The colors of tea leaves and tea soup are decided by natural substances. For example, black tea has different degrees of fermentation, which results in different ratios of theaflavins, thearubigins and theabrownins. The different ratios of these substances lead to various colors of black tea soup. Lightly fermented tea has more theaflavins and the color of the tea soup looks more like gold. Highly fermented tea has more thearubigins and the color of the tea soup looks more like red.
Theaflavin is one of the oxidation products of polyphenol substances. Pure theaflavins are orange yellow and needle-like crystals. The water solution of theaflavins is bright orange yellow. Theaflavin is the main factor of the brightness of tea soup. In tea soup, the taste of theaflavins is strongly stimulating, sweet after taste and astringent.
Thearubigin is a kind of complicated reddish-brown phenolic compound. The water solution of thearubigins is brown and red. Thearubigin is the main factor of the redness of tea soup. In tea soup, the taste of thearubigins is weakly stimulating. Thearubigins have a strong influence on the flavor, density and color of tea soup.
Theabrownin is a kind of water-soluble, non-permeable and hyperpolymeric brown substance. The main components of theabrownins are polysaccharide, proteins, nucleic acids and polyphenol substances. Theabrownins are further oxidative and polymerized products of theaflavins and theaflavins. The color of theabrownin is dark brown. Theabrownin is the main factor of the darkness of tea soup. In tea soup, the taste of theabrownins is flat, slightly sweet and astringent.
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