Background: The processing of tea leaves determines the contents of bioactive ingredients, hence it should be expected that each variety of tea, black, red or green, will represent a different package of compounds of physiological importance. Taste and aroma, as well as price and brand are the main factors impacting consumers’ preferences with regard to tea of their choice; on the other hand consumers less frequently pay attention to the chemical composition and nutritional value of tea.
Objective: The purpose of the study was assessment of the nutritional value of black, green and white high-quality tea leaf from Chinese plantations based on the chemical composition of the dried leaves as well as minerals and caffeine content in tea infusions.
Material and methods: The research material included 18 high-quality loose-leaf teas produced at Chinese plantations, imported to Poland, and purchased in an online store. The analyses included examination of the dried tea leaves for their chemical composition (contents of water, protein, volatile substances and ash) and assessment of selected minerals and caffeine contents in the tea infusions.
Results: High-quality Chinese green teas were found with the most valuable composition of minerals, i.e. the highest contents of Zn, Mn, Mg, K, Ca and Al and the highest contents of protein in comparison to the other products. Chinese black teas had the highest contents of total ash and caffeine and white teas were characterized with high content of volatile substances, similar to the black teas, and the highest content of water and the lowest content of total ash.
Conclusions: The three types of tea brews examined in the present study, in particular green tea beverages, significantly enhance the organism’s mineral balance by providing valuable elements
Keywords: tea infusion; caffeine; mineral components; HPLC; ICP-OES.