When you know the chemistry behind the making of the perfect cup of tea, then you can make your beverage as per your choice.
A cup of good tea, or nice tasting tea, or aromatic tea, or a cup of tea with great coloring does not happen by accident, but by sheer choice, and chemistry.
Chemistry of the compounds released by the tea leaves during fermentation with the added substances like milk, ice or lemon etc, makes tea taste, look, and smell different.
Also, it makes the tea work differently somewhat. Hence, when you want to make the perfect cup of tea you have to know the secret behind the recipe.
Chemicals in tea
The most common form of tea is black tea, and it is made from dried and fermented tea leaves. Tannins are present in black tea in abundance, and they are phenolic compounds. During fermentation of tea leaves, the tannins are formed.
Plants possess the compounds to defend themselves naturally from insects and pests.
The phenolic compounds have a very potent resistance against germs, pests, and bugs, and hence tea plants naturally stay in good health due to the abundance of these compounds.
Biological effect of phenolic compounds
When you drink tea, you let in these compounds which act in your body as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory bodies. Hence, much of your free radicals, which normally interferes and destroys DNA, cell membranes and proteins, are blocked and barred by these natural antioxidants from tea. Hence you get a feel-good effect after a tea and with prolonged use of tea.
With milk, lemon or ice added to a cup of tea, the phenolic compounds react to the milk or lemon or the cold ice to form certain compounds. The effect of tea in the body, it’s color and flavor gets altered due to these additions.
Tea with milk
Tea with milk has a pleasant taste. The tea does not taste astringent when mixed with milk because the phenolic compounds in tea react with milk. The taste and look as a result gets altered.
Tea with lemon
With lemon tea feels different, and the color also gets altered. Lemon adds tanginess to tea, and also the pH of tea is changed when lemon juice reacts with the arubigines.
Tea with ice
Iced tea may acquire a cloudy color and texture when you drop ice into hot tea immediately after brewing the tea. The tannins react to the coldness of ice to form a cloudy substance.
However, tea brewed in cold water over several hours when added ice do not turn cloudy or turbid and stays clear.