‹ Back to Health & Lifestyle

This Is Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Tea

There’s nothing like starting your morning or ending your day with a cup of tea. The aroma, warmth, and comfort will make everyone feel great.

But what if we told you that it’s possible to make the experience even better?

The key is in the preparation — brewing your tea properly instead of rushing through the experience enhances the flavor and ensures you obtain all the benefits. And that’s why you should avoid rushing the prep work by using a microwave.

“Haste Makes Waste”

Microwaves make preparing things so much easier and quicker, but that doesn't mean you'll get a good cup of tea. Each type of tea has its own preparation instructions with specific water temperatures and steeping times.

When leaves come into contact with hot water, the compounds that create flavor and aroma begin to dissolve. Under the proper conditions, the leaves are suspended in the water, creating the perfect combination of water and leaf extracts. The water also cooks some of the compounds in the tea, providing the best possible taste and unlocking the numerous potential health benefits.

But when you use the microwave, you lower the accuracy that’s so important to a great cup of tea. For the perfect cup of black tea, for example, you should heat your water to 206 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, using a heat source from the bottom (like on a stove) will heat the water evenly because heated water rises and the cooler water falls. Tea kettles and pots are even better at this due to their slightly curved shape.

When you pop a teacup into the microwave, however, water doesn’t heat evenly and boiling is hard to control. (Imagine all the times you heat leftovers in the microwave and there are hot and cool spots.)

To eliminate any cool spots in microwaved water, you must overheat it. And if you add tea leaves into water that's too hot, you can destroy the aromatic compounds and create bitter flavor notes.

What If You Don’t Have Access to a Kettle or Stove Top?

If you have no choice but to microwave your tea (like at work), you could invest in a thermometer to check the temperature of the water before adding your tea leaves. Your results won’t be perfect, but you’ll brew a better cup than if you added the leaves without checking the temperature first.

Reheating Your Tea in a Microwave Also Isn’t a Good Idea

Unfortunately, the microwave doesn’t help you here because it can damage the flavor. Instead of sticking an already brewed cup of tea in the microwave, invest in a covered container that keeps the tea warm for long periods of time like our Tea Leaf Tumbler.

When you take the time to make or reheat your tea correctly, you’ll notice a huge difference in taste. And those extra few moments it takes to make a great cup of tea will help you get some space and clarity from the stresses of your everyday routine.

Shop Art of Tea

Pick up new skills on brewing tea by reading our resources to help make the perfect cup.

Want to learn more about tea? Check out our guide on all things tea here.

There’s an art to tea brewing too! Learn more here.