Posted by: Scott Stewart, LAc., Dipl.
This was a good question posed to me a couple of weeks ago, and I actually had to do a little research.
Turns out, there's actually a really good reason why you get hot tea with your food.
Historically, Chinese food has been greasy and heavily fried; which amounts to a lot of fat. The Chinese figured out that if you drink green tea / black tea with the food it will pull out a lot of the fat and carry it out via elimination.
It's able to do this because the green tea molecules have a hydrophilic end (affinity for water) and a lipophilic end (affinity for fats). The water end stays in the water while the fat end attaches to the fat molecules in the stomach and pulls them out before they can be absorbed in the intestinal tract.
Keep in mind these healthy benefits, which lower cholesterol and fat absorption, and have a cup of green tea with your next meal.