Chemical Composition of Black Tea

Have you ever interested in searching the composition of the tea that we are drinking regularly? Well, even there are different types of tea as black, green, yellow and white etc. all are produce using the tender shoots of Chamellia sinensis plant. Before examine the chemical profile of black tea it is important to know the chemicals in tender tea shoot.

Tender shoots mainly contain flavonoids. These flavonoids can be identified as different types. Epigallocatechine gallate (EGCG), Epigallocatechine (EGC), Epicatechine gallate (ECG), Epicatechine (EC), Gallocatechine (GC) and Catechine are the major types of flavonoids in tender tea shoots. Next major chemical is phenolic acids. Caffeine in this tender shoots act as the stimulating agent in tea. In addition, amino acids, carbohydrates, organic acids and volatile compounds also present in tender tea shoots as considerable compounds.

With the knowledge of the chemical profile of tea shoot, let’s explore the chemical composition of a black tea cup. When it comes to the black tea brew, it contains about 0.35% of tea solids in hot water. This tea solid mainly contain polyphenol as the major chemical compound. Among the poly phenols thearubigins takes the highest contribution along with other poly phenoles nearly 23% of the total chemical composition. 

Next comes the catechines as 10% followed by thiaflavins as less than 5%. This is the composition of the important chemicals which are responsible for the special liquor characteristics. Not only these chemicals simple polyphenols, flavonoles, thianine, amino acids, organic acids, caffeine and protein etc. also present in black tea brew.

Thiaflavin and Thiarubigins are responsible for the brightness, strength, colour and aroma of black tea. These two chemicals are formed by oxidation process of polyphenols in the processing of black tea called as fermentation. Amount of Thiaflavin and Thiarubigins is depend on the degree of fermentation. According to research, optimum ratio of Thiaflavin and Thiarubigins is 1:10 for forming a good quality tea. Ratio of these two chemicals make the black tea unique from the other types of teas. Exceeding the maximum ratio of Thiaflavin and Thiarubigins will results the low quality bitter taste teas with darker dull liquor. Another special characteristic of the tea is low sodium content which make tea a good beverage for people with high blood pressure. Caffeine is the cause that make the tea is a stimulating drink which consider it as a morning drink.


There are many more health benefits with respect to these antioxidants and other specific chemicals present in black tea. Next time we will read about those benefits. Until then you can search further to fulfill your thrust of knowledge.

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