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I order my green tea leaves in small vacuum sealed baggies from China. They are crumbled up, but expand out once they become saturated. I typically use maybe half a teaspoon of these dried tea leaves, and I usually steep them around 5-7 times. Each time I steep my leaves (I use a personal french press for this) and I pour the tea into my cup, the tea is colored (obviously). The color of the tea never seems to fade between steeps.

2 questions:

  1. When I pour my tea, if it's colored still, does that mean I am still getting flavanoids from the leaves?
  2. How many times can I steep my tea before it starts to lose the flavanoids?
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"Nutritional value" isn't really well-defined or within the scope of our site. Generally when you see claims like that, they're based on pretty sketchy evidence about nutritional benefits, and we don't want to get into those debates. I'll just edit your question to ask about the compounds you're actually worried about, and let you decide for yourself whether they actually have meaningful nutritional value. –  Jefromi Feb 17 '14 at 18:23

1 Answer 1

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Nutrition itself is off-topic. However, keep in mind the following:

There are many compounds in tea leaves and some dissolve early, and some a little later. At some point (around 5-10 minutes of steeping at ~95°C), you will lose majority of the 'good stuff' and continue picking up less desirable compounds.

You will notice that while colour might persist, the taste will be come less and less desirable. In some cultures re-using tea leaves is considered a faux-pas because of this.

If you find your tea to be too strong after steeping, the best thing is to reduce the amount of leaves for the next time; as opposed to steeping them multiple times.

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It’s not necessarily about the tea being too strong or anything like that, given that the mixture of compounds extracted into the water will change over time. There are types of green tea where I for one actually prefer the taste of the second or third steeping. As far as I know, I’m not alone, although tastes vary on the types used, obviously. –  Christopher Creutzig Feb 17 '14 at 19:39

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