Factors Affecting the Caffeine and Polyphenol Contents of Black and Green Tea Infusions

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Nov;49(11):5340-7. doi: 10.1021/jf010759+.


The effects of product and preparation variables on the in-cup chemical composition of tea extracts is of interest because the appearance and taste characteristics and the possible health effects of a tea liquor arise from the chemical components extracted from the leaf during tea preparation. A comprehensive study was therefore undertaken to determine the contributions of product and preparation variables on the total soluble solids, caffeine, and polyphenol contents of tea extracts. The results of this study show that the variety, growing environment, manufacturing conditions, and grade (particle size) of the tea leaves each influence the tea leaf and final infusion compositions. In addition, the composition of the tea infusion was shown to be influenced by whether the tea was contained in a teabag and, if so, the size and material of construction of the bag. Finally, the preparation method, including the amounts of tea and water used, infusion time, and amount of agitation, was shown to be a major determinant of the component concentrations of tea beverages as consumed. An illustration of the variation introduced by these product and preparation factors is provided by comparing solids, caffeine, and polyphenol contents of green and black tea infusions when commercial products are prepared according to the instructions given on their packaging.

MeSH terms

  • Caffeine / analysis*
  • Flavonoids*
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Polymers / analysis*
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polymers
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea
  • Caffeine