Differences of Typical Wuyi Rock Tea in Taste and Nonvolatiles Profile Revealed by Multisensory Analysis and LC-MS-Based Metabolomics

J Agric Food Chem. 2024 Apr 17;72(15):8715-8730. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.3c08694. Epub 2024 Apr 2.


Wuyi Rock tea, specifically Shuixian and Rougui, exhibits distinct sensory characteristics. In this study, we investigated the sensory and metabolite differences between Shuixian and Rougui. Quantitative description analysis revealed that Rougui exhibited higher intensity in bitter, thick, harsh, and numb tastes, while Shuixian had stronger salty and umami tastes. Nontargeted metabolomics identified 151 compounds with 66 compounds identified as key differential metabolites responsible for metabolic discrimination. Most of the catechins and flavonoids were enriched in Rougui tea, while epigallocatechin-3,3'-di-O-gallate, epigallocatechin-3,5-di-O-gallate, gallocatechin-3,5-di-O-gallate, isovitexin, and theaflavanoside I were enriched in Shuixian tea. Catechins, kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin derivatives were positively correlated with bitter taste and numb sensation. Sour taste was positively correlated to organic acids. Amino acids potentially contributed to salty and umami tastes. These results provide further insights into the taste characteristics and the relationship between taste attributes and specific metabolites in Wuyi Rock tea.

Keywords: amino acid; catechin; metabolomics; oolong tea; taste characteristics.

MeSH terms

  • Catechin*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Taste*
  • Tea / chemistry


  • Tea
  • Catechin