The identification and evaluation of two different color variations of tea.J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Dec; 96(15):4951-4961.JS
The tea plant, Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntz, is a perennial woody plant widely cultivated for the production of a popular non-alcoholic beverage. To rapidly identify and evaluate two different color tea varieties (yellowish and purplish), the main phenotypic traits and quality components were tested in the present study. The metabolic profiles of tea shoots and leaves were also analyzed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
The yellowish variation had a higher active level with respect to metabolism of catechins, and the contents of luteolin and kaempferol 3-α-d-glucoside were much higher compared to in the other variations. However, the purplish variation had a low content of theanine and a high content of caffeine. The contents of quercetin and kaempferol 3-α-d-galactoside were highest in purplish leaves. Moreover, the yellowish variation had the highest total quality scores for green teas and black teas, whereas the purplish variation had the highest scores for oolong teas.
Both the yellowish variation and the purplish variation represent excellent breeding materials and are worthy of breeding as new tea cultivars. The yellowish variation is more suitable for making high-grade green teas or black teas, whereas the purplish variation is suitable for producing fine quality oolong teas. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.