What is Tea?
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, second to water. It is defined as a beverage made by steeping the dried or processed leaves of the tea plant Camellia Sinensis in water for a period of time. Historically, any beverage made in a similar fashion from botanical ingredients, or a mixture of dry botanical ingredients has been referred to as tea but are technically tisanes or herbal teas.
Tea leaves are made out of three different compositions: Alkaloids, Polyphenols and Theanine
Alkaloids: This is the caffeine stimulant and made out of two similar compounds: theobromine and theophylline. Alkaloids also impart a bitter taste when the tea leaves are infused.
Polyphenols: This provides tea with its brisk and astringent profile, similar to tannins. These are also known as antioxidants.
Theanine: This is an amino acid which is believed to be responsible for tea’s ability to relax even in the presence of considerable caffeine found in the leaves of the tea plant.