Instant Green Tea Powder Mix
How to Buy

Convenience and taste aside, there are two problems with instant green tea powder mix in terms of its use as a healthy beverage.



Instant tea was developed in the 1930s, but not commercialized until the late 1950s. Similar to freeze dried instant coffee, it has recently become popular.

It is highly suitable for making iced tea or green tea smoothie. It is also great for people who enjoy the taste of tea but couldn't tolerate freshly brewed tea somehow.

A green tea powder may contain fibrous leaves and stems and may not dissolve completely. On the other hand, an instant mix is quick to dissolve and leave no residue.

In addition, these products often come with added flavors, such as lemon, raspberry or honey. They can be sweetened or unsweetened.

However, convenience and taste aside, there are things you need to watch out for when buying.

Taste and Nutrition

The taste and nutrition of an instant mix green tea pale in comparison with a cup of freshly brewed tea.

When making green tea powder, steam or hot water is used to extract the tea nutrients. The extract is concentrated under low pressure and dried to a powder by freezing, spraying, or vacuum packing.

According to an estimate, this lengthy process can result in an 85% nutrition loss.

A 2007 report published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) compares nearly 400 foods for their flavonoid content. The researchers concluded that instant green tea has only 10% of the antioxidants found in a cup of regular tea.

Without the antioxidants, you would be missing out on most of the health benefits of green tea. Drinking more of this instant tea powder won't help either.

Lipton Instant Iced Green Tea

Drinking tea is seldom associated with any serious side effects.

In 2005, Dr. Michael Whyte from the Washington University in St Louis raised some unusual concerns about instant iced tea. He reported a middle aged woman who was diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis as a result of drinking too much Lipton tea.

Dr. Whyte tested the fluoride content of instant tea available on supermarket shelves. He found that these instant teas contained 1.0 to 6.5 part per million of fluoride. Lipton's Instant tea tested 6.5, well above the maximum level of 4 permitted by US regulations!

Fluoride in Green Tea - Danger in Lipton Instant Iced Tea!

Recommendation

Always go for an unflavored and unsweetened power mix like the Tea Factory 100% Pure Tea as shown on the right, you are more likely to get higher quality tea.

It is important to be able to taste your tea. Tea contains nutrition such as antioxidants, theanine and caffeine.

All these compounds contribute heavily to the health benefits and tastes of green tea. If your tea tastes bland, it probably is devoid of nutrients.

Also consider a high quality green tea powder. Although they are less soluble than an instant mix, the tea leaves are less processed and better preserved.

References

US Department of Agriculture. USDA Database for the Flavanoid Content of Selected Foods Release 2.1. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Flav/Flav02-1.pdf

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