Brew Green Tea - Better To Leave Overnight?

by Ami

I have just started drinking green tea after reading about its health benefits but wasn't sure of how to make it. Is it better to keep the leaves overnight in water and then drink it in the morning? Could you also let me know of the amount of water and green tea leaves to use each time?


Ami, there have been a lot of readers writing to me asking about leaving green tea overnight. Most of them are based in America, where people enjoy drinking iced green tea in the summer. The idea is to steep the tea, then leave to cool in the fridge before drinking.

In Asia, we tend to drink green tea hot, and not leave overnight. The scientific reason is because green tea antioxidants are extremely reactive, and therefore vulnerable to environmental degradation. You can see that when you see the tea liquor turns brown after a while - it is called oxidation - just like apples turning brown. The effect is more marked on the high grade which contains high level of antioxidants.

So to conclude, best to drink green tea fresh, especially when you are drinking a high grade.

Start with 2 to 5 grams per 250 millimetres (8 ounce). Start with less first, then gradually increase to your taste. It is harder to get it wrong with less leaves. Good quality tea leaves can steep more than 3 times.

Further information about brewing green tea can found at

How To Make Green Tea - Brewing Secrets FAQ Guide

I hope this helps.


Comments for Brew Green Tea - Better To Leave Overnight?

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Jul 13, 2009
Steep Overnight
by: Erik

I have been steeping my tea overnight for the past year or so. I pour the boiling water over the leaves in thermos jars, and then cover it up, in the morning it is still warm when I drink it for breakfast, doing it this way I highly doubt that the anti-oxidants would disappear out in nowhere.

Also its a great drink to drink after a night of drinking alcohol, because it cleans out your system.

I also use organic lemongrass in every tea batch I make, Lemongrass is a natural detoxifier, and it also sweetens up the tea naturally.


Aug 02, 2009
Drinking Fresh Tea
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately drinking freshly brewed tea (hot) increases the risk of esophageal cancer significantly---this is thought to be the cause of the high rate of this cancer in Southeast Asia (China etc).

I don't agree--the antioxidant quality of overnight seeped tea does not change that much and is safer to drink (although it can be bitter).

Aug 02, 2009
by: Julian

Thanks for the really helpful comments. Really appreciate it.

Drinking hot beverage (not just tea!) does cause cancer. So the trick is to drink after the beverage has cooled down. To quote this Iranian study about hot tea and cancer:

Scientists set out to investigate why the Golestan province in northern Iran has one of the world's highest rates of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, the most common kind of tumors of the esophagus. Locals don't use much tobacco or alcohol, the main cause for such cancers in Europe and the U.S. They do drink tea at temperatures that often exceed 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit), the researchers said.

Still, better to wait until it cools down a bit before taking the first sip. Previous studies from the U.K. have reported an average temperature preference of 56 to 60 degrees among healthy people, the researchers said.

Hot Tea and Cancer

Leaving antioxidant-rich tea too long may allow them to oxidize, thus losing potency. A 2001 study conducted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong discovered that you can keep your tea at ambient up to 7 hours, and still enjoy its antioxidant benefits.

Cold Tea Vs Hot Tea Health Benefits - How Long Can You Keep or Steep?

I agree Erik's idea of storing tea in thermos is a good one.

Feb 06, 2011
Don't listen to people here, they are talking rubbish
by: Peter

Green tea doesnt increases risk of esophageal cancer, it inhibits that.

Also don't put your tea to thermos jar during night. Thermoss jars are often made from some metals(iron/steel), which boosts tea oxidation and changes taste significantly(to worse).

Especially when you drink high quality tea, never use metal jars.

Aug 31, 2011
Green tea overnight
by: Anonymous

i suffered from irritable bowel syndrome for many years in my early 20's and started using green tea, i admit i was ignorant about how to brew it, but i would leave the leaves overnight in a glass jug,(covered) and would drink it very-very strong.

In two weeks my bowels became extreemly constant and have never had any problems since, and am 100% healthy, 36 and still drink it everyday.

And.... I lost an incredible amount of weight,and became very lean.

Mar 24, 2012
Overnight second brew
by: tealover

I do this with oolong tea. I steep one cup to drink hot and then add more water and let it sit overnight for a second 8 oz. cup.

Mar 25, 2012
FRESHLY STEEPED -- ICED OUT -- GREEN TEA will solve all your problems.
by: Phillip Mc Hunt

Brew your green tea and then throw an ice cube into the cup to cool it off before drinking.

This way you're preserving the antioxidant levels by drinking the tea fresh, while also protecting yourself from the harsh effects of drinking beverages at high temperatures.


Aug 16, 2014
Overnight brewing
by: Baker Bob

For 5 months, before I go to bed I have brewed 5 tea bags in a quart size mason jar. It seals itself as it becomes room temp and is ready to drink when I wake up. This makes me feel good & energized! The tea along with a diet containing NO ADDED SWEETENERS I have lost 50 lbs.

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