White tea is highly consumed due to its sensory properties and health benefits, although most scientific reports don't include the analysis of both properties. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to unravel the best brewing conditions for optimal extraction of the bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity, while realising the best sensory properties. Infusions of eighty commercial teas (sold in bags or leaves) were obtained at different time-temperature ratios, studying bioactive compounds (caffeine and individual catechins), antioxidant capacity and sensory analysis. Brewing at 98 °C for 7 min was the best condition to obtain a high content of antioxidant polyphenols and pleasant sensory properties. Those teas sold in bags give rise to tea brews with almost double antioxidant capacity. In conclusion, it is very important to link sensory and chemical data to obtain optimal sensorial quality and the highest healthy properties in white tea infusions.
Keywords: Antioxidant capacity; Brewing conditions; Catechins; Green tea; White tea.
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