Blog #731 More on Tea

Tea 101 – Continued

Let’s start looking at the caffeine in tea:

Tea dazzles us with its diversity. One plant, many dimensions.

Black Tea: average caffeine content is 50 mg/6 oz. cup

Black tea is produced when withered tea leaves are rolled and oxidized causing the leaves to turn dark. Once the desired color and pungency is reached the tea is dried. A robust cup with bright or lively notes is produced.

 Oolong: average caffeine content is midway between green and black tea (so about 35 mg of caffeine per cup)

Oolong gains its alluring character by withering and briefly oxidizing the tea leaves in direct sunlight. As soon as the leaves give off a distinctive fragrance—often compared to apples, orchids or peaches, this stage is halted. The leaves are rolled, then fired to halt oxidation when it is about halfway between black and green tea.

 Green Tea: average caffeine content is 25 mg/6 oz. cup

Green tea is produced when tea leaves are exposed to heat stopping the oxidation process just after harvest. This allows the leaf to retain its emerald hue. Next, the leaves are rolled or twisted and fired. A bright, cup is produced with fresh grassy/vegetal notes.

White Tea: average caffeine content is 0!!!

White tea is the most minimally processed of all tea varietals. The fragile tea buds are neither rolled or oxidized and must be carefully monitored as they are dried. This precise and subtle technique produces a subtle cup with mellow, sweet notes.

Okay, I am officially confused.  They seem to come from the same plant – and yet the caffeine amounts vary so much.  The least processed has the least caffeine – and the most processed has the most caffeine

Posted by Bruce White

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