Alexa

Consumer council cautions against brewing tea for too long

Consumer council cautions against brewing tea for too long

Hong Kong, Jan. 15 (CNA) Tea should not be brewed for too long as this could increase the chances of lead being released into the drink, the Hong Kong Consumer Council cautioned Thursday.
According to the council, a recent test of 46 samples of tea from different supermarkets, restaurants and tea houses in Hong Kong found that tea brewed for long periods contained higher levels of lead than those steeped for a short time.
In the test, three drinks made from tea samples that were brewed for more than 30 minutes were found to contain the highest levels of lead.
One sample of Oolong tea was found to have lead content of 9.3mg/1000g, which exceeded the 5mg/1000g limit specified in the Chinese National Standard.
In addition to traces of lead, pesticide residues were also detected in samples of Chinese tea leaves and teabags tested by the council.
However, all but one teabag sample tested within the allowable limit of 0.2mg/1000g for the pesticide DDT on tea leaves.
A spokesman for the council said at a press conference that once habitual tea drinkers refrain from steeping the tea for too long, there is no danger of heavy metal or pesticide contamination.
Assuming that lead is not ingested in other food or drink, a person would have to drink as much as 13 litres of the tea in question to be at risk, he said.
Nonetheless, the council advised, consumers should avoid swallowing tea leaves in food or drink. (By Stanley Cheung)