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When tea leaves are processed, the chemical compounds within them break down, form complexes with one another and form new compounds. When steeping tea leaves, our senses are tingled by the thousands of volatile compounds (collectively known as the “aroma complex”) rising from the tea liquor and the thousands of non-volatile compounds that ...


After looking at the chemistry of coffee in the previous post, it seemed only fair to also consider the chemistry of tea, just so all the tea drinkers out there don’t feel left out.Much like coffee, tea contains a hugely wide variety of chemical compounds, but some of the most important in terms of its taste and colouration are the polyphenols.


The main difference between the caffeine in coffee and tea is that tea has a lot less of it. A strong cup of coffee can provide 100–300 mg of caffeine, while a cup of tea may provide 20–60 mg.


The Chemistry of Tea There are approximately 600 traces of aroma compounds in tea leaves, some of which are lost and some that are released during the manufacturing process. Once plucked, tea leaves begin to wither, their cell walls begin to break down and chemical compounds begin to form new chemical compounds, not all of which are water soluble.


Green tea ingredients are extremely complex. It contains as many as 200 bioactive compounds. Not only are they complex, being plant material, their levels also extreme variable and change with location, harvesting season and making process.


Free sugars are responsible for the synthesis of catechins in tea shoot, formation of heterocyclic flavour compounds during processing of black tea and contributing towards water-soluble solids in tea liquor. Cellulose, hemi-cellulose, pectins and lignins are responsible for the formation of crude fibre content in black tea.


Tea contains an immense number of fragrance components, with around 200 in green tea and more than 300 in black tea. However, the essence, or "Seiyu" that makes up the tea's fragrance occurs in very small quantities, only around 0.005% in green tea and 0.02% in black tea.


Chemical Compounds in Tea Tea chemistry is complex. Just how complex? Well tea leaves contain thousands of chemical compounds. When they are processed, these compounds break down and form new compounds. When we steep tea leaves, our senses are triggered by the thousands of vaporizing compounds (collectively known as the “aroma complex ...


Popularity of tea as a beverage may be due to the presence of these two groups of compounds which are mainly responsible for the unique taste of tea, in addition to various compounds associated with tea aroma. Chemical composition of tea shoot varies with agroclimatic condition, season, cultural practice and the type of material.


Modern analytical techniques, such as high-resolution mass spectrometry, have allowed the chemical nature of many tea compounds to be elucidated, says Kuhnert. Indeed, green tea ...