Tea and Wine: Culture, Chemistry, or Both

Culture is formed through the co-evolution between social and ecological factors that determine what is needed for survival, and what is desired for pleasure. Through tradition people develop personal relationships with different commodities that serve for both satiation and enjoyment. This relationship also includes the containers they are sold in, and the vessels that they are consumed in. I am fascinated by how the physiological and psychological effects of each commodity inspire different cultural practices. Commodities, the plants that create them, and the containers that people use to consume them, in the United States and abroad, inspire the following pieces of artwork I designed.


The first print is of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The empty teacup has a chip to represent, and accompany, the Japanese phrase, Wabi Sabi. Wabi Sabi is a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics that relates to a philosophy centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection; it also celebrates beauty that is perfectly imperfect. The philosophy is derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence: impermanence, suffering, and emptiness or absence of self-nature. I wanted to create a visual representation of the commodity (tea), the container (the tea cup) and the philosophy (Wabi Sabi) and how it represents the culture created around tea ware in Japan.

I wonder if the buddhist teachings and philosophy shaped the way tea is consumed and how it makes one feel, or if the way tea makes one feel influenced buddhist teachings. This mirrors my big ah-ha! moment toward the end of my ILC, which was that the social rituals connected to tea consumption is just as important, if not more important, than the chemicals that are being consumed and are usually labeled as the source of effecting ones physiology and consciousness.

The type of tea ware and the way a tea is steeped can influence whether or not a tea will produce ill, neutral, or positive effects. I also believe the size of the tea cup influences the experience; one is inspired to sip and savor the tea because of the small amount of liquid offered. The structure of tea cup and the behavior of  savoring of the tea also influences the pace of ones thought process and how we connect with others. I think it is easy to hide behind a large mug and not have a desire, or need, to interact with others. With a smaller cup, ones cup is empty sooner than later. With the Chinese form of preparing and consuming tea you’re consistently preparing your tea fresh and refilling your cup, or being served. There is a level of consciousness that needs to be there to continue the experience, alone or with company. The tea master needs to be attentive to the people around them, notice if their cup is empty, share the smell of the tea leaves in between steepings, and wash and warm their cup before and in-between tea tastings.

The act of smelling the tea leaves is not just therapeutic for the volatile compounds one inhales, but also for the act of taking a moment to breathe deeply and to breathe deeply with intention; there is a difference. In our modern day to day lives many people hold their breath or breathe in a shallow manner. I will smell essential oils, not only for their healing qualities, but also for the moment to retrain my muscles and nervous system to breathe deeply again. I think it is important to look at the macro and micro view of any subject or thought one is having, as well as, deconstruct what is the means to an end and what is the real end goal. It is easy to often times get attached to the imagined means to an end, more than the beginning desired end; to such a degree that one can stop at the means in a pacified false end. What I love most about tea is that the chemicals and the social rituals attached to tea culture help me to cultivate an inner focus which, helps me to to develop patterns that lead to a healthy mental and physical homeostasis. It also tends to facilitate conversation, connection, and comfort in a sober environment which, these days is a wonderful and rare experience.

After the wine tasting during week ten I couldn’t help but contrast the experience with the tea tasting workshops. I noticed during the wine tasting that Annie used a very similar format and flow for her workshop (tasting, reflecting on flavor, aroma, and color) and that there was a very different environment created in the classroom. It felt more free, relaxed, a little chaotic, and I noticed people divided around in smaller groups. Granted it was the last day and we were all sleep deprived and exhausted, I also think it  was wine, the presence of alcohol, and the inevitable cultural conditioning that comes with the archetype of alcohol, that changed the energy in the room.  The energy and cultural conditioning connected to wine and the way it is marketed to consumers is usually connected to leisure,  escapism, luxury, and “positive shame”; I can hear someone in my head saying, “Be bad! You deserve a glass or two, or a bottle”.

In comparison to the cultural space we’ve created in the workshops , inspired by “teaism”, which invites  one to hone in, focus and listen, to each other, and to ourselves.  We may become “tea drunk” and lose our inhibitions or become spaced out, but the archetype of the tea itself won’t allow you to become too disassociated. There is no such thing as absolutes, so, depending on the social ritual attached, and which culture you’re experiencing tea in, there are ways to abuse tea. But in my personal experience it is much harder to abuse tea than it is to abuse alcohol.



I created this print for my thematic work in my printmaking class. The following is a clip from my artist statement to briefly explain the image. I felt like it would be an interesting image to share and it could maybe share the feelings I have about alcohol better than expanding my essay.

The role alcohol plays in European and American Culture inspired the print above. Humans have co-evolved with grapes and have preserved them as wine for centuries. During a period of time where there was not a lot of technology, like refrigeration or preservatives, to preserve the fruit, calories and nutrition, it was turned into wine. Today wine is celebrated and studied, as well as, consumed for its intoxicating and pleasurable qualities. I wanted to capture in the print the two realities that can occur when people have a close relationship to alcohol. One is that a bottle of wine can represent the heart of a home, hospitality, relaxation, and ancestry. The Second represents how addiction and alcoholism can be seductive and engage one in a simple, subtle, and inviting manner. I chose the title, “For better or for worse”, to represent this dichotomy

It has been a pleasure to learn and grow with y’all!

Hope you have a great Spring break!




Week 10



Final presentation

Edited Self Evaluation

First Draft of Self Evaluation

Final Narrative Self-Evaluation Assignment

            The title of my in-program Individual Learning Contract was, The Science Behind Tea Flavor, Aroma, Appearance, and Health Benefits. My first learning objective was to learn about the different processing techniques that develop the varying chemicals that produce the physiological, psychological, and therapeutic effects of tea, as well as, the appearance, aroma, and flavor characteristics. My second learning objective was to learn how to curate and teach tea-tasting workshops by designing and teaching weekly forty-five minute tea-tasting workshops, based off of my weekly research. My third learning objective was to explore Kyla Wazana’s concept of critical eating through designing a digital art piece and writing an essay to explain my design.

I taught five tea-tasting workshops. The first tea-tasting workshop was an introduction to Pu er, Red/Black Tea, Oolong and Green Tea; the following four tea-tasting workshops were themed in the order as formerly listed. The workshops consisted of me preparing and serving the class tea while lecturing about the type of tea processing that could produce the characteristics of the tea the class was consuming, the chemical components and how they express themselves in the aesthetic and physical experience of consuming the tea, as well as, sharing any additional historical or cultural information. My time spent researching the different processing techniques that develop the varying chemicals that produce the physiologic, psychological, and therapeutic effects of tea, as well as, the appearance, aroma, and flavor characteristics, was pooled together at the end of each week and made into a weekly worksheet, written into an e-journal post, and shared verbally through my weekly workshops. Towards the end of the quarter I also designed an image to encapsulate and represent the totality of my research into a utilitarian art piece. The art piece is of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, with each type of tea paired with the appropriate water temperature range for brewing, the category the type of tea falls under (oxidized, semi-oxidized, or fullyoxidized), and the chemical formula of caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, a catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, theaflavin, and thearubigin. I chose to put caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, a catechin, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate so as to represent some of the main chemicals that create the positive physiological, psychological, and therapeutic effects of consuming tea. I chose to put the chemical formula of theaflavin and thearubigins because they both represent a component that changes the color of the tea liquor depending on the level of oxidization the tea leaves have undergone. The design was then burned onto silkscreen and then printed. I made three different ten print editions. To explore Kyla Wazana’s concept of critical eating I designed and made a digital art piece in response to the fifth chapter in her book, Racial Indigestion. I also wrote an essay as an e-journal post explaining my imagery and my reflections from the reading.

Over the span of my independent research I felt intellectually closer to tea, and simultaneously very far away from the soul of tea. For myself, to understand the chemistry is beneficial because it compliments my experiences by creating a richer spectrum of knowledge from which to pull from. For example, when I look at the beautiful red-brown liquor of a cup of Pu er tea, I see stones pressing tea cakes, strong hands delicately plucking tea leaves, the forest floor, and now, the chemical structure of thearubigins, caffeine, and polyphenol oxidase. Chemistry can be intimidating and exclusive. I wanted to reshape my relationship with chemistry by connecting the reductionist theory with historical, philosophical, and experiential content; I did this with the intent to help facilitate an integration of the chemical components with the aesthetic and physical experiences one would have when drinking tea. Through curating and teaching weekly tea-tasting workshops I had the pleasure of having a platform to share my personal process bridging the gap between the aesthetic experience and the chemical components, as well as, an opportunity to learn how to teach. I learned a lot about time management, effective and ineffective ways to share knowledge, the importance of social ritual and its place in reaffirming (or being more important) than the chemicals that produce the positive physiological, psychological, and therapeutic effects of consuming tea. I am most proud of the print I designed as well as the positive responses I received from the tea workshops I facilitated.

This quarter was challenging intellectually and emotionally. My ability to work was influenced by my fluctuating mental and physical health due to stress from a family member passing away at the beginning of week one. The process of grieving while continuing with school was a challenge and a learning experience in itself. I had to learn how to continue to work hard while having very little time to devote to the grieving process. I am proud of my accomplishments and my ability to persevere through my academic and personal hurtles.


Proposed Credit Equivalencies: __8___ Total of __8___ attempted/registered (fill in blanks)


? – Critical Eating Studies: Tasting Labs

8– Individual Learning Project: Tea: Culture, Social Ritual, and The Chemistry of Tea Processing

? – Creative and Expository Writing: WordPress ePortfolio

Updated Program ILC

Humans have a long and rich history with the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis. Over time humans have learned how to manipulate tea leaves, and their abundance of polyphenols and volatile aromatic molecules, to exhibit different aromas, flavor, appearance, and even the physiological, psychological, and therapeutic effects one will experience when the tea is consumed. I will study the science behind the different categories of tea and the preparation processes that produce their unique flavor, aroma, appearance, and health benefits. During weekly forty-five minute tea workshops, I will curate and teach, I will connect the chemical components that attribute to the unique traits one experiences when drinking different types of tea, as well as, facilitate a space to critically explore how the consumption of each type of tea can change group and individual consciousness. When appropriate I will also share cultural and historical information connected to each type of tea and its production.

I will read portions of the following books, Tea: a symposium on the pharmacology and the psychologic effects of tea; Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, and The Brain; Tea Processing; Chemistry and Applications of Green Tea; Caffeinated Beverages: Health Benefits, Physiological Effects and Chemistry; Tea History Terroirs Varieties; On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen; and The Art and Alchemy of Chinese Tea.

I will write weekly e-journal posts to document my work, curate weekly tea-tasting workshops where I will be able to share my research with my peers and faculty, and design a print that will encapsulate and represent the totality of my research into a utilitarian art piece made through silk screen printmaking.

I will explore Kyla Wazana’s concept of critical eating through designing a digital art piece and write an essay explaining my design.

I will learn about the different processing techniques that develop the varying chemicals that produce the physiologic, psychological, and therapeutic effects of tea, as well as, the appearance, aroma, and flavor characteristics. I will read portions of the books, Tea: a symposium on the pharmacology and the psychologic effects of tea; Chemistry and applications of green tea; caffeinated beverages: health benefits, tea processing; physiological effects and chemistry.

Through silkscreen printmaking I will design and create an art piece that will encapsulate and represent the totality of my research into a utilitarian art piece.

Faculty will evaluate my work weekly through e-journal writings

Faculty will evaluate the quality of my final print and if it is an effective representation of the the varying chemicals that produce the physiologic, psychological, and therapeutic effects of tea, as well as, the appearance, aroma, and flavor characteristics.

I will learn how to curate and teach tea-tasting workshops by designing and teaching weekly forty-five minute tea-tasting workshops based off of my weekly research.



I will read about the different tea processing techniques, their chemical outcomes, and how they produce the unique qualities in each tea.

I will  read about the cultural history and characteristics of each type of tea in the book, Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties, by Kevin Gascoyne and Jasmin Desharnais.

I will design workshops that will cover the different processing techniques, which produce the different characteristics of Pu-er, Red/Black tea, Oolong, and Green Tea. I will connect the chemical components of each tea with the unique traits one experiences when drinking them, as well as, share the history of each type of tea and cultural information when appropriate.


I will design worksheets to accompany the weekly tea-tasting workshops



Faculty will evaluate my e-journal writing, workshop handouts, and the quality of each workshop and my ability to curate an experience for my peers that is enjoyable and educational.
I will explore Kyla Wazana’s concept of critical eating through designing a digital art piece and an essay explaining my design. I will read chapter five of Kyla Wazana Tompkin’s book, Racial Indigestion, design a digital art piece, and write an essay to explain my work. Faculty will evaluate my ability to connect content from chapter five of Kyla Wazana Tompkin’s book, Racial Indigestion, with the art piece I design, as well as, the essay I post as an e-journal entry.


Evaluation of Work

The student will complete weekly documentation on the Project pages of the SOS program website. The student
will complete comprehensive mid-quarter and final narrative self-evaluations and submit them to faculty prior to mid-quarter and final end of quarter student-faculty conferences. For the final blog post on Project websites, each student will post, and when possible present in class on Tuesday of week 10, a 10-minute PowerPoint Presentation of 10-15 slides with text that demonstrates the highlights of the student’s in-program ILC Project website.

Week 9

Media update!

I have linked my instagram to my e-journal. Now all of my photos of my print work and pottery can be seen in my image gallery.

Trading Cards and Printmaking

kotomithirdprinbackupfinalt (2)

Titled: Corn

I designed this image to be a pixelated (small dots to form an image) greyscale, 8×10 print. Unfortunately, because of the scale of the print the imagery did not come out as detailed as it did digitally and I was not able to create a physical print.  I want to share the image anyway and lightly  explain my thought process and why I chose to collage these images the way I did. I created the design to use my studies in print making to relate to Kyla Wazana Tompkins content on trading cards, in chapter five of her book, Racial Indigestion.

After reading and reflecting on the content in chapter five of the book, Racial Indigestion, I went to my local grocery store and walked around the aisles. I looked for the presence of the modern day “trading card.” The following quote is Tompkin’s description of what a trade card was in the antebellum era, Trade cards, small rectangular cards meant to be handed out in grocery stores or included in product packaging, were designed by a wide variety of manufacturers, advertising everything from seeds to soap, and were produced by printers in every region of the nation and then carried by “drummers”, or traveling salesmen. Indeed, trade cards were part of a general onslaught in advertising media in the period that also included posters, calendars, pamphlets, and show cards.  (pg.149)”. Not only were the trade cards used to advertise, the content was chosen to appeal to customers based off of a cultural consensus reality; at the time there wasn’t the same technology to track and survey consumer behavior. The imagery, then, spoke for itself the presence of racial hierarchy, discrimination, sexism, gender roles,  violence, illusionary imagery to evoke jealousy for the “perfect life”, and the desires and needs of the consensus reality of the time.

(An example of a trading card for Rising Sun Stove Polish, labeled, “The Happy Home”)StoveOutside

When I walked around the store what first drew my eye was the packaging and marketing for meat; large bold lettering saying tender breast, spicy sausage, lean, fresh all natural, less fat, and special. The packaging was clear; the flesh in “clean” uniform cuts, some with skin, some completely  naked. The descriptions and appearance created a cognitive dissonance in my mind. On the one hand, the descriptions and presentation was familiar and could be paired with meaning that was normal, and almost made the meat appealing. Although, looking through the lens I was beginning to build by reading Tompkins, the words and presentation brought up the thoughts and feelings that are paired with a person sitting too close at a bar, trying to engaging me in small talk,  all the while slipping in an innuendo here or there; It felt dirty and exposed.

The commodity in front of me was packaged meat, all I could see is corn. Since corn (mostly genetically modified (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) is a subsidized crop in the United States, it is a cheap source of food for livestock. The carbon that is a part of the backbone of our DNA comes from the carbon we consume; for many people living in the United States that source is corn. They may not know it because it is disguised as meat.  It is also disguised as sugar, which, leads me to the next aisle I walked down.

When I walked down the aisle that contained the baked goods, sweeteners, etc., my eye stopped at the female shaped bottle labeled, Butterworths.

Mrs-Butterworths Mrs Butterworth’s deal

My first thought was, “The female body is literally being used as a container to house the promise of sweetness and the tangible commodity; which is the mahogany syrup made almost purely of corn. Her hands are folded  protectively in front of her body which, exudes a stance of service and passivity. This stance in body language studies can show that the person feels vulnerable, practicing self restraint, anxiety, or frustration. This woman also looks like a woman of color due to the hue of the syrup. While reflecting on my observations I thought back to Tompkin’s writing about trading cards, “Produced at the end of the nineteenth century, these images illuminate the connections between spectatorship, desire, and racial embodiment as they were imagined in the period by printers and advertisers, who desire to transcend the two-dimensionality of the image and to reach into the spectator’s body is encoded in these images, with the purpose of awakening either the appetite or at least some surplus amount of attention. (pg.163)” 

The Butterworths advertisement isn’t two-dimensional, like a label or in the past a trading card, it goes a step further and is a three-dimensional figure.  Not only is the marketing of Butterworths syrup reaching out to the spectator’s body, it is evoking desire from the spectator’s body by using a container shaped like the female figure; the figure also looks like the body of a female of color. The Butterworths bottle reminded me of another popular syrup, Aunt Jemima. When I looked up aunt Jemima on the internet, old advertisements looked like the example of the trading card.


The explicit roles in this advertisement show how common the racial hierarchy was at the time. Aunt Jemima is dressed in work clothes and is clearly in a service role, while an all white family sits down to eat without her. She is present however, by providing the sweetness on their pancakes to make their ideal breakfast “perfect”, and their appetites “singing”.

This made me think of another quote, “In this generative moment in advertising, a moment in which advertisers were training the consumers’ attention span, sensual reactions produced a new kind of consumer-one molded on the theater spectator rather than on the utilitarian buyer. (pg.163)”. Were the people who designed the Butterworths bottle designing it because they believe that seeing a bottle in the shape of a woman would catch, and maintain, a consumer’s attention rather than a normal bottle, and label?

I see how the female  form could stir feelings of comfort from memories of motherly care. Or sadly it could be a projected sexual desire for the female form; the catch phrase, “Thick and rich!”, remind me of words used to describe women who are sexually appealing in popular culture. These thoughts led me to think of the section in the chapter devoted to the other, and eating the other.

I added the image of the mouth in the center to represent this consuming of the other, the mouth as the center of sexuality, the female genitalia and mouth as a source of power, and consumerism as a whole. The imagery of the mouth was also inspired by Tompkins, “In these cards the mouth becomes a space of interethnic and interracial encounter, part of a symbolic order in which ingestion is metonymic of an active relationship with commodity consumption, politics, and citizenship. To consume and to be consumed gain public political meanings. (pg.163)”. 

The interethnic and interracial encounter goes beyond the symbolism into the reality.  What I saw was also the exploitation and rape of the corn plant it self. Another connection is the rape and exploitation of the plant is born out of the rape and exploitation of the native people who co-evolved with the plant, honored it, and built livelihoods around it and through it-only to lose it. The corn plant has been hybridized and manipulated far beyond its origins. Though it’s exploitation it has led to vast loss of crop diversity , cultural diversity, and the health of the public. Ironically the health of those most marginalized are affected the most by the standard diet in the United States through genetic dispositions to what is consumed the most, which is, sugar, dairy (another form of corn), and processed grains.

The parallels of the abuse is  nauseating, and needs to be looked at; just as the racial discrimination in the trading cards must be acknowledged. the irony of walking through the aisles and seeing the multicolored advertisements with the promise of prosperity, diversity, and health, all looked like corn to me. It also looked like monoculture and the metaphorical monoculture that is white culture. As well as, the karma of the imagery and marketing being used to pacify consumers into feeling abundant and safe while the source of that safety is like an ecological credit card; it is over harvesting  and destroying fertility from the soil (mother earth and the archetype of the mother), that is being raped and not replenished, or respected. This over drawing will have to be paid back somehow. Whether it is paid through deteriorating health, climate change,  and/ or collapse through the loss of cultural and ecological diversity. No one wins in the long term by staying complacent through escapism  imagery. Especially the imagery in the form of marketing being fed to the masses through popular culture, and the companies behind the commodities. They commodify human life to grow, process, and distribute, the commodities, as well as, commodify the minds and bodies of the humans consuming the product.  If we stay ignorant to how imagery, story telling, and culture condition the public, we are doomed to be manipulated into roles as consumers instead of citizens, or first and foremost, human beings.

To return to my work in printmaking,

I was able to create another image successfully.


Titled: Carbon Copy.

I have also been working on a print that will represent some of what I have learned through my tea ILC.


I have drawn out the chemical composition of a catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (source of astringency, bitterness, and antioxidant in tea, especially green tea), theaflavin (polyphenol and source of yellow color in green tea/Oolong), thearubigin (tannin, and source of red/black color in red/black tea and  pu er) , caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, the categories of tea (unoxidated, semi-oxidated, and fullyoxidated), as well as the types of tea and the proper range of water temperature which it should be brewed at. I am still in the design process but I  will have prints by Tuesday!


The last of my work is out of the bisque kiln and will be glazed tomorrow! So excited!


“Aunt-J-1946.jpg (800×370).” Accessed March 13, 2017. https://changeoffaces.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/aunt-j-1946.jpg.

“c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_470.jpg (470×284).” Accessed March 13, 2017. http://images.gawker.com/18s44jotb3cfdjpg/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_470.jpg.

“Mrs-Butterworths++Mrs+Butterworth%E2%80%99s+deal.png (252×300).” Accessed March 13, 2017. https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HjTItRyT2WY/VuO3Isdq4DI/AAAAAAAAQEs/WX-PiZXRguoRbSsz7WtY7LbB1xRVuPNRw/s1600/Mrs-Butterworths%2B%2BMrs%2BButterworth%25E2%2580%2599s%2Bdeal.png.

“StoveOutside.jpg (429×482).” Accessed March 13, 2017. http://www.antiquebottles.com/rl/tc/StoveOutside.jpg.

Tompkins, Kyla Wazana. Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the 19th Century. New York University Press, 2012.

Week 8


Week 8 Notes: Preparing for Green Tea Workshop

Tea Workshop, Week 9 <—–Handout

Author Book Title
Yamamoto, Juneja, Chu, Kim Chemistry and Application of Green Tea



Chapter 1

Notes Pg. #
enzymation “it is known that the conversion of tannin in tea leaves is not achieved by microorganisms but by enzymes present in the leaves, and so, this phenomenon should be called enzymation. 2
·      The enzymation (activity of polyphenol oxidase) and content of polyphenols in young tea leaves greatly different depending on the kind of cultivars (cultivated varieties)

·      The cultivars which show better fermentability and higher content of polyphenols are evaluated to be a good quality for black tea manufacture

·      Almost all of the cultivars belonging to the var. sinensis group have a relatively low fermentability and less content of polyphenols.

·      The “ferment ability” of tea leaves is genetically regulated as shown by the activity of polyphenol oxidase which is controlled by a polygene system and shows high value.

·      The genetic trait has been taken as one of the main marks in the breeding program of tea, especially of black tea.

Cultivation of tea plants and utilization of leaves ·      The tea plant is a vegetative propagated plant and the propagation of tea plants is usually done by the cloning method

·      In three to four years after tea tree cuttings which were rooted on the nursery field and later transplanted to the farm, the young plants are pruned and arranged into a semi cylindrical shape to be convenient for field work.

·      Young buds and leaves for 5-6 year old trees are nipped three to four times a year

Chemical compounds ·      In the case of green tea the harvested fresh leaves are immediately steamed at 95-100 degrees Celsius for 30-45 seconds to immediately inactivate the enzymes contained, especially polyphenol oxidase.

·      The steaming treatment protects against degradation of vitamins and thus the content of green tea is much higher than fermented teas

·      Then dried in a current of air of moderate temp

·      The moisture content of the fresh leaves that is usually 78-80% decreases to about 10$ during the rolling process

·      The rolling process disrupts the leaf tissue and mizes them uniformily in shape as much as possible

·      The rolled and dried leaves called aracha are finally roasted and cut to prepare the final products by tea dealers the firing also adds a fired flavor.

Time to harvest leaf for green tea ·      The time to harvest and growing techniques of tea plants seriously affect the quality of green tea as well as cultural and environmental conditions.

Table 5

·      Shading of the tea plant increases the amount of amino acids, especially of theanine in young shoots and decreases the polyphenol content.

shading tea leaves

·      High correlation between the price of tea and content of amino acids especially of theanine or arginine

·     Table 6

Tea ceremony history ·      Sen no Rikyu estabilished the manner of drinking tea for mental training in the era of Azuchi Momoyama (A.D 1573-1600

·      Cha-no-yu

·      The tea ceremony where matcha is consumed



Kinds of green tea ·      Among the 100,000 tons of annual consumption of green tea in japan

·      78.6% is processed to produce Sencha

·      12% Bancha

·      0.4 Gyokuro

·      0.6% Matcha


The tea leaf is rich in polyphenols and the amount is more than 10% on a dry basis. It is also rich in caffeine amounting to 1-4% of the dried leaf. The content of amino acids especially those of theanine and glutamic acid are relatively high. These chemical components have various physiological functions, which will be described.

Chapter 2
·      The largest component of green tea leaves

1.     Carbohydrates including cellulosic fiber

2.     Protein, these components are almost insoluble

3.     Tea polyphenols

4.     Caffeine

5.     Vitamins

6.     Inorganic Elements

7.     Lipids


Table of General Chemical Components of Tea Leaves and it’s Infusion.

Table 1 General chem components

·      Polyphenols are almost infused with hot water or exracted with ethyl acetate form the aqueous solution. The slight astringent and bitter taste of green tea infusion is attributed to the polyphenols.

·      Six kind of catechin and its derivatives which slightly deviate depending on the species of tea plant and season 14of harvesting

·      (+)-GC and )+)-C are usually trace or minor component

·      -Epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate are stronger in bitterness and more astringent than epicatechin or epicallocatechin

·      Catechin is synthesized in tea leaves through malonic acid and shikimic acid-metabolic pathways.

·      Gallic acid is derived form an intermediary product produced in the shikimic acid-metabolic pathway


Caffeine ·      Caffeine is a trimethyl derivative of purine 2,6-diol and is synthesized mainly in leaves of the tea plant.

·      Caffeine has been found to be a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. It also stimulates the cerebral cortex to induce excitation in the central nervous system.

·      It can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract and sleeplessness


Amino acids and nitrogenous compounds ·      1/5 of total nitrogen in green tea infusion originates from caffeine and related compounds

·      Other nitrogenous compounds in the tea infusion are amino acids,amides, proteins, and nucleic acids.

·      Theanine and glutamic acid are the major amino acids in the green tea infusion and aspartic acid and arginine are the next.

·      The contents of amino acids in tea leaves harvested in spring are larger than those in later seasons.

·      Theanine in tea leaves is a unique amino acid and is known to be produced by the tea plant and certain species of genus Camellia.

·      The rate of metabolism of theanine in tea leaves in slow but its transport from root to leaf is so rapid that this amino acid is accumulated in tea leaves

·      Chemical and biochemical characteristics of theanine are described in ch.12–àsee notes from CH 12

Vitamins ·      Vitamin C (VC ascorbic acid) 280 mg per 100 g dried leaves

·      Vitamin C content of oolong or black tea is less than green tea because it is decomposed during the enzymatic process.

Inorganic Elements ·      Aluminum, fluorine, and manganese

·      The levels of aluminum and fluorine are relatively higher than other plants. Tea plant is scarcely affected even in the field containing large amounts of aluminum sulfate which is a main causal factor for acidic soil.

·      It has been presumed that the tea plant has a biochemical mechanism to neutralize the toxicity of aluminum

·      In the leaf aluminum exists mainly in a chelate form, indicating that Catechins prevent the expression of damage by accumulation of aluminum.

Carbohydrates ·      40% and one third is cellulosic fiber

·      starch is also contained and affects the quality of green tea

·      the synthesis of starch begins with dawn and ends at sunset, therefore, the content of starch in the tea leaves varies significantly in the day.

·      Starch in tea leaves harvested in the morning is less than that in the afternoon.

·      The tea leaves harvested in the morning are usually evaluated to be better quality

Lipids ·      Tea leaves carry oil, average 4% by weight


Chapter 3 Chemical and physicochemical properties of green tea polyphenols
·      Taste-> polyphenols, caffeine, and several amino acids including theanine

·      Polyphenols are produced as a secondary metabolite of higher plants

·      Plant polyphenols can be divided into two major groups

1.     Proanthocyanidins

2.     Polyesters based on gallic acid and or hexahydroxydiphenic acid as their derivatives.

In chemistry , a derivative is a compound  that is derived from a similar compound by a chemical reaction.

·       Green tea polyphenols are a class of flavanols which are C15 compounds and their derivatives are composed of two phenolic nuclei A and B ring, connected by three carbon units C-2, C-3, C-4

·       The flavanol structure of catechin (3,3’4’,5,7-pentahydroxyflavan contains two asymmetric carbon atoms at C-2 and C-3

·       Catechin and its derivatives also have nucleophilic centers at C-6 and C-8

·       Which are reactive with electrophilic specimens. They are highly chemically reactive showing the properties of metal chelator, oxidative radicals scavenger, nitrosation in habitor

· 24


Author Book Title
Henry Klaunberg A Symposium on the Pharmacology and the Physiologic and Physiologic effects of tea



Chapter 1

Notes Pg. #
S.O Waife, M.D., F.A.C.P.


Editor –in-chief, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Associate in Medicine, Indiana University, Medical School.



·      “It may not be logical but it is true that the whole may be greater than the sum of its parts. This symposium reflects one such instance.”


·      “Five recognized authorities present the known pertinent facts about the pharmacologic, physiologic, psychological, and clinical aspects of tea. Yet, as these presentations show, tea is more than an aqueous infusion of caffeine and tannins: it has effects beyond what can be seen by the gastroscope, or deducted from gastric aspiration; one cannot describe its ancient popularity on the basis of its somewhat negligible vitamin and mineral content. Some how the vital fraction remains undiscovered-or perhaps there is no single missing factor, but merely the fortuitous combination of fractions, which together produce something bigger and better than the simple addition of components.”


·      “At least some similar explanation must be devised to explain the fact that tea as a beverage has been known from earliest times. It was perhaps the first drink made by man for the express purpose of enjoying whatever mysterious qualities it has. Let us not forget that in past millenniums man did not have a shiny aluminum tea kettle, electric range and neatly packaged, standardized tea leaves. It must have been quite a chore to rustle up a cup of tea in ancient Cathay.

·      Tea isn’t just a socio-economic factor in Asia

·      Tea is a loved drink across Europe, The United States, etc.

·      Much of the stimulus to the 16tha and 17th century exploration was derived from large commercial ventures as the English and Dutch East India Companies.

·      The golden age of the China Clipper ships in the mid 19th century was due to the tea trade for these were tea carrying cargo vessels

Tea connected to American culture ·      Literary and social teas

·      “Tea for Two” in song

·      “Tea and Sympathy”
·      “The Tea House of the August Moon”

·      The reading of tea leaves by fortune-tellers

·      Tea and toast as a sensible home remedy for many ills

·      Standard household management, the teaspoon

Tea Origin/ Myth ·      The Chinese Philosopher Chin-nung

·      2700 BC

·      “Built a fire from the branches of a the plant. Some of the leaves accidently fell into the boiling water. The exhilarating effect of this accidental brew led him to popularize the custom.”

Description from 780 A.D ·      “The best quality leaves must have creases like the leathern boot of Tatar horsemen, and like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like fine earth newly swept by rain.”
Tea it’s pharmacology ·      “Only those beverages which affect the central nervous system have survived the acid test of time.”

·      The most important constituents of tea are the mixed xanthine bases

·      The principal one of these is trimethyl xanthine which, has been found to identical with caffeine

·      Theobromine, theophylline, and Xanthine

·      The Three methylated xanthines evoke similar pharacologic responses. They differ, however in their degree of response to different tissues.

1.     Cerebral stimulants

2.     Coronary vessel dilators

3.     Diuretics

·      Other actions inclue cardiac stimulation and respiration stimulation.

·      Of the three main actions of the methylated xanthines, caffeine is preferred for cerebral stimulation

·      Theophyline is the drug of choice for coronary dilation

·      Theophylline exceeds theobromine in its acute diuretic action but the diuresis of theobromine is more prolonged and therefore is the iduretic which is generally prefered.

Vitamins of Tea ·      Vitamin C

·      Thiamine B-vitamin 1

The Tannins of Tea ·      Organic compounds collectively called tea-tannins

·      7-25% in the dried leaf

·      Tannins designated as the polyphenols

·      The tannins or polyphenols may be divided into two classes depending upon their solubility in ethyl acetate.

·      Soluable group occurs as an orange powder

·      The insoluable group as a born powder

The pharmacology of caffeine ·      Occurs as a white powder

·      Odorless and elicits a bitter taste

·      The principal site of action of caffeine is on the central nervous system and the sensory cortex

·      Larger doses affect the motor areas and the action descends to the medulla oblongata and the spinal chord

1.     Increased mental alacrity

2.     Altertness and brighter spirits

3.     More acute and discriminating sensations

4.     Facilitation of association of ideas

5.     Retardation of action owing to more discriminating judgement

6.     Occasional insomnia

·      Caffeine used as a treatment for headache

·      Therapeutic use in hypertensive headaches

·      Shown to decrease the arterial and post-arteriolar vascular tension of cerebral vessels, and through this mechanism relieves hypertensive headaches

·      Caffeine affect on the respiratory system, and blood pressure were mostly when the caffeine was administered other than orally.

I. Phillips Frohman, Ph.G.,M.D. Beverage and Dietary Aspects of Tea

“Actually, in one sense, we need no experimental proof of the psychological benefits of tea; in many cases it is sufficient for the physician’s purposes that his patient merely think that tea has cheered and brightened his attitude toward life. If there is a distinction between one who is happy and one who thinks he is happy, the distinction is semantic”

·      “Nevertheless, there is satisfaction to be gained from the fact that experimental proof does exist”

·      Most of the psychic effects of tea is produced by caffeine, although somehow caffeine’s not so desirable aspects are absent from a well brewed cup of tea.

·      One explanation of the paradox is that caffeine and tea tannins interact antagonistically when they meet in a cup of tea

·      Thus the gastrointestinal disturbances ordinarily induced by each separately are counteracted and the two substances form an antagonistic synergism.

·      Tea contains Riboflavin (Vitamin-B2) pantothenic acid, a substance associated with riboflavin.

·      Vitamin C

Tea vs. Its constituents ·      Caffeine-tannin interaction in good tea does not produce the ill results common to each alone

·      Halpenny and MacDermot study

·      Investigated the separate affects of tea, coffee, caffeine, and tannin in terms of clinical effects, gastric analyses, peptic activity in vitro, metabolic rate changes, gastroscopic observation, barium meal examinations.

·      Look into study

·      “Caffeine, theophylline and other xanthines not only relax the coronary vessels which supply blood to the heart but also appear to stimulate the collateral coronary circulation” 16
·      “the longer a tea is steeped the greater the amount of tannin is extracted”

·      The difference in constituent proportions between types of tea appears to be significant only in fluorine content. This varies not only with plant variety but also with the age of the plant: the older the plant, the higher the amount of fluorine. Oxidation has it’s effects: the highest fluorine content is in black tea, there is less in semi-oxidized Oolong and lest in green tea.

Henry J.L Marriot, M.A B.M ·      Medical Appraisal of Tea
Pharacological effects ·      Tea contains caffeine, theophylline, theobromine, tannins, essential oils, fluorine, adenine, glutathione, vitamins, nicotic acid, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, arginine, theamine, asparagine, glutamic acid, glycine, valine, Leucine, threonine, alanine.

·      Many of the substances are in trace amounts much of the pharmacology is due to the caffeine and the balance between the caffeine and tannins.

·      The balance together does not produce the ill effects that can be experienced when consumed separately.

·      Another variable that can affect the tea is the length of brewing and the quality. Since the type of tea, length of the brew, and the temperature of the water will change the amount of tannins and caffeine the brew will change in balance depending on the skill of the tea maker.

·      Three minutes after pouring boiling water on tea most of the caffeine has been extracted and the caffeine/tannin ratio is at its highest.

·      A longer brewing adds progressively more tannin but little or no additional caffeine

·      Less research done around tannins.

Tea for the relief of fatigue anxiety and tension states ·      “In an age when man travels faster, further, higher and deeper concocts the biggest bang and the brightest flash of light, produces more material goods and plays harder than ever conceived possible in the wildest dreams of the eras past, it is quite possible that the few moments of peaceful contemplative calm traditionally associated with tea time is what man needs most to enable him to find respire from his fatigue, anxiety, and tension states. 27


6th century Indian Prince

founder of chan Buddhism, which would become zen buddhism

·      The tale tells of a young prince vowed to remain awake for nine years to contemplate the virtue of Buddha. When this period was only one-half over the youth fell asleep. In his chagrin he cut off his eyelids as a device to prevent sleep from again over taking him. Where the amputated eyelids fell a new plan miraculously sprang up. In desperation born of sleepiness and fatigue the young prince partook of these leaves and found refreshment and wakefulness sufficient to complete his bow. These leaves, of course, were tea.


Richard L. Jenkins, M.D. ·      Psychological effects of tea drinking
·      Man as a practice, supplements, the pharmacological stimuli he seeks in beverages by psychological and social stimuli, which reinforce and accentuate these pharmacological stimuli.

·      Tea is a beverage to be tasted and enjoyed for its delicate aroma not to be gulped or poured down the gullet for effect with as little contact with the tongue as possible.

·      Tea drinking encourages a sensitive and discriminating enjoyment of intellectual and social exchange.

·      American custom of iced tea on a summer afternoon

·      The art of being relaxed while fully conscious

·      They contribute to the enjoyable experience of finding oneself socially accepted by people who are quite sober.

·      It encourages courteous and lively discussion in an atmosphere of mutual respect.



Author Book Title
Kevin Gascoyne, Jasmin Desharnais Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties




Chapter 1

Notes Pg. #
Pekoe ·       Young shoot located at the end of each stem. Also known as the terminal bud. Terminal is a botanical term that references the primary growing point at the top of the stem of a plant. An example of a terminal bud is where a flower opens up on a plant.


·      “pekoe” is from the Chinese pak-ho often used to describe the fine down on a newborn’s skin.

·      Pekoe is a reference for the three types of tea-leaf picking: imperial picking, fine picking, and medium picking.

1.     Imperial Picking: the bud and first leaf below it.

2.     Fine Picking: the bud and the first two leaves

3.     Medium Picking: the bud and the following three leaves

Green Teas famous from China 1.     Long Jing

2.     Bi Luo Chun

3.     Anji Bai Cha

4.     Xin Yang Mao Jian


History and major growing locations ·      Numerous traditional methods handed down through centuries according to the customs of each region

·      Represent 70% of all Chinese production

·      Major growing regions are located in the south of the country

1.     Fujian

2.     Zhejiang

3.     Anhui

4.     Henan

5.     Jiangsu

6.     Jiangxi

Withering ·      Immediately after picking the leaves are transported to the factory where they undergo the process of withering. Withering time with vary depending on the prevailing conditions and the water content of the leaves.


·      The traditional method is to spread the leaves on bamboo racks and leave them to dry for one to three hours in order to remove the surplus water.

·      To prevent them from drying too rapidly they are sometimes spread on cloths in the shade

·      The mechanical method involves spreading the leaves in cylindrical machine with bamboo walls so that they spin dry for a few minutes while fans blow air on them

·      The enzyme polyphenol oxidase is triggered to breakdown the leaves cell structure when the leaves have been picked, withered, and rolled. To half this process of oxidation the leaves are dehydrated.

Heating ·      This is the process of heating the leaves until the enzymes are halted.

·      Methods vary according to region

·      Small quantities of leaves are put in pans or vats that are consistently stirred so they don’t burn.

·      Next different techniques are used according to the form the leaves are supposed to take. If the leaves are to be flat, as in the long Jing variety they are pressed to the bottom of the vat briefly before being stirred in a back and forth movement.

·      If it is to be curly like the Bi Luo Chun variety they are rolled by hand and constantly stirred until they dry.

·      The heat starts low and then gets higher in the vat. The temperature will vary depending on conditions.

·      When the leaves are mechanically pressed they are heated at least three times in rotating cylinders.

·      Sometimes in between heating periods they will be spread on cooling cloths.

·      As the leaves are heated a chemical process is triggered: The sugars and proteins they contain are transformed giving the tea an aromatic quality that is sometimes reminiscent of grilled nuts.

Rolling ·      Rolling break down the cell structure to release aromatic oils they contain

·      Shaped by hand or machine into twisted, flat, needle shaped, or bead shaped leaves.

Drying ·     17835216079_4cbb0f316d_b

During this stage the aromatic oils released during rolling become stabilized in the leaves. Any remaining water is eliminated to remove any risk of mold. At the end of this process only 2-4 percent of moisture remains in the leaves.

Sifting ·      The leaves are sifted through a fine sieve to remove any that broke during the processing.

·      The leaves are then sorted by size by means of a bamboo mesh of different sizes placed one on top of another.

Japanese Tea History ·      Introduced in the 8th century by monks who had spent time in China studying Buddhism

·      Monks used tea as a stimulant to stay awake during long hours of meditation

·      Monk Saisho, is said to be the first to bring the custom to Japan.

·      There was strained relationship between China and Japan at the time though and it was not until the end of the 12th century that Japan could truly be considered as having a tea culture.

·      1191 monk Eisai (1141-1215) founder of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism brought a few tea-tree seeds back from a pilgrimage to China and planted them in the Hizen, in the Northern part of the island of Kyushu, as well as around the monasteries of Hakata (Fukuoka).

·      Eisai spread the idea that tea should be consumed for its medicinal properties.

·      Eisai wrote the first Japanese book on tea. Published in 1211.

·      He brought plants as well as introduced the Japanese to the Chinese method of preparing tea used during the Song dynasty (960-1279)

·      Tea leaves were ground to a fine powder before being brewed.

·      The ritual and discipline as well as the austere nature of Rinzai Zen philosophy had a great influence on the rigidly codified evolution of the Japanese Tea ceremony

·      Later, tea plants were planted on the main island of Honshu near Kyoto, the former capital of Japan.

·      Originally cultivated by Monks

·      13th century, noblemen were meeting to drink tea during ceremonial gatherings, the samarai also made it party of their lifestyle.

·      16th century, grand tea masters appeared, one being Sen no Rikyu. He codified the tea ceremony (chanoyu) and established a close relationship between Buddhist values and the various schools of Japanese tea of the era.

·      1641-1853, Japan remained cut off from the rest of the world. It was a policy of isolation, known as sakoku. It forbade anyone from leaving the archipelago and permitted almost no contact with the outside world.

·      For more than 200 years china alone provided the rest of the world with tea.

·      Isolation had some positive notes.

·      1738, Soen Nagatani created a method of leaf dehydration using steam. Thanks to this method, the fresh aroma of the leaves creates a green tea that is very different from Chinese green tea.

·      1859, Japan abandons policy of isolation and opens to the international market and began to export teas.

·      End of the 19th century the archipelago began industrializing its production methods in particular with the use of heating cylinders invented by Kenzo Takahashi. Around this time the Japanese began to produce black tea.

·      First years after the first world war Japanese tea exports set an unprecedented records; they exported up to 22,003 tons of green tea.

·      The explosion in demand was short lived and Japanese exports of black tea dropped quickly

·      Japan had a hard time competing with the tea coming out of Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya.

·      In 1920s studies on tea Catechins were released to the public to promote the sale of tea and to encourage citizens to consume it on a daily basis.

Japanese Green Teas Genmaicha Sencha-Matcha


·      Mixture of leaves and roasted and popped grains of rice. It was originally a beverage drunk by the poor who supplemented their tea with rice.

·      Usually made with Bancha but can also be made of Sencha and Matcha teas


Bancha Shizuoka


·      An everyday tea up until the middle of the Edo era (1603-1868) for rural regions every household once grew a small amount for personal consumption.

·      Large pieces of irregularly shaped leaves make up the June harvested Bancha tea.




·      There are two major styles of Sencha tea: Asamushi and Fukamusi.

·      Asamushi has a shorted dehydration period and rigoriously sorted leaves.

·      Fukamusi has a longer period of dehydration and more fine particles preserved through storage


Kabusecha Banryu

·      Shade grown tea cultivated in gardens that are covered by canopies for about two weeks before the leaves are picked. The goal is to increase the level of chlorophyll and amino acids (particularly theanine) in the leaves.



·      Intoduced by Buddhist monks at the beginning of the first millennium, Matcha was the first type of tea consumed in Japan. Originally dried up and ground between millstone.

·      Some modern taste lends the Matcha to be aged for a few months after processing



Other Japanese made Green Teas ·      Gyokuro Tamahomare (gyokuro means shade dew, highest grade of tea produced in Japan)

·      Sencha Keikoku (Sencha means infused tea)

·      Hojicha Shizuoka (Hojicha menas leaves that have been roasted for a few minutes at temperatures of 390 degrees F)

·      Bocha

·      Kamairicha




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D.-C., Chu. “Ch. 1 Green Tea-Its Cultivation, Processing of The Leaves For Drinking Materials, and Kind of Green Tea.” In Chemistry and Applications of Green Tea, 2–9. CRC Press, 1997.

D.-C., Chu, and Juneja L.R. “Ch 2. General Chemical Composition of Green Tea and Its Infusion.” In Chemistry and Applications of Green Tea, 13–20. CRC Press, 1997.

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Week 7


(Monkey Pick Oolong)

Week 7 Notes: Preparing for Oolong Workshop

Daneil Reid The Art and Alchemy of Chinese Tea
Content Notes Page number
 Brief History of Oolong ·      Chinese tea was transplanted to Taiwan during the mid-seventeenth Century when Ming Loyalists retreated to the island to escape the onslaught of the Manchu conquest of Mainland China.

·      Chinese settlers brought the relatively new hybrid tea known as Oolong from its native home on Wu Yi Mountain in Fujian.


·      Thrived in the rich volcanic soil and mountain mist of Taiwan’s lush central highlands.

·      Three types to come out of Taiwan

1.     Golden lily

2.     Kingfisher Jade

3.     Four Seasons Spring

·      When Japan took colonial possession of Twaiwan in 1895 as a product of the brief Sino-Japanese war, tea production and tea culture in Taiwan continued undisturbed.

·      When control of Taiwan reverted back to China at the en of WWII, followed a few years later by the Nationalist retreat to Taiwan, the island again became a bastion of traditional Chinese culture

·      The government invested in infrastructure for tea production and encouraged developments of new plantations with strict quality controls.

Oolong Tea

Oolong Characteristics

·      Semi-oxidized tea

·      Halfway in character between un-oxidized raw and fully oxidized mature varieties.



·      Began in the early nineteenth century in coastal Fujian province

·      Semi-oxidation eliminates the raw grassy taste found in un-oxidized green tea, without producing the strong woody flavor and dark red color of fully oxidized red tea.

·      Aroma floral and fruity.

·      High Mountain Oolongs from Taiwan are seen to be high grade.

·      In China the best Oolong tea comes from the Wu Yi mountain range in Fujian, where Oolong was born.


Mountains most famous for Oolong ·      Mount Ali (Ali Shan)

·      Pear Mountain (Li Shan)

·      Great Yu Peak (Da Yu Ling)

·      Pine Grove Stream (San Lin Shi) at the steep wild slopes.

·      Semi-oxidation makes it possible to drink copious amounts will less adverse effects. Like an irritated stomach.
Some well known ·      Big Red Robe (so rare 20,000)

·      Iron Guan Yin

·      Taiwan High Mountain Oolong

High Mountain Oolong and The Chinese Art of Tea

Gong Fu

High Mountain Tea Ceremony

·      Lao Ren Cha “Old folks tea”

·      The traditional way of preparing and drinking high mountain Oolong

·      It is called old folks tea since the elderly would have the most time to practice properly

·      Oolong is known for detoxifying and digestive virtues.


·      Studies in Japan have shown there are powerful cleansing and protective properties for the lungs

·      Volatile aromatics give tea a distinctive fragrance

·      As gas suspeneded within the fluid of the tea the aromatic elements are excreted from the bloodstream through the lungs rather than the kidneys and as they pass through the delicate lung tissues with each exhalation they dislodge and bind heavy metals. Tars, and other toxins that accumulate in the alveoli (air sacs) and bronchia.

·      This allows for the residues to be coughed up and spit out

·      High source of polyphenols and Catechins which are free radical scavengers which neutralize and eliminate the highly reactive metabolic molecules known as free radicals that destroy cells, corrode tissues, and cause premature degeneration of the brain and internal organs.

·      The antioxidants in high mountain tea provide continuous detoxifying activity in the blood and tissues protecting the body from toxic damage and preventing the formation of tumors.

·      Lungs and liver particularly

·      Epigallocatechin gallate is a natural compound in tea that hinders the action of an enzyme that incites cells to divide and could be a promising cure for cancer.

·      Alkalizes the digestive tract, blood stream, cellular fluids, neutralizing excess acidity which allows formation of cancerous rumors and can lead to other degenerative conditions as well. Blood and tissues acidity is the primary cuase of calcium loss in bones and teeth

·      Diuretic, helps to promote rapid elimination of toxins and metabolic waste form the blood and tissues

·      Digestive: breaks down fat molecules into smaller particles making them easier to digest.

·      HMO- only contains 0.5 percent caffeine but it contains other compounds that have stimulating effects on the nervous system 122
Oolong tea in Taiwan/ four major branches 1.     Classic China Oolong

2.     Three hybrids bred in Taiwan (Kingfisher Jade, Four Seasons Spring, Golden Lily)

·      1. More mature earthy character and smoky, woody taste

·      2. Fresh young flavor, rich, floral, brisk fruity, and tangy.

Little dragon name inspired by a black snake that liked to live in the tea bush ·      snakes are sometimes referred to as little dragons 127
·      Ching Shin Oolong “Tender Hearted”: Produced most abundantly in Taiwan. Lightly fermented, hand rolled, and delicately fired. Leaves come from the first pluck

·      Da Yeh Oolong “Big Leaf”: Rare variety distinguished by a leaf that is almost the size of a man’s hand when picked. Also known as Buddha Palm; often blended with other varietals by tea masters to create a particular taste.

·      Tie Guan Yin “Iron Guan Yin”: Named after the beloved Buddhist diety Guan Yin. The Bodhisattva of Compassion. Classic Oolong brought to Taiwan from China. Requires a longer firing process than other varieties of Oolong and only traditional charcoal may be used to heat the oven because the fumes play a central role in developing the unique smoky flavor. Rich mature flaor and deep reddish color.

·      Dong-Fang Mei-Ren “Oriental Beauty”: Favorite tea of Queen Victoria. Hard to find a good grade or find it at all.

·      Lao Oolong “aged”: mature Oolong teas are kept stored for years in large clay urns in order to let them age slowly. Produces tea with a robust flavor, dry after taste, and deep red color in the cup. The leaves used for aged oolong must be fully mature when picked then oxidized and well fired to greater degree than other oolongs to insure the tea is sturdy and dry to withstand the aging process.

·      The three daughters of Taiwan: Oolong varietals were developed by Chinese planters in Taiwan by cross breeding the best strains of the classic Oolong brought from china with tender hearted and big leaf varieties.

·      Jin Shuan Oolong “Golden lily”: Creamy taste and milky fragrance, golden green color in the cup.

·      Tsui Yu Oolong “King Fisher”: intense floral fragrance and taste of fresh fruit.

·      Ssu Ji Chun Oolong “Four Seasons Spring”: hearty hybrid that can be picked six or seven times a year. Each harvest has a fresh flowery flavor of a spring harvest.

Beautiful Poem The way of tasting tea

Is found in the form,

In the color,

In the fragrance

And in the flavor.


The beauty in the taste of tea

Lies in the person,

In the foundation,

In the knowledge,

In the setting.


·      You must first cultivate your taste, foundation, knowledge, and choice of right setting to commune with the nature of the tea you’re drinking.


Each week I try to drink the tea I am researching. It helps me to stay awake and balanced, as well as, keeps me grounded in the spirit of what I am studying.


Author Book Title
By: Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais and Humo Americi Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties
Content Notes Page number

Green Oolong Processing

undergo 30% to 50% oxidation


First day

·      Picking: freshly picked leaves arrive to a factory to start the oxidation process

·      Withering: leaves are spread out on large sheets. Depending on the weather they will dry for 30 minutes to two hours. If the sun is too strong a canopy will be placed over the leaves to protect them

1.     Leaves are spread out on woven bamboo trays about 3 feet in diameter in an environment where the temperature is maintained at 68 to 77 degrees F and the humidity at 60-80%. The leaves are lightly stirred at regular one to four hour intervals

2.     The stirring action is important as the friction of the leaves against the bamboo trays breaks down the cellular structure of the leaves and releases oils that contain aromatic substances, further triggering the enzyme polyphenol oxidase.

3.     The process is instinctive and depends on the experience of the grower. They will touch and sniff the leaves to know exactly when to stop the oxidation process.

·      Firing: The leaves are placed in a heated rotating cylinder. They will undergo a heating/stirring. The leaves will then be heated to about 572 degrees F for five to seven minutes.

·      Rolling: As soon as they’re taken out of the rotating cylinder the leaves are rolled. The mechanical arm attached to a round dome rotates swiftly, causing the leaves to brush the walls of the machine. This helps to release their fragrance. This rolling lasts three to five minutes.

·      Drying: Drying stabilizes the aromas of the leaves. It also prevents excessive residual moisture from damaging the leaves. Drying starts at 158 degrees F for five or six minutes and then continues for 20-30 minutes at 212 degrees F.

·      Final: The leaves are spread out on large bamboo trays and left to stand for six to eight hours.


Second day


·      On the second day the leaves undergo three basic stages, which are repeated several dozen times.

1.     Heating/stirring

2.     Rolling

3.     Compression

·      Heating/Stirring: The leaves are placed in a rotating cylinder for a few minutes to soften them.

·      Rolling: Leaves are formed into a 44 pound package and wrapped in a special fabric. The mass of leaves is placed in a machine equipped with four rotating rollers that compress it into a round shape.

·      Compression: Still wrapped in fabric the leaves are then placed in another machine where they will be turned and pressurized for 10 minutes while being compressed.

*These steps are repeated 10-20 times with a rotating cylinder that is full of air heated to 140-391 degrees F and 30-40 times with a non-heated cylinder. This is what is necessary to create the distinctive bead shape.

·      Final Drying: The final dry with stabilize the aromatic compounds and allows the producer to remove all the moisture but 2-3%. This phase lasts 5-10 minutes at a temperature ranging from 212-248 degrees F.

·      Sorting: Leaves are separated from small stems. Sorting is usually done by hand.

·      Roasting: In Taiwan occasionally the tea will then be fired at a range of 167-320 degrees F to add flavor. The firing plays a role in adding woody, sweet, even caramelized flavor notes.

Black Oolong Processing

undergo 70% oxidation


·      Picking: highly mature leaves. The leaves will be longer and more mature than those those chosen for green tea.

·      Withering: leaves are spread out on cloth outside. Depending on the weather they will dry for two hours

·      Oxidation: When processed manually the leaves are spread on racks and stirred regularly for 12-18 hours in order to break down the cell structure. During mechanical processing the leaves are heated in rotating cylinders in temperatures ranging from 77-86 degrees F, for about eight hours.

·      Heating: To obtain the twisted appearance a machine roller or person will hand roll it on a bamboo matt.

·      Drying and firing: The leaves are dried in a rotating cylinder for 10-20 minutes at a temperature ranging from 230-250 degrees F.

·      Firing: The leaves are placed in a heated rotating cylinder. They will undergo a heating/stirring. The leaves will then be heated to about 572 degrees F for five to seven minutes. The leaves are usually fired twice. (it is possible to wait several months after processing to fire, it doesn’t need to be immediately after the leaves are dried.



Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, and Hugo Americi. Tea History Terroirs Varieties. A Firefly Book, 2011.

Reid, Daniel. The Art and Alchemy of Chinese Tea. Singing Dragon, 2012.

“Wuyi_Mountains_Sea_of_clouds_4.jpg (1024×683).” Accessed March 7, 2017. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/82/Wuyi_Mountains_Sea_of_clouds_4.jpg.

“Wu Yi Oolong – Google Search.” Accessed March 7, 2017. https://www.google.com/search?q=golden+lily+oolong&biw=1271&bih=489&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5s6in9MPSAhXHqVQKHTOPDWYQ_AUIBigB#tbs=sur:f&tbm=isch&q=Wu+Yi+oolong&*&imgrc=JHVF7237MCQ9RM:

Chemical Components of Tea: The Leaf, Processing, and Health



Author Book Title
 Parliament Ho and Schieberle Caffeinated Beverages
Content Notes Page number
The chemistry of tea ·      Tea leaf contains carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, full complement of genetic material, enzymes, secondary metabolites, high content of methylxanthins and polyphenols, in particular Catechins (flavanols).

·      25% of dry weight is Catechins

·      3.0% flavonols and flavonol glycosides

·      3.0% are caffeine and 0.2% are theobromine

·      “Fermentation” is tea processing simply referring to an enzymatic browning reaction catalyzed by the polyphenol oxidase.

·      The major chemical reaction during tea manufacturing is the oxidative conversion and polymerization of Catechins. The oxidative fermentation of Catechins in tea results in the development of appropriate flavor and color of oolong and black teas.

·      Darkening of the leaf and decrease in astringency.

·      The initial step of fermentation is the oxidation of Catechins to reactive quinones catalyzed by polyphenol oxidase.

·      Polyphenol oxidase can use any of the Catechins as a substrate to form the complex polyphenol constituents found in oolong and black teas.

·      The Major condensation compounds are theaflavins and thearubigins.

·      Other products: theaflagallins, theaflavic acids, theasinensisn, oolongtheanin, theaflavate

·      The oxidation pathways of tea Catechins during the fermentation can be divided into pyrogallocatechol condensation and pyrogallo-pyrogallol condensation.

·      Theaflavins give the characteristic bright orange red color of black yea

·      Account for 1-2% dry weight of the water extractable.

·      Theaflavins consist of

1.     Theaflavin (TF)

2.     Theaflavins-3’-gallate (TF3G)

3.     Theaflavins-3,3’digallate TF3’G)

4.     Theaflavin-3,-3’digallate (TFDG)

v Which are formed by the pair oxidation of Catechins

·      EC+EGC>TF

·      EC+ EGCG>TF3G

·      ECG_EGC>TF3’G


Thearubigens ·      10-20% of dry weight in black tea

·      Major oxidation product of Catechins during fermentation however due to the difficulty encountered in their separation the chemistry is poorly characterized.

Theasinensins and Oolongtheanin formation ·      Theasinensin are compounds formed by the coupling of quinone with catechol or pyrogallol ring of the flavan -3-ol derivatives. Seven theasinensins have been isolated and identified from oolong tea.

·      Oolongtheanin is a second condensation product of catechin. It has a two fused furan ring structure.

Author Book Title
 Zumdahl Chemistry Zumdahl 6th edition


Content Notes Page number
Anti-oxidant ·      Many scientists think oxidation plays a major role in aging.

·      Oxygen molecule and other oxidizing agents in the body apparently can extract single electrons from the large molecules that make up cell membranes, thus making them reactive.

·      The activated molecules can link up changing the properties of the cell membrane. At some point enough of these reactions have occurred that the body’s immune system comes to view the changed cell as an enemy and destroys it.

·      People are affected when the cells are irreplaceable. Nerve cells for example can rarely be regenerated in an adult.

·      Antioxidants benefit the body by neutralizing and removing the free radicals from the blood stream.
Author Book Title
Kevin Gascoyne, Grancois Marchand, JAsmin Desharnais and Humo Americi Tea:History, Terroirs, Varities
In orthodox processing ·      With conventional rolling as much as one quarter of the oxidizable Catechins may remain unchanged, but with more vigorous leaf distortion methods such as Legg-cut, CTC or rotovane, all the oxidizable catechins may be changed.
Tea characters ·      Quality, aroma, flavor, briskness, strength, and color.
Quality ·      Appearance, strength, aroma, quality, character of infused leaf.

·      Trade: quality is used to describe the presence of a special desirable character in the liqueur.

·      Sensation in the mouth or aroma

Aroma ·      Freshly plucked leaf has a spicy acrid smell as of resin, ginger root, or balsam

·      Withered leaf has the smell of apples,

·      Rolling/ pears which fades after which the acrid smell of green leaf returns.

·      Drying leaf takes on a caramel smell or burnt sugar

·      Substances that are the components of the aroma are volatile compounds

Flavor ·      Workers from the Tea Research Institute of Cylon found that among the numerous amino acids in fresh, fermented leaf and dry tea larger quantities of Leucine and isoleucine are produced from proteins by enzymatic action in the leaf grown under warm conditions than in teas drown in cool climates.
In Japan ·      Gas chromatography. The quantity of constitutes which contribute to tea flabor amounts to only 0.017% in black tea.

·      Constituents consist of more than 80 components

·      No less than 135 compounds may be held responsible for quality and flavor.

Caffeine ·      Alkaloidal stimulant increases during stoage of the plucked leaf and during withering. The bitter taste of tea infusion is often thought to be caused by caffeine.

·      Caffeine has only a slight bitter taste, but it gives a drink the refreshing and stimulating character.

Chlorophyll ·      Is transformed during fermentation as is clearly shown by the color change from green to coppery red.

·      Chlorophyll was found to transform into a black compound phaeophytin, which developed after removal of magnesium under the acid conditions of tea processing.

·      Some is changed into chlorophyllide by the enzyme chlorophyllase.

·      Chloropyllide in turn is changed to a brown compound, phaeophorbide, by removal of magnesium.

·      The intensity of black tea is from the amount of chlorophyll in the fresh leaf.

·      By severe leaf distortion processes more chlorophyllase is brought into contact with the substrate resulting in browness of the made tea.

Other constituents ·      Potassium

·      Aluminium and manganese

·      Copper zinc sulpur

·      Pectins

v There is evidence that the resultant pectic acid jelly by forming a coating onto the macerated and fermented leaf, inhibits to some extent the progress of polyphenol ozidation and prevents over fermentation.

v Pectic acid forms a kind of varnish on the outside of the leaf during the early stages of drying.

Enzymes ·      A number of enzymes are operative during tea processing.

·      After the shoots have been detached from the bush the different systems of enzymes start to reach with the corresponding substrate

·      Some of the reactions can only proceed vigorously when an intimate mixture of enzymes and substrates takes place as occurs in the oxidation of the polyphenols after rolling or other forms of leaf distortion.

·      Enzyme activity ceases only when they are denatured by heating

·      Enzyme activity varies with season

·      Oxidase is generally higher in periods of dry weather

·      The breakdown of proteins and pectins already mentioned are also enzymatic transformations

·      Brought on by protease and pectase, respectively

·      Other reactions in which enzymes lay a role are changes in caffeine, amino acids, and phosphates, and development of aroma and breakdown of chlorophyll

Changes During Drying


– Epimerization.

·      Drying reduces moisture content from 60% to 3-4%

·      Almost completely inactivates the polyphenol oxidase

·      Oxidation doesn’t stop immediately once it is in the drying process

·      While temperature rises there is a possibility of an acceleration in oxidation in the initial stages before the enzyme is nearly completely inactivated.

·      The oxidation of the Catechins has practically ceased already although in orthodox manufacture an appreciable proportion remains unoxidized.

·      Sugars are caramelized and that some of the uncahged Catechins in the leaf are altered in structure in a slow process called epimerization.

·      Pectase is assumed that it produces the already mentioned varnish from pectins when the leaf dries.

·      As leaf temperature rises during the drying process the pectase is destroyed.

Ortho-quinones have distinct antiseptic properties and by their action the rolled leaf is largely rendered free from bacteria and fungi. ·      Drying also kills off other organisms which may be collected from stale juice during rolling and processing are destroyed during drying.
Changes after drying ·      Post drying “fermentation”

·      Residual enzymatic activity and improves during the first 2-3 weeks or more

·      Changes in TF’s and TR’s in dried tea were observed.

·      Still unknown how much the enzymatic action and chemical activity are involved in the process of post-fermentation and maturing.

·      Dried tea is a hygroscopic body and readily absorbs moisture from the air, the moisture contents higher than about 6% the tea deteriorates more or less at higher temps.

·      Change is associated with the breakdown of theaflavins and the production of carbon dioxide.

Polyphenol oxidase activity ·      High activity indicates good fermentation while low activity leaf although rich in polyphenols may not produce a satisfactory level of Tf and TR
Plucking ·      7-10 day intervals

·      not too many shoots left from the previous round are plucked in an overgrown stage. Not too few shoots have developed

·      plucking is for high quality tea

·      flush shoots of two leaves and a bud obtained by fine plucking are the best basic material.

·      Pecco (bud) shoots and dormant (banjhi) shoots

Buds and first leaf ·      Richest sources of polyphenols and caffeine, leaves lower down and the stems are proportionally poorer in constituents.

·      The standard of plucking clearly has a great effect on the physical and chemical composition of the leaf and thus on the quality of the made tea.

Coarse plucking vs. fine plucking ·      The amount of tea harvested with course plucking is canceled out by the reduction of quality in the tea.
Damage during and after plucking ·      Workers stuffing the leaves into the basket because they’re being paid by weight

·      A paying system baed on both quatity and quality of the plucked leaf is recommendable

Author Book Title
 Astrid Nehlig Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, and The Brain


Content Notes Page number
Mechanisms of Action of Caffeine on The Nervous System ·      Major pharmacologically active methylxanthine

·      Paraxanthine is a major metabolite of caffeine in humans

·      Theophylline is a minor metabolite

·      Not only caffeine but also the other natural methylxanthines are relevant to effects in humans.

·      In animal models caffeine theophylline and paraxanthine are all behavioral stimulants.

·      Effects of theobromine are weaker

·      Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine have been or are used as adjuncts or agents in medical formulations.

·      They have been used as cardiac stimulants, diuretics, and to treat bronchial asthma.

·      Other therapeutic targets for caffeine include diabetes, parkinsonism, and even cancer

·      Antagonist of andenosine receptors: caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine.


Three major mechanisms must be considered with respect to the actions of caffeine on the peripheral and central nervous system 1.     Blockage of adenosine receptors in particular A1- and A2A-adenosine receptors

2.     Blockade of phosphodiesterases, regulating levels of cyclic nucleotides

3.     Action on ion channels, in particular those regulating intracellular levels of calcium and those regulated by the inhibitory neurotransmitters aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glycine.

·      Caffeine’s effects come in two phases (biphasic)

·      Stimulatory behavioral effects in humans and rodents manifest with plasma levels of 5-20 uM, where as higher doses are depressants

·      The only sites of action where caffeine woul be expected to have a major pharmacological effect at levels of 5-20 uM are the A1 and the A2A adenosine recpetors where caffeine is a competitive antagonist

Andenosine ·
·      The available evidence suggests that most of the effects of caffeine are best explained by blockage of tonic adenosine activation of A1 and A2A receptors.

·      Andenosine A1 receptors are found all over the brain and spinal cord; levels are particularly high in the hippocampus, cortex, and cerebellum

·      A2A receptors have a much more restricted distribution being present in high amounts only in the dopamine-rich regions of the brain, including the nucleus caudatus putamen, nucleaus

The andenosine receptors play two major roles 1.     The activation of potassium channels leading to hyperpolarization and to decreased rates of neuronal firing

2.     Inhibition of calcium channels leading to decrease neurotransmitter release

·      This leads to inhibition of excitatory neurotransmission

·      Andenosine A2A receptors regulate the function of GABAergic neurons of the basal ganglia.

Caffeine metabolites, therophylline and paraxanthine ·      Are even more potent inhibitors of adenosine receptors than the parent compound

·      The weighted sum of all of them must be considered when evaluating the effective concentration of antagonist at the adenosine receptors.

·      Tests done on mice have shown that the stimulating effects of caffeine are due to the blockade of striatal A2A recpetors.

Other effects of caffeine ·      Caffeine elicits the release of epinephrine (adrenaline) 6


Content Notes Page number
Caffeine on Sleep and Wakefulness: An Update ·      Sleep is a part of a 24 hour endogenous arousal cycle with its peak in the afternoon (post lunch dip of arousal, and its decline around 3:00 AM and a low shortly after noon.

·      The behavioral manifestation of the circadian arousal cycle, which has to do with the underlying endogenous variations of adenosine and its metabolites is expressed as sleep and wakefulness.

·      Andenosine can be seen as a sleep-inducing factor, its concentration is higher during wakefulness than during sleep. It accumulates in the brain during prolonged wakefulness and local perfusions as well as systemic administration of adenosine and its agonists induce sleep and decrease wakefulness

·      Adenosine receptor antagonist’s caffeine and theophylline are widely used as stimulants of the central nervous system to induce vigilance and increase time spent awake.

·      Caffeine is an antidote of sleep by its ability to occupy the adenosine receptors in the brain.

Sleep cycle ·      Stages 1 and 2 together form light sleep

·      Stage 2 is the transition from the period of falling asleep to deep sleep

·      Ranging from stage 1-stage 4 to rapid eye movement (REM)

·      Stage three and four represent deep sleep or slow-wave sleep (SWS)

·      When stage 4 is reached there is a quick return to via stages 3,2,1 and to a NREM-sleep

·      REM-sleep shows irregular heart and respiration rate, relaxed muscles, higher threshold to awaken, relatively easy reporting of detailed dreams

·      First half of night NREM-sleep and SWS are found.

·      Second half REM and light sleep are found

·      Period needed to change from NREM to REM is called a sleep cycle

·      Sleep is a biological rhythm largely determined by endogenous physiolocial factors with a free running length of 25 h. There are artificial factors which effect this cycle when people are exposed to demands of the 24-h economy.


Caffeine withdrawal effects ·      Starts on average after 12-24 hours of abstinence and has a peak between 20-48 h

·      Symptoms can include headaches, irritation, lethargy, anxiety, etc.

·      Can start after relatively short-term exposure

·      6-15 doses of 600 mg

Tea may protect from brain areas from stroke/ compared with coffee and stroke ·      Oolong tea is prepared by firing the leaves shortly after rolling to terminate the oxidation and dry the leaves.

·      Green Tea Catechins display pharmacological properties such as anti-carcinogenic activity

Tea and Ischemia ·      Ischemia, the mode of neuronal death is considered to be a continuum between apoptosis and necrosis: ischemic neurons appear cytologically necrotic while exhibiting some biochemical features of apoptosis.

·      Ischemia- induced cell death is active, energy dependent, and the result of a cascade of detrimental events hat include disturbance of calcium homeostasis leading to increased excitotoxiicity, dysfunction of the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, elevation of oxidative stress causing DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, alteration of gene expression, and activation of caspases and endonucleases leading to the final degradation of the genome

Mechanisms of tea-induced protection against ischemia ·      Epidemiological studies suggest that the consumption of tea polyphenols (also called flavonoids) may be associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer-related deaths.

·      Tea polyphenols are rapidly absorbed into the ciruculation following oral ingestion and are found predominantly after a single administration in the plasma, colon, small intestine, liver, lungs, pancreas, mammary glands, and skin, brain, kidneys, and reproductive organs.

·      Second admin of polyphenol (EGCG) (-)Epigallocatechin-3-gallate

·      Enhances tissue levels in blood, brain, liver, pancreas, bladder, and bones four to six times above those observed after a single administration.

·      This study suggests that daily consumption of tea enables the body to maintain a high organic level of tea polyphenols

·      The antioxidant potential of black tea appears to be negated when consumed with milk

·      Tea polyphenols inhibit the liver enzyme xanthine oxidase which produces reactive oxygen species, and thus act at a early level in the oxidative cascade by inhibiting production rather than only neutralizing already formed reactive oxygen species.

·      Reactive oxygen are largely involved in the pathogenesis of ischemia/reperfusion brain injury.

·      The reactive oxygen species lead to oxidative damage to lipids and DNA. Oxygen radicals, eicosanoids that result from the metabolism of arachidonic acid by lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, thromboxane A2, and malondialdehyde are all considered mediators of ischemia/re[erfusion-induced brain injury by altering membrane permeability, inducing brain edema and ultimately leading to neuronal death.

·      Chronic treatment with green tea prior to the ischemic insult or the acute administration of the tea polyphenol EGCG reduces the production of the damaging compounds cited above.

·      The mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown

·      Green tea extracts reduce the activites of the enxymes phospholipase A2 and cyclooxygenase in rat platelets that lead to the enhanced synthesise of eicosanoids.


Astrid, Nehlig. Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, and The Brain. CRC Press, 2004.

Caffinated Beverages, n.d.

Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, and Hugo Americi. Tea History Terroirs Varieties. A Firefly Book, 2011.

History of Tea

Author Book Title
j. Werkhoven Tea Processing
Content Notes Page number
The word tea comes from the Chinese local amoy dialect word t’e pronounced tay. ·      Cantonese – ch’a “chah”>Japan, india, Persia, and Russia.

The Dutch brought the form t’e to Europe

The use of tea as a beverage ·      Origin in mythology and antiquity and is known for 2000 to 3000 years.

·      Legendary Chinese emperoer hen Nung discovered the stimulating effects around 2700 B.C

·      7th century tea had become a national drink in china> brought to japan by Buddhist monks at the beginning of the 8th century

·      The Mongols started a caravan trade in tea bricks from china to central Asia and beyond Siberia

·      First tea reached Aras in 850, The venetians 1559, English 1598 and Portuguese in 1600,

·      The Dutch brought the first tea to Europe around 1610

·      Russia in 1618

·      Paris 1648

·      America middle of the 17th century

·      Commercial tea reached Eastern Europe after 1650-drinking coffee was already established

·      Tea consumption began to develop rapidly in the 19th century


Forney, j. Tea Processing. Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations Rome, 1974.

Week 6


Week 6 Notes: Preparing for Red/Black Tea Workshop

j. werkhoven Tea Processing
Content Notes Pg. #
Tea plant


·      Linnaeus first classified as Thea sinensis

·      Later named Camellia sinensis

·      SE China

·      Camellia Sinensis

·      Variety

1.     Var. Sinensis, C. sinensis

2.     Var. Assamica and C sinensis

3.     Var. cambodiensis

Cultivated china type of tea Camellia_sinensis_(2)-2

·      Slow growing shrub with a number of stems arising from the ground and small hard leaves. Hardy and may grow in high latitudes where winters are cold and at high altitudes in the tropics.

Assam type 9286272582_a4f9f84bd8_b

·      Grown under natural conditions, in a large tree with big, glossy, bullate leaves well adapted to tropical conditions.

Regions ·      Most regions of the SE Asia the sinensis type has therefore been replaced by the assamica type and by hybrids for commercial purposes. 2
China vs Assam ·      Productivity is lower in china type vs. assamica.

·      Assam/attains heights varying from 10 to 20 m, while china tea seldom reaches 10 m.

·      Under cultivation for commercial purposes the tea plant is trained as a low spreading bush and subjected to various treatments including plucking and pruning to maximize crop of young shoots.

Harvest ·      The normal harvest consists of regular plucking of young shoots from the plucking table at intervals of some 7-12 days. The number of tea bushes per ha ranges from about 7,000 to 15,000 and the economic life span of a commercial tea plant is about 50-60 years. (Depending on environmental conditions and cultivation methods. 3
Environmental requirements ·      Assam tea

·      Assam tea grown in principal cultivation areas (the tropics) thrives under a well-distributed rainfall of at least 1,500 per year.

·      High humidity and even temperatures with a mean minimum not below 55 degrees F.

·      The crop requires a deep permeable tolerant to lower temperatures and therefore suitable under subtropical conditions.

The principles of tea processing ·      The freshly plucked young shoots of the tea bush, are withered by moisture evaporation during some 16-20 hours to prepare the leaf for further processing.

·      The withering continues to a stage in which the material physically can be rolled without breaking up excessively and chemically has undergone certain changes and in which the concentrated juice can be wrung out by a twisting action.

·      The rolling of the withered leaf the cell contents of the bruised material are mixed and aerated. Started by an enzyme taking up atmospheric oxygen the polyphenolic bodies in the leaf belonging to the catechin group are more or less oxidized.

·      Subsequently yellow theaflavins and red and brown thearubigins are produced.

·      After rolling the material is subjected to further fermentation by spreding it under adequate conditions of temperature and humidity and for such a period that the best quality of made tea is obtained.

·      Apart form moisture removal and inactivation of the oxidizing enzyme, some of the unchanged Catechins are changed chemically then, while gums are dried through enzymatic action to a varnish contributing to the keeping quality of the made tea.

·      Sugars are carmelized, resulting in the smell of burnt toast or caramel type of dried teas.

Author Book Title
By: Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais and Humo Americi Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties
Content Notes Page number
Black Tea overview and brief history ·      Made from completely oxidized leaves.

·      Found in south China

·      Providences of Yunnan, Anhui (particularly Qimen) Fujiuan (particularly Zhenghe)

·      Process to develop black tea was invented in the 18th century

·      Usually more mature leaves are picked for the production of black teas except in the case of very high quality teas.

Process 5051158821_52a927592b_b

1.     Withering: on the ground or on bamboo racks, lasts for 5-6 hours. They lose 60% of their moisture. The leaves need to be stirred often. Mechanical processing withering takes place in a controlled environment. The leaves are placed on sieves in brick containers that are usually heated by wood fires. This technique has given Chinese teas a smoky aroma. The containers allow air from the turbine to circulate below the leaves about 4 hours later the leaves are ready for the next stage.


2.     Rolling: Leaves are rolled to break down the structure of the cells. Depending on the quality of tea desired, this is usually done by a machine that presses the leaves onto plates divided into strips.

3.    Oxidation: The oxidation period can vary from 8-12 hours depending on the ambient conditions. The leaves are spread on the ground and covered with large wet cloths to stimulate the chemical reaction. The Temperature must be around 72 degrees F. (This technique takes longer than the method used for Indian black teas.) The Indian black teas are oxidized in milder conditions and a less astringent tea is obtained. This method also produces an earthy aroma and burnt, sweet taste.

4.    Drying: Any residual moisture in the leaves is eliminated and the oxidation process is stabilized during the drying stage. Warm air can be blown onto the dry leaves or sometimes they’re transferred to another wood-heated machine.

5.    Sorting and Sifting: Whether manually or mechanically sorted and sifted the leaves are put into different grades. This also eliminated dust, branches, and other residue.

6.    Firing (optional): In certain cases firing can reduce the moisture content and helps standardize the batch.

Black Tea from Taiwan ·      T-18 is a hybrid produced from a tea tree from Burma (Myanmar) called Ashamu and a wild tea tree from southern Taiwan.

·      After 40 years of research and observation T-18 stuck out from similar hybrids because of its superior sensorial characteristics and it was launched onto the market in 1999.

·      Can be found in the region around Sun Moon Lake (largest natural lake in Taiwan)

·      Whole leaf black tea

·      Minimal quantities are produced

1.    Processing: withered for 16-22 hours, four periods of mechanical rolling, lasting 30 min

2.    Oxidized for two hours at 77 degrees F and a level of humidity of approximately 95%

3.    Two stages of drying will follow lasting 30 minutes each at a temp of 210

4.    Lastly, it is sorted, usually mechanically. The finest batches will be sorted with tweezers to prevent hands from transferring undesirable aromas to the leaves.

The Chemistry of Red/Black Teas ·      Polyphenols are essential components of tea leaves. In the fresh leaf they are colorless and acrid but during oxidation these enzymes are transformed into theaflavins and thearubigins. The two elements that give tea its color and astringency. Oxidation develops brown, red and black pigments and reduces the astringency.


**Example of the color related to  a higher content of theaflavins and thearubigins. Usually associated with Red/Black Tea and Pu er. 

History of processing black tea in India ·      In order for the British to compete with low production cost of the Chinese (who had access to a cheap labor force)

·      The British had to invent every stage of the processing. They needed to reduce costs by turning their tea plantations into industrial enterprises.

·      Methods to process black tea started in the 17th century

·      The British quickened the process by mechanizing the whole process. At the end of the 19th century they created the first industrial technique, the orthodox process.

·      The mechanized process requires expertise and intuition and allows for greater control over the different variables that affect the chemistry of the leaves.

The orthodox method ·      Developed by the British in NE India around 1860 and constantly improved upon since, it is one of the oldest mechanized methods of black-tea processing. It consists of five steps: withering, rolling, oxidation, dehydration, and sorting.


1.    Withering: Withering reduces the water content of the leaves softening them and changing the waxy texture so they can then be rolled without breaking. The ambient humidity ventilation and temperature are constantly monitored to ensure successful withering. After 14 to 17th hours the moisture content of the leaves will have been reduced by 60-70%


2.    Rolling: 10-20 minutes the piles of leaves are held in copper vats inside enormous machines. These machines roll the leaves under pressure until they form a compact mass. Next with the aid of a rolling machine, various levels of pressure are applied to the leaves following precise cycle until their cellular membranes are broken, releasing the oils they contain. As soon as these oils are exposed to the air the phenomenon of oxidation begins If the rolling is too intense the leaves will be discolored and dull. If too light the leaves will be dry gray and dusty and brew into a pale and tasteless liquid.

3.    Oxidation: contact to oxygen the enzymes contained in the oils of the leaves trigger a chemical reaction called enzymatic oxidation. The leaves are spread out on trays made of stainless steel ceramic or glass in a humid environment, 68-86 degrees F.

28145812093_a3040018e2_b 28729476356_768b658433_b

4.    Drying: Dehydration puts an end to the process of the oxidation. The leaves are placed either on either conveyors or on a series of revolving trays in a large machine that is heated to a temp of 248 degrees F. If the drying is incomplete the oxidation process will continue uncontrolled. If it is too intense the leaves will burn and acquire a smoky taste. The process lasts 20-30 minutes until the moisture content of the leaves is reduced to 2-6%

5.    Sorting: After the drying stage the leaves are sorted using vibrating grids of varying sizes placed one on top of another separate the leaves into different grades. The largest leaves remain on the top grid while the crushed leaves (fanning) and dust fall to the ground. The intermediate leaves are caught by other grids. In Darjeeling, all teas, regardless of the quality are sorted in this way. The grade a tea is given is therefore an indication of size, not quality. Sorting is however an essential step and the size of the leaf requires a different infusion time and will have different characteristics.

CTC Method ·      Stands for crushing, tearing, curling. It is an industrial method that was developed in India by Sir William Mckercher. In the 1930’s, borrowing ideas from existing machinery he perfected the system of industrial processing that would speed up the oxidation process and produce higher yields more quickly. The CTC has three steps

1.     Brief withering, the leaves are then cut and crushed in metallic cylinders equipped with blades.

2.     During this step they are torn apart by a machine called a Rotorvane.

3.     The leaves are then sent to a ghoogi, a large barrel in which they are rolled into small beads.

·      At first only used for coarser leaves, this method gained in popularity in the middle of the 20th century. With the invention of tea bags. It revolutionized the tea industry but also at the expense of quality. The majority of leaves used in the CTC method are of inferior picking quality.

·      Creates high volume and uniform quality.


Grades of Black Tea ·      Three major systems of grading black tea. The grades refer to the state of the leaves (whole, broken, or crushed) then to their taste quality.

·      Whole leaves will result in a more complex and aromatic infusion where as broken leaves create a darker liquid with a simpler flavor profile.

·      Grading system used in Darjeeling/whole leaf tea.

·      The most important aspect is the number of buds (pekoes) the most buds a tea contains, the more letters there are in its appellation.

1.     SFTGFOP: Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

2.     FTGFOP: Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

3.     GFOP: Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

4.     FOP: Flowery Orange Pekoe

5.     OP: Orange Pekoe


·      Tippy: refers to the abundance of flowering buds

·      Golden: the tips that turn golden after oxidation

·      Flowery: slightly floral aroma released by the buds.

·      Orange: purely historic reference to the Dutch royal family of Holland-Nassu, who were among the first to import tea into Europe.

·      Pekoe: comes from pak-ho meaning “white down” Also used to describe the hair of newborn babies. Here it refers to the final leaf on a branch (final bud) which is covered in a fine white down.

·      The numeral 1: Sometimes appears at the end of the grade of certain batches, the letter S will be added if the batch is exceptional.

Steeping Black teas 1.     Darjeeling (all gardens, regardless of picking season) Assam, Nilgiri, Kenya, Jin Zhen, Qimen, Zhenghe Hong Gong Fu, Cylan

2.     Crushed broken or whole, small or medium length leaves, varying from brown to black, sometimes with golden or silver tips (buds) some first-harvest Darjeeling tease have green or brownish green leaves

3.     ½ oz (2.5 grams) tea to 1 cup of water

4.     203 F

5.     3-4 minutes steeping

Therapeutic Effects of Tea

-Journal article

Beneficial Health Effect of Black Tea: Increasing Evidence

Content Notes Pg. #
Beneficial Health Effect of Black Tea: Increasing Evidence ·      Tea Catechins and its metabolites act as bio antioxidants

·      Tea polyphenols are strong scavengers against superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, and nitric oxide produced by various chemicals.

·      Black tea has been identified to act as a powerful chemopreventor of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.

·      Black tea exhibits protective effects against oxidative damage in human red blood cells.

·      Treatment of ECGC to human skin inhabited ultraviolet radiation induced oxidative stress. EGCG also exhibited protective effect against oxidative damage to cellular DNA

·      Black and Green tea inhibits lipid perozidative damage in rat liver and kidney

·      Black tea ingestion reflected a significant increase of human plasma antioxidant capacity

·      Offers protection against oxidative damage to red blood cells



“2357509256_265115205a_b.jpg (1024×768).” Accessed March 7, 2017. https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2236/2357509256_265115205a_b.jpg.

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Forney, j. Tea Processing. Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations Rome, 1974.

“Free Image on Pixabay – Da Hong Pao, Chinese Tea.” Accessed March 7, 2017. /en/da-hong-pao-chinese-tea-traditional-734225/.

Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, and Hugo Americi. Tea History Terroirs Varieties. A Firefly Book, 2011.

“Tee02.jpg (1200×967).” Accessed March 7, 2017. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Tee02.jpg.

Yogeshwer, Shukla, Pal Sanjoy Kumpar, Arora Annu, Kalra Neetu, and Gupta Yogendra Kumar. “Beneficial Health Effect of Black TEa: Increasing Evidence.” In Therapeutic Effects of Tea. Science Publishes, Inc, 2005.

Week 5


(“raw” and “cooked” Pu er)

Week 5  Notes: Preparing for Pu er Workshop

Author Book Title
By: Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais and Humo Americi Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties




Content Notes Pg. #
Tang dynasty 618-907 ·      Pu-er was boiled and added to soup as flavoring

·      Famous for history and curative properties

Name is from the town of Pu er in Yunnan Province in SW China ·      Growers from neighboring mountains brought harvest to be sold and sent elsewhere.


Tea cakes ·      Process to help with transport by horseback.
Prevent others from usurping.


·      Bureau of Standard Measurement of Yunnan Province defined Pu er as

·      Fermented green tea products obtained from the large leaves of tea trees harvested in Yunnan Province


Not all experts agree with definition. It is however partially justified by the quality of the tea tree grown in Yunnan.

De Ye


Means,” large leaves” Grown in Yunnan 67
Best Pu-er Mountain ranges located in Xishuangbanna

·      Youle

·      Banzhang

·      Manzhuan

·      Yiwu

·      Mensong

Renowned for tea production

·      Banpen

·      Yiban

Market trends ·      Time to age Pu er creates a rarity to the product

·      Created a rise in price and opportunity

·      Year 2000- many people invested in plantations

·      Year 2007- Quick growth of Sheng Pu er led to a peak, fall, and speculative bubble burst.

·      Investors pulled out and now the market seems to be stabilizing

·      Rarity of product still demands a high price

Sheng and Shou: Two parents of the Pu Er tea family 66
Sheng = “Raw” Pu er

·      Best tea comes from all wild tea trees, which are several centuries old.

·      One of the first teas to appear in China

·      Fermented 10-50 years

·      Not considered fully mature until they have been aged for 30 years. Labeled as “vintage”.

Shou = “Cooked” Pu er ·      1970, increase in popularity led to a new method to bring the tea to market faster.

·      Shou is processed the same as Sheng; the fermentation process is faster, and occurs over 45-60 days.

·      Made for immediate consumption and the taste doesn’t get significantly better with aging.

·      Usually made with lower quality tea leaves and almost exclusively from plantations.

Different ways to shape Pu er Tea

·      Distinguishing features

·      Bing cha (the cake) 12 oz


·      Zhuan cha (the brick) 9 oz


·      Tuo cha (the nest) 3.5-9 oz


·      Jin gua (the pumpkin) comes in several sizes

·      “The Mushroom” roughly 8 oz

·      “The Cube” 1/6 oz

·      Can also be made into custom or decorative shapes, like a Buddha or pig for specific events.

**Couldn’t find photos that were labeled for reuse for the cube, mushroom and pumpkin shape.

Nei Fei (Trademark) ·      A cake of Pu er will usually be marked with a nei fei to indicate the place where the tea was processed.

·      Usually a small piece of paper placed on the leaves after being compressed.

Processing of Pu er Tea

1.     Maocha

2.     Sheng processing or Shou

·      The first step in the process is to create Maocha.

Farmhouse Hand Fresh Tea

1.     Picking: the quality of Pu er depends on the part on the plant material used. A grading system from one to nine defines the size of the leaves which are used.


2.     Withering: processing Pu er teas begins with withering the freshly picked tea leaves. The leaves are spread in the sun for a few hours. In industrial processing the leaves are spread on racks in a room and heated with hot-water radiant heat.


3.    Heating: Small-scale heating takes place in pans and lasts for two to three minutes. The batches of leaves are far bigger than those used when producing green teas. The pans are usually heated by means of wood fires.


4.    Rolling: The leaves are then rolled by hand on a bamboo mat until they form a large ball. In industrial processing, th leaves are rolled in the same type of round roller press as used for black teas or for curly leaf green teas.

5.    Second Heating: Sometimes the leaves are heated a second time in the pans, also for two to three minutes.

6.    Second Rolling: The same method is used as for the first rolling: by hand on a bamboo mat (the traditional method) or rolled in a round roller press (the industrial method).


7.    Drying: Distinguishing features after the second rolling, the leaves are dried in the sun or in a temperature and moisture controlled greenhouse. In industrial processing, the leaves are dried on a conveyor belt that passes through a heating machine.


8.    Sorting: Next, all residue is eliminated form the leaves by means of manual sorting.

9.    Moacha is then ready: The people who produce Moacha sell it to specialized processors who then compress the leaves into different shapes.

·      The highest quality leaves are usually reserved for Sheng Pu er, maocha can be used to produce both types of Pu er teas.

Sheng Processing 1.     Sorting and Grouping: Separating the leaves into different grades is done by hand or by machine. The leaves are sorted into nine principal grades, the first containing the smallest leaves and the ninth the largest. At this stage the leaves from different origins may be grouped together.

2.     Compression: The leaves are split into groups that correspond to the desired weight of each cake to be formed. They are then sprayed with steam to hydrate and soften them so they are malleable. Then the paper indicating the trademark of the tea is inserted into the leaves. The moist leaves are then placed in a cloth. According to tradition they are then pressed under a stone. A hydraulic press is sued for mechanical compression.

3.     Drying: Once the cakes are compressed they are laid out to dry in the air without any cloths so any residual moisture can escape. In industrial processing sometimes the cakes are placed in a room hated by hot water pipes to speed up the drying process. The cakes are then returned to their weight prior to dampening. Packaging: Traditionally the cakes were wrapped individual identifying paper, group the cakes in lots of seven (called tong) and package each in a dried bamboo bark. Each tong was placed in a bamboo basket as part of a lot of six (called jin).


Shou Processing  To produce Shou the fermentation process is accelerated by exposing the maocha leaves to high heat and humidity

1.    Fermentation: the leaves are placed in a room and covered with water and a cloth. They are then exposed to high heat and humidity for 45-65 days. During this stage they will be turned over several times.

2.    Sorting: Once the accelerated formation is over, the leaves are first sorted by machine then by hand in order to eliminate unfermented leaves.

3.    Compression: Next, the same compression process as for Sheng Pu er is used. However few Shou Pu er teas are compressed by the traditional method. Hydraulic pressed are generally used. Once all the stages are complete it is wise to wait at least three months before drinking the tea produced to allow the fermentation process to stabilize.

Aging Pu er tea  The conditions during the aging process can greatly affect the taste of the end product. The temperature should ideally be maintained between 68-86 degrees F. It does not have to be kept constant. At temperatures below 68 degrees F, the aging process will take much longer.

Ideal humidity is between 60-70 percent, in a dark room, where they will not be exposed to light and has good air circulation.

Should be kept away from other strong aromas they can absorb (spices, coffee, etc)

Ideally Sheng and Shou should be kept separate.

Yunnan Qi Zi Bing Cha ·      In the world of tea, some methods represent a tradition or particular way of thinking.

·      Cakes of Pu er are inscribed Yunnan qi zi bing cha, which means “the tea cake of the seven sons of Yunnan


·      Seven is a lucky number for the Chinese

·      The use of plural implies that the family will produce many sons which implied good fortune.

·      When one buys a cake of Pu er you are also buying a promise of prosperity.

·      The round shape represents the full moon. Which for the Chinese symbolizes a gathering of a whole family.

Pu er Infusion tips  Thé_pu-erh

Sheng Pu er teas less than 10 years old

Appearance of the leaves: Longish leaves or compressed shapes (nest, cube, cake, brike)

Quantity: 1/12 oz (2.5 grams) of tea to 1 cup (250 ml) water. Or 1 teaspoon per cup.

Temperature: 194-203 degrees F.

Length of Infusion: 3-5 minutes

Extra: Rinse for 5 seconds. If the leaves are broken and smaller shorten the infusion.

 Shou Pu er (any age) and Sheng Pu er over 10 years old

Appearance of the leaves: Longish leaves or compressed shapes (nest, cube, cake, brike)

Quantity: 1/10oz (3 grams) of tea to 1 cup (250 ml) water. Or 2 teaspoon per cup.

Temperature: 203 degrees F.

Length of Infusion: 4-6 minutes

Extra: Rinse twice for 5 seconds. If the leaves are broken and smaller shorten the infusion.

Properties of Pu er ·      Historically used as a dietary supplement by many nomadic tribes and ethnic groups living in regions in Asia. These people ate mostly very fatty yak meat. The tea helped to counteract the high fat content. The purging qualities of Pu er are recognized as helping specifically to regulate the body and stimulate digestion. 251
Chemicals responsible for the dark brown color of Pu er Thearubigins Red/Brown color

Theaflavins Yellow color



Author/Editor Book Title
Yong-su Zhen

Zong-mao Chen

Shu-jun Cheng

Miao-Ian Chen

Tea: Bioactivity and Therapeutic Potential


Content Notes Pg. #
Post “fermented” tea The main compounds found in Pu er tea are

·      (E)-2-hexenal

·      (E)-2- pentenal

·      (E,Z)-2,4-heptadienal

·      Ionones and their oxides

·      (Z)-jasmone


*These compounds are reported as being produced during the microbial-fermentation.


(4.4) (4.4.1)

Wang et al. 1991 Studied the changes of the aroma compounds of Fuzhuan brick tea during the fungal growing process and found almost all:

·      aldehydes

·      ketones

·      2,5-dimethyl pyrazine

·      2,6- dimethyl pyrazine


Especially increased during fungal growth

·      (E,Z) 2,4-heptadienal

·      Furfural

·      (E,E)-2,4-heptadienal

·      (E,E)-2,4-octadienal


Presumed the increased compounds contributed to the formation of the fungus flower flavor of Fuzhan brick tea.

Aroma Compounds in Dark Teas

Study done by Wang et al. 1991

*Manufactured by orthodox pile-fermenting (OPF)

*Sterile pile-fermenting (SPF)

·      Experiment found that OPF sample contained more terpenols and phenols, while the SPF sample contained more aldehydes and ketones.


“500px-Caffeine_metabolites.svg.png (500×422).” Accessed March 6, 2017. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/32/Caffeine_metabolites.svg/500px-Caffeine_metabolites.svg.png.

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“Cup of Pu Erh Tea – Google Search.” Accessed March 6, 2017. https://www.google.com/search?q=cup+of+pu+erh+tea&biw=1271&bih=489&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirqrWO9MDSAhULh1QKHblUBe0Q_AUIBigB#q=cup+of+pu+erh+tea&tbm=isch&tbs=sur:fc&*&imgrc=kwEyROhofPI03M:

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“Free Image on Pixabay – Tea Cake, Pu’Er, Photography.” Accessed March 7, 2017. /en/tea-cake-pu-er-photography-504706/.

Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, and Hugo Americi. Tea History Terroirs Varieties. A Firefly Book, 2011.

Hua-Fu, Wang, You Xiao-Qing, and Chen Zong-Mao. “The Chemistry of Tea Volatiles.” In Tea:Bioactivity and Therapeutic Potential, 104. Taylor and Francis, 2002.

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Week 2


Camellia Sinensis: The Many Faces of The Tea Plant.

I remember the initial shock I felt when I was told that all tea comes from the same plant, Camellia Senensis. White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong, Yellow Tea, Red Tea (also known as Black Tea), and Pu Er, are all so unique; at first I couldn’t believe it. How could Green Tea, with its vibrant green color and subtle notes of grassy sweetness, come from the same origin as Pu Er, with its dark mahogany color and rich earthy flavor? The answer lies in a long history of co-evolution with the Camellia Senensis plant and the alchemic processing techniques that emerged over time. It has shaped many cultures, and each culture prepares their tea differently. Thankfully, through advancements in technology, humans can now understand the science behind the ancient cultural practices that give us the many faces of tea. I am looking forward to learning more through my research and getting to share what I learn through weekly tea workshops. I created a table to chart which books I ordered from Summit, which are available online, and what could be picked up from the library.

*To view the full list click the link below.

Ordered Book List


Online E-Book Library Summit Requested
Protective Effects of Tea on Human Health  The Japanese Tea Ceremony

-GT2910.S3 2008

 Tea: a symposium on the pharmacology and the pharmacology and physiologic effects of tea.

Henry J. Klaunberg biological

Making Tea, Making Japan Cultural Nationalism in Practice

Kristin Surak 2012

The tea ceremony Senoo Tanaka 1928-1973


Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties

 I made this table because occasionally Summit does not have the book I requested. It can also be easy to lose track of what I have ordered. Once I receive e-mail notification if the book is unavailable, shipped, or ready to pick up from the library, I can mark the  book in the appropriate category, then go from there. I always request more than I need; if the book is unavailable then I have other material to use for my research.


Camellia Sinensis HD Image id: 11242f | Credit

Week 2-Reflection

This week was particularly difficult because I am behind due to missing the first week because of a family emergency. I was able to research and order all of my books which feels good; while I am waiting for them to arrive I started to read from a book I already own. After reading all of the content available in the book, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen, by Harald McGee, I am feeling inspired and grateful for a deep, yet simplified, explanation of the chemistry of the tea plant and its processing. McGee reminded me of the extraordinary results of the co-evolution between humans and the plants. The tea plant’s secondary compounds (terpenes, polyphenols, etc.) are made to deter mammals to protect itself from damage. Humans over time have learned how to develop cultural practices to process the tea to dilute, or neutralize, these compounds to create a product that is healing rather than toxic. I am fascinated by the fact that many of these cultural practices were created through slow alchemic experimentation.

Notes from Week 2 Reading

Author Book Title
Harold McGee On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen
Content Notes Page number
Flavorings Are Chemical Weapons ·      When eaten straight most spices and herbs are acrid, irritating, numbing.

·      The chemicals responsible for these sensations are actually toxic.

·      Example: purified essence of oregano and thyme can damage skin and lungs; this is their primary function.

·      The plants produce these chemicals to be irritating to animals or microbes and is a source of protection.

·      The volatility gives them the advantage of counterattacking through the air.

·      Some animals will be deterred by smell alone.

Turning Weapons Into Pleasures: Just Add Food ·      Humans have come to prize the chemical weapons made to deter us.

·      Herbs and spices can be made nontoxic through the principle of cooking and dilution

·      Eating a whole oregano leaf vs. small amounts diffused through a whole dish.

The Chemistry and Qualities of Herbs and Spices ·      The flavorful material in an herb or spice is traditionally called an essential oil

·      Aroma chemicals are more similar to oils and fats than they are to water, and therefore are more soluble in oil then they are in water

·      Cooks make flavor extracts by infusing herbs in watery vinegar and in alcohols but both alcohol and vinegar’s acetic acid are small cousins of fat molecules and help dissolve more aromatics than plain water could.

·      The defensive aroma chemicals can have disruptive effects on a plant’s own cells as well as on predators, so plants take care to isolate them from their inner workings.

·      Plants stockpile their aroma chemicals in specialized oil-storage cells, in glands on the leaves, or in channels that open up between cells.

Flavor Families: The Terpenes ·      Terpene compounds are constructed from a zigzag building block of five carbon atoms, which are versatile and can be combined, twisted, and decorated into tens of thousands of different molecules.

·      Plants usually create a mixture of defensive terpenes.

·      They are characteristic of the needles and bark of coniferous trees, citrus fruits, flowers, and herbs and spices.

·      Terpenes tend to be volatile and reactive. They are often the first molecules to reach the nose


Terpene found in the aromatic qualities of Oolong




Terpene found in the aromatic qualities of Oolong

Caffeine ·      Caffeine is the most widely consumed behavior-modifying chemical in the world.

·      It is an alkaloid -à what is an alkaloid?

·      Continued notes below…

Alkaloids ·      Bitter tasting toxins that appear in plants around the time mammals evolved

·      Almost all known alkaloids are poisonous at high doses

·       Any of a class of nitrogenous organic compound of plant origin that have pronounced physiological actions on humans. They include many drugs (morphine, quinine) and poisons (atropine, strychnine).


Caffeine ·      Caffeine is an alkaloid which interferes with a particular signaling system used by many differentiate cells, and has several effects on the human body.

·      Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system

·      Relieves drowsiness and fatigue

·      Quickens reaction time

·      Reaches its maximum levels in the blood between 15 minutes and two hours after consumption. Levels are reduced by half within three to seven hours. It’s effects are more noticeable in people who don’t normally consume it.

The Tea Leaf and It’s Transformation ·      Fresh leaf tastes bitter and astringent due to a lot of bitter and astringent phenolic substances

·      Aromatic molecules are locked up in nonvolatile combinations with sugar molecules

·      Green tea retains many of the qualities of the fresh leaf

·      Oolong and Red/Black Tea, rely on enzyme transformation

·      Turns defensive materials into delightful molecules.

How Tea Enzymes Create Flavor, Color, and Body ·      The periods of enzyme activity during tea-making has traditionally been called fermentation. This is incorrect technically though because there is not any significant microbial activity

·      There are two general enzymatic transformation for tea

1.     Liberation of aroma molecules which, are bound up with sugars and can’t escape into the air

2.     Building large molecules from small ones. There by modifying the flavor, color, and body. The small molecules are the tea leaf’s abundant supply of three-ring phenolic compounds, which are astringent, bitter and colorless. The leaf’s browning enzyme, polyphenoloxidase uses oxygen form the air to join the small phenolic molecules together to form the larger complexes.

·      A combination of two phenolics give a kind of molecule, Theaflavin, which contributes to yellow and light copper and is less bitter and astringent.

·      Complexes of three to ten of the original phenolics are orange-red and, and less astringent and are called thearubigens

·      The largest complexes are brown and not astringent at all and are called theaflavin digallate

·      The longer the tea leaves are rolled (hand rolled or by machine) withered (allowed to sit out in the heat or a heat controlled room) and not heated to halt the enzyme (polyphenoloxidase) the less bitter and astringent and the more colored the tea leaves will become.

·      In Oolong tea half of the small phenolics have been transformed

·      Black Teas 85%

Tea Flavor ·      The taste of tea comes from many different sources

·      Tea is mildly acidic and bitter; It also has trace amounts of salt

·      Rich in amino acid, theanine, which itself is sweet and savory and partly breaks down into glutamic acid.

·      Chinese green teas also contain synergizers of savoriness (GMP) Monosodium glutemate and (IMP) Inosine monophosphate

·      Monosodium glutemate is usually known as MSG, and when made artificially, and used as artificial flavoring, has a lot of stigma attached to it.

·      Bitter caffeine and astringent phenolics bond to and take the edge off each other to produce the impression of a stimulating but usually not harsh body. (especially important to the taste of red/black teas)

Aroma ·      Green tea steamed (grassy, seaweed, shellfish notes)

·      Green tea pan fried (savory toasty notes

·      Oolong and Red/Black tea (floral, sweet, earthy)

·      600 volatiles have been identified in black tea

Brewing ·      Tea is brewed in various ways in different parts of the world

·      In the West: a relatively small amount of loose leaf tea, about a teaspoon, or a tea bag, per 6-oz cup is brewed once, for several minutes, then discarded.

·      In Asia: a larger quantity of leaves of any tea-as much as a third of the volume of the container- is first rinsed with hot water, then infused briefly several times. This style allows the drinker to enjoy the following infusions changing flavor and aroma gradually.

·      The infusion time depends on two favors. One is leaf size; small particles and their great surface area require less time for their contents to be extracted. The second is water temperature. The water temperature will depend on the type of tea being brewed.

·      Oolong and Black tea are typically brewed at a temperature close to boil, and briefly.

·      Green tea is infused longer in cooler water, 160-110 degrees F, which limits extraction of the abundant bitter and astringent phenolics and minimizes the damage to the chlorophyll which gives it its vibrant green pigment.

·      In a typical 3-5 minute infusion of black tea, about 40% of the leaf solids are extracted into the water.

·      Caffeine is rapidly extracted and more than three quarters of the total in the first 30 seconds. When preparing tea the Chinese way after the tea is washed a lot of the caffeine is discarded. The larger phenolic complexes come out more slowly.

Serving Tea ·      Once the tea is brewed the liquid should be separated from the leaves immediately. If one doesn’t the extraction will continue and the flavor will become too harsh.

·      The tea will be best consumed after being freshly brewed. The aroma will dissipate and their phenolic components react with dissolved oxygen and with each other; this changes the color and taste over time.

·      Some cultures mix their tea with milk. When the milk and tea are combined the phenolic compounds immediately bind to the milk proteins, become unavailable to bind to the mouth surfaces and the taste becomes less astringent. (it is best to mix hot tea to warm milk, rather than vice versa, because the milk will then be heated gradually avoiding a curdling reaction.

·      Lemon juice is sometimes added to tea to bolster its tartness and add the fresh citrus note. It will lighten the color of red/black tea by changing the structure of the red phenolic complexes (the complexes are weak acids themselves and take up hydrogen ions from lemon juice). Alkaline brewing water, conversely tends to produce blood-red infusions from black tea, and can make green tea red.


“Image: File:Geraniol.png – Wikimedia Commons.” Accessed March 5, 2017. https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Geraniol.png&imgrefurl=https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Geraniol.png&h=2296&w=2282&tbnid=Ax4ugSWDxcbM2M:&vet=1&tbnh=160&tbnw=159&docid=NJPi3CsIPQHBRM&itg=1&usg=__evTxGK2V2VYtc79wMlT8of4Vatk=&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4xeumusDSAhXnlFQKHRInBZUQ_B0IIDAB#h=2296&imgrc=Ax4ugSWDxcbM2M:&tbnh=160&tbnw=159&vet=1&w=2282.

“Image: Linalool – Molecule of the Month October 2013 – HTML-Only Version.” Accessed March 5, 2017. https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/linalool/S-linalool.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/linalool/linaloolh.htm&h=332&w=199&tbnid=krGd9i3Lu9qYVM:&vet=1&tbnh=160&tbnw=96&docid=uPTghtUqFQOZWM&itg=1&usg=__IrVVcB4bpdKeFKaDV81r_Dd3EO4=&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiM4PrIu8DSAhVHh1QKHU2VB-gQ_B0IIDAB#h=332&imgrc=krGd9i3Lu9qYVM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=96&vet=1&w=199.

McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen. Revised 2004. Scribner, n.d.


Your Tagline – Spring Quarter 2016