02 Aug 2018

Сaffeine in tea. 8 signs and ways to identify it.

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Сaffeine in tea. 8 signs and ways to identify it.

Well, what does the content of caffeine found in tea depend on?

Caffeine in tea, how to figure out

1. Size of a leaf.

The smaller the tea leaf the more caffeine is in it. Obviously, the smallest leaves are also the youngest tea leaves. After you have bought and prepared the leaf tea, then you can take the leaf out of the cup, spread it, and see the size. If the leaf is intact and its size (length) is 1-2 cm, then you are lucky. Your tea contains a lot of caffeine. Therefore, the largest amount of caffeine, of course, will be in the three top leaves of a tea branch.

2. Brewing temperature.

The hotter the water, which is used to make the tea, the more caffeine is extracted into the infusion. In this, is important to remember that when we brew green or light oolong with boiling water (100 degrees), we completely kill its taste and especially the aroma. Usually, the content of the caffeine is larger in green tea or oolong (see paragraph 4), but as they are usually brewed with relatively cold water, as a result, the black tea may end up containing more caffeine as well.

3. Steeping time.

Caffeine is water-soluble, therefore – the longer the tea is being infused, the more caffeinated is the infusion. We can extract most of the caffeine without negative impact to the taste and aroma after 5-6 minutes of steeping time, in case of using the Western preparation method (about 80% if brewing with boiling water). By the way, 100% of the caffeine will be extracted in 15 min.

4. Oxidation level of tea leaves.

In other words, green tea caffeine vs black tea.

The risk of losing caffeine exists for any teas that undergo prolonged fermentation (more than 2 hours). In other words, the longer the oxidation process, the less caffeine. For example, the 90-minute oxidation of tea leaves reduces the amount of caffeine by 15%. So, answering the question “Is there caffeine in green tea?”, we can say that the most caffeinated are green, lightly fermented (lightly oxidized), teas.

5. Insolation of the area where the tea is cultivated.

The hotter the sun or weather, the greater the concentration of caffeine in a tea leaf. Such sorts of tea, with a large amount of caffeine, are grown along the South, equatorial tea growth boundary (e.g. Ceylon). But the Southern grown teas, unlike the Northern ones, have a lack of taste and aroma qualities. For example, Japanese grow elite green tea in an intentionally created shaded condition in order to get rid of extra bitterness (caffeine is bitter, but will talk about this at the very end).

6. Soil quality in the place where tea grows.

Plantation tea is produced over the course of decades and even centuries so that the soil is unavoidably being depleted. Therefore, high-quality organic tea can be produced only from relatively young plantations. But much healthier and more delicious, in terms of chemical composition and taste, is forest or wild-grown tea. Particularly, the tea from old trees which have a strong root system. English explorers found that the content of caffeine depends on the concentration of the zinc in the soil. The more Zn, the more caffeine is in leaves.

7. Tea plant variety.

Camellia Sinensis var. Assamica contains more caffeine in its leaves then Camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis. It means that pu-erhs, in general, are more caffeinated than oolong teas.

8. Bitter taste

In conclusion, I add that organoleptically the amount of caffeine in tea can to some degree be identified by the clearly expressed bitterness or exquisite astringency (in high-quality tea). The more bitter and tart it is, the more caffeine it contains.

Steeped tea leaf.

The size matters

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