Tea has been promoted as a health engendering drink, and no doubt it is. However a very important paper from Iran and a supporting Editorial in the BMJ of 11th April 2009 indicate that tea drunk at temperatures over 75° C results in an enhanced risk of cancer of the oesophagus. Mrs Beeton suggested, (did she ever suggest?) that a 5 to 10 minutes interval between making and pouring tea was important for flavoursome tea. Another aphorism for tea bags is the first minute releases the colour wait for the taste. And reduce the chance of cancer of the oesophagus.
Islami et al 2009 Tea drinking habits and oesophageal cancer in a high risk area in Northern Iran: population based case- control study. BMJ vol 338 pp 876-879 Editorial BMJ 2009 Hot tea and increased risk of oesophageal cancer. BMJ vol 339 pp 841-2