TEA JOURNEY [5] | Tannin in Tea

Jun 9, 2023

Polyphenols are also referred to as tannins. The tannins in tea are a type of compound similar to those found in wine, and some compounds, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), exist exclusively in tea.

1. Basic Principle

The tannins in tea are composed of catechins. During the oxidation process of tea, some catechins transform into two different molecules known as thearubigins and theaflavins. Tea oxidized with these components exhibits a brown or reddish color.

2. What Role Do They Play?

Some tannins are associated with the texture of tea. The density, body, astringency, and sharp taste perceived in the mouth are all due to tannins. Additionally, tannins contribute to the strong bitterness and gradually release during the steeping process.

The buds and first leaves of the tea plant contain a much higher concentration of tannins compared to the tea leaves in the middle of the stems. The fact that tannins lend such complex depths of flavors is why the buds and first leaves are harvested to produce high-quality tea. 

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.