The black tea color, whether the redder the better?

Last Updated on 08/16/2019 by Desmond

Some people will identify the quality through the black tea color
Some people will identify the quality through the black tea color

Although called “black tea,” it shows a beautiful red color. Some people will identify the quality through the black tea color. Is this an effective method? Whether the redder of color, the better the quality?

Why black tea color show red?

Black tea belongs to complete fermentation tea. After such as withering, rolling, fermentation and drying series of processes, a variety of pigment is formed. Such as theabrownin, theaflavin, and thearubigins, makes the green tea leaves turns to red, and the tea it steeped shows red.

Theabrownin, theaflavin, and thearubigins, the different proportions of these three substances determine the color and quality of black tea.

  • Theaflavin

Theaflavin is a golden yellow pigment in yellow tea and black tea. It is the product of tea fermentation.

Theaflavins were the first compounds found in the tea to have a definite pharmacological effect. It’s an orange-yellow pigment soluble in ethyl acetate in black tea. They are obtained by oxidation condensation of polyphenols and their derivatives. The content of theaflavins in black tea is generally 0.3% ~ 1.5%, which plays a decisive role in the color, aroma, and quality of black tea.

  • Thearubigins

Thearubigins, the most oxidized product in black tea, is found in about 6 to 15% of black tea. This substance is reddish-brown and soluble in water, but its aqueous solution is dark red, so black tea shows red. And its irritation is low and taste sweet.

  • Theabrownin

Theabrownin is a kind of complex products formed by oxidation and polymerization of catechin.

During the processing of black tea and Pu ‘er tea, 80% theaflavin and thearubigins oxidize and polymerizes to form theabrownin, and make the content of it increases exponentially, thus significantly reducing the astringency and bitterness of the tea.

Together with the higher sugar and soluble water extract content, it forms the mellow taste of black tea,  color red-brown material basis.

High-quality black tea has a golden ring around the inside wall of the cup
High-quality black tea has a golden ring around the inside wall of the cup

The black tea color, whether the redder the better?

Thearubigins and theabrownin decided that black tea color shows red.

The thearubigins, itself not only has the anti-oxidation, anti-aging, anti-mutation, anti-cancer anti-tumor, anti-inflammation, anti-leukemia, antimycin but also can prevent obesity and deodorization.

However, the higher the content of thearubigins is not the better. Too high a content of thearubigins damages the quality, making the tea tasteless and the color dark; And too low a content of thearubigins, the black tea color show not red enough.

Too much theabrownin can also be detrimental to the quality of black tea. The higher it content, the darker the black tea color shows.

Thus, the black tea color is not the redder the better.

Theaflavin content determines the quality of black tea

High-quality black tea color shows both red and bright
High-quality black tea color shows both red and bright

The higher the theaflavin content, the better the quality of the black tea.

There is a word to describe high-quality black tea, “golden ring”.The more obvious the golden ring, the higher the quality of tea.

Theaflavins are the main element of the golden ring. It makes the tea color show red and bright. And is an important element of black tea flavor level and freshness.

Theaflavin also has antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-cancer, prevention of cardiovascular disease, loss weight, and lipid-lowering effect, but also can combine with the cholesterol in the intestinal tract into the insoluble matter, excretion outside the body, reduce the cholesterol content in the blood. Known as the “soft gold” of the tea.

Therefore, it’s not the redder the tea, the better the quality. The optimum ratio of theaflavins, thearubigins and theabrownin should be balanced. The high-quality black tea color shows not only red but bright.

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