Total phenol, catechin, and caffeine contents of teas commonly consumed in the United kingdom

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jan 30;50(3):565-70. doi: 10.1021/jf010153l.


Levels of total phenol, catechins, and caffeine in teas commonly consumed in the United Kingdom have been determined using reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Tea bags or tea leaves were purchased from local supermarkets and extracted in boiling water for 5 min. The resulting data showed considerable variability in both total phenols [80.5-134.9 mg/g of dry matter (DM) in black teas and 87-106.2 mg/g of DM in green teas] and catechins (5.6-47.5, 51.5-84.3, and 8.5-13.9 mg/g of DM in black, green, and fruit teas, respectively); this was most probably a result of differing agronomic conditions, leaf age, and storage during and after transport, as well as the degree of fermentation. Caffeine contents of black teas (22-28 mg/g of DM) were significantly higher than in less fermented green teas (11-20 mg/g of DM). The relative concentration of the five major tea catechins ranked EGCG > ECG > EC > EGC > C. The estimated U.K. dietary intakes of total tea catechins, calculated on the basis of an average tea consumption of three cups of tea (200 mL cup, 1% tea leaves w/v), were 61.5, 92.7, and 405.5 mg/day from fruit teas, black teas, and green teas, respectively. The coefficients of variation were 19.4, 88.6, and 17.3%, respectively, indicating the wide variation in these intakes. The calculated caffeine intake ranged between 92 and 146 mg/day. In addition, many individuals will consume much larger quantities of tea, of various strengths (as determined by the brewing conditions employed). This broad spread of U.K. daily intakes further emphasizes the need for additional research to relate intake and effect in various population groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caffeine / analysis*
  • Catechin / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fermentation
  • Food Handling
  • Phenol / analysis*
  • Tea / chemistry*
  • United Kingdom


  • Tea
  • Phenol
  • Caffeine
  • Catechin