Tea chemistry is complex. Just how complex? Well, on the bush, tea leaves contain thousands of chemical compounds. When tea leaves are processed, the chemical compounds within them break down, form complexes with one another and form new compounds.
Triethanolamine aka Trolamine (abbr. as TEOA or TELA to distinguish it from TEA which is for triethylamine) is a viscous organic compound that is both a tertiary amine and a triol. A triol is a molecule with three alcohol groups. Triethanolamine is a strong base. Approximately 150,000 tonnes were produced in 1999.
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.
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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.
Yet even the most learned of chemists cannot identify the thousands of chemical molecules in Camellia sinensis. To further compound the mystery, the chemical elements of tea are different when processed as green, oolong or black. When tea lovers add milk or lemon to tea in the cup, the chemistry of tea can change once again.
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.
Triethylamine is the chemical compound with the formula N(CH 2 CH 3) 3, commonly abbreviated Et 3 N. It is also abbreviated TEA, yet this abbreviation must be used carefully to avoid confusion with triethanolamine or tetraethylammonium, for which TEA is also a common abbreviation.
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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.