The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of water quality on the main components in Fuding white tea infusions, including catechins, caffeine, theanine and free amino acids. Pure, tap and spring water were tested, and water quality was found to have a distinct effect on the main compounds extracted. Pure water, which was weakly acidic and low in dissolved ions, achieved the highest catechin content, whereas caffeine and theanine, and amino acids, were higher in infusions made with spring and tap water, respectively. Sensory evaluation was performed to evaluate infusion colour, taste and aroma, and sensory quality was similarly influenced by water type, due primarily to differences in dissolved ions. Pure water was more suitable for brewing white tea with superior colour, aroma and taste.
Keywords: Caffeine; Catechin; Free amino acid; Theanine; Water quality; White tea.