Do you know what kind of ingredients black tea contains?
Of course, it is not necessary to be familiar with the ingredients, but if you know that, you can see what kind of effects you can get from black teas.
Let’s see what’s contained in your cup of black tea!
The Ingredients of Black Tea
Black tea is the most fermented(oxidized) tea compared to Green tea and Oolong tea, and the ingredients changed in that process. Most unique characteristics of black tea ingredients are catechin and aroma component.
Catechin is a one of polyphenols and also called as tannin. It is a typical ingredients of tea, the astringency taste is coming from catechin.
However, in the case of black tea, catechin turned into theaflavin & thearbidine through the oxidation.
Theaflavin / Thearbigin
The red color of the black tea consist mostly of theaflavin & thearbigin, both formed by oxidation of catechin.
Catechin doesn’t have any color, but theaflavin has an orange, and tearbigin has a red color. That’s why the color of tea leaves changed from green to red-copper.
The more these ingredients are contained, the tea color became deeper and brighter red.
Caffeine consist the bitterness taste of the tea. It doesn’t change during the processing of black tea leaves, therefore, the amount of caffeine is same before and after processing.
Actually, caffeine is contained about 3% of the weight of the tea leaves, this number is 2~3 times larger than the same amount of coffee beans. However, the amount of caffeine contained in a cup of tea is much smaller than coffee, because the amount of tea leaves(or coffee beans) per cup is different and caffeine is much easier to be extracted from crushing coffee beans.
Caffeine doesn’t extract with 50~60℃ water, but extract well with hot water(higher than 80℃). As usual, 95℃ water is used for black tea, the amount of caffeine extract is larger than green tea.
Saponin is also an ingredients that consist the bitterness of the tea, but the amount is quite small. Because saponin has a property as a surfactant, it causes tea to foam.
The amount is too small to expect its health benefit, but it is a constitution of bitter taste of the tea.
Amino acids are the ingredients that consist umami of the tea. There are some kinds such as theanine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, arginine, serine etc… in particular, theanine occupies about 50% of total amino acid, and is typical ingredients of tea.
Because amino acids don’t change through oxidation, they are contained in black tea leaves. However, there is no covering process and usage of nitrogen fertilizer in the cultivation process of black tea leaves, the final amount of amino acid remains in the leaves is smaller than green teas.
In addition to this, caffeine and catechin are extracted largely with high temperature, means bitterness and astringency will be strong enough to cover up the umami of amino acids.
Since black teas are usually brewed with high temperature, the taste coming from amino acids are rarely stand out.
Actually, there are few aroma component contains in tea leaves before processing.
Through the crumpling process(one of the processings steps of tea leaves), the cell walls of tea leaves are destroyed, and the oxidation is intensified, flower-like or fluit-like aroma component is formed.(Green tea doesn’t contain many aroma components because there are no oxidation process)
About 200 types of components exist in green tea, and more than 600 types exist in black tea and oolong tea.
A rich flavor of tea is consisted from numerous aroma components such as linalool(lemon-like scent) geraniol(flower-like scent) and methyl salicylate and green leaf alcohol etc…
Fresh tea leaves contain a lot of vitaminA,C,E,B and so on. However, they are oxidized and changed to other ingredients during the processing of tea leaves, almost no vitamins remain in the black tea leaves.
Chlorophyll is contained in fresh tea leaves, but they are oxidized and changed to other ingredients during the processing of tea leaves, almost no chlorophyll remain in the black tea leaves.
Many ingredients are contained in black tea leaves
Like this, the taste, aroma and color is consisted from many ingredients. The type and quantity differ depends on the types of tea and the processing method, it causes the difference of each black tea.