.

Brand of Green Tea Bag EGCG Total Catechin Caffeine

Celestial Seasonings Authentic Green Tea

99

216

34

Lipton Pure Green Tea

84

197

33

Uncle Lee’s Green Tea

65

156

29

Salada Green Tea Naturally Decaffeinated

46

87

3.8

Bigelow Green Tea Classic

43

88

24

Celestial Seasonings Decaf Green Tea

38

72

0.7

Stash Premium Green Tea Decaf

21

53

6

 

Consumer Labs did another study of tea bags. The tea bags were steeped for 5 minutes in 250 ml of boiling water.

Brand of Green Tea Bag EGCG Total Catechin Caffeine

Lipton Pure Green Tea

71

188

40

Bigelow Green Tea Naturally Decaffeinated

57

158

5

Bigelow Green Tea Certified 100% Organic

42

116

24

Salada Green Tea Naturally Decaffeinated

37

90

5

Bigelow Green Tea Classic

25

61

23

Water temperature & steeping

So are there any special tricks to get more catechins from the tea bags? Well, you can use hotter water. The hotter the water, the higher the amount of catechins (and caffeine) that will be released. But remember, if the water is boiling, then the green tea will get bitter.

You can also try extending the steeping time. The longer the tea bag is steeped, the higher the amount of catechins (and caffeine) that will be released. But again, if the tea is steeped too long, it will get bitter.

These tricks can get you more catechins, but the amount will still be lower compared to loose tea.

Pyramid Shaped Tea BagPyramid shaped green tea bag

What should I look for when buying tea bags?

Some tea companies are starting to make triangular or pyramid-shaped teabags made of nylon. They don’t contain paper, glue, bleach, cotton, or metal staples, so there is nothing affecting the flavor of the tea. The bags are large enough to hold larger tea leaves, so it is almost like using loose leaf tea.

See my Green Tea Bags

This article contains a link to DailyMatcha.com. Daily Matcha is our store where we sell green tea directly from Japan. Your purchases support our effort to raise awareness about green tea. Thank you!

Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea

Sources

ConsumerLab.com. (2014). Product review of green tea supplements, drinks, and brewable teas. Retrieved from https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Green Tea Review Supplements and Bottled/Green Tea/

Henning, S., Fajardo-Lira, C., Lee, H., Youssefian, A., Go, V., & Heber, D. (2003). Catechin content of 18 teas and a green tea extract supplement correlates with the antioxidant capacity. Nutrition & Cancer, 45(2), 226-235.

Yang, D., Hwang, L., & Lin, J. (2007). Effects of different steeping methods and storage on caffeine, catechins and gallic acid in bag tea infusions. Journal Of Chromatography A, 1156(1/2).

Becki
Becki Benedict has a Master’s degree in International Studies and has traveled extensively throughout Asia. She has lived and worked in Japan, China, and Thailand.

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