• Heating tea in the microwave can actual unlock health benefits, says food scientist Dr Quan Vuong. (iStockphoto)
Twitter is running hot over the great tea debate.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

12 Apr 2017 - 2:35 PM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2017 - 2:35 PM

Heating up your tea in the microwave can unlock health benefits, according to an Australian researcher - and make it taste better, too. 

Dr Quan Vuong from the University of Newcastle, who is described on the university website as a scientific forager with a culinary mind, says his goal is to find ways to "add value to natural foods" by extracting bioactive compounds with antioxidant capacities.

Dr Vuong told ABC Radio about his 2012 study to extract, isolate and purify the important components of green tea and black tea.

The method he recommends for making tea is:

1. Put hot water in a cup with your teabag

2. Heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds on half power

3. Let it sit for a minute - and enjoy.

This method activates 80 per cent of the caffeine, antioxidents and amino acids, as well as producing the best taste, in both loose leaf and teabags, he says.

"Microwaving is one of the advanced technologies to get more bioactive compounds from the products," he tells ABC Radio.  

The news has not been welcomed on social media, where tea drinkers are outraged by this unorthodox way of making a cuppa.

However, others have reacted more warmly to the idea.

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