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Springerplus. 2016 May 10;5:576. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2229-y. eCollection 2016.

Oolong tea made from tea plants from different locations in Yunnan and Fujian, China showed similar aroma but different taste characteristics.

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Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, 650500 Yunnan People's Republic of China.
Kunming Grain & Oil and Feed Product Quality Inspection Center, Kunming, 650118 Yunnan People's Republic of China.
Contributed equally


Consistent aroma characteristics are important for tea products. However, understanding the formation of tea aroma flavor and correspondingly proposing applicable protocols to control tea quality and consistency remain major challenges. Oolong tea is one of the most popular teas with a distinct flavor. Generally, oolong tea is processed with the leaves of tea trees belonging to different subspecies and grown in significantly different regions. In this study, Yunnan and Fujian oolong teas, green tea, black tea, and Pu-erh tea were collected from major tea estates across China. Their sensory evaluation, main water-soluble and volatile compounds were identified and measured. The sensory evaluation, total polysaccharide, caffeine, and catechin content of Yunnan oolong tea was found to be different from that of Fujian oolong tea, a result suggesting that the kinds of tea leaves used in Yunnan and Fujian oolong teas were naturally different. However, according to their aroma compounds, principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) of the volatile compounds showed that the two types of oolong teas were similar and cannot be clearly distinguished from each other; they are also different from green, black, and Pu-erh teas, a result indicating that the same oolong tea processing technology applied to different tea leaves results in consistent aroma characteristics. The PCA analysis results also indicated that benzylalcohol, indole, safranal, linalool oxides, β-ionone, and hexadecanoic acid methyl ester highly contributed to the distinct aroma of oolong tea compared with the other three types of teas. This study proved that the use of the same processing technology on two kinds of tea leaves resulted in a highly consistent tea aroma.


Aroma characteristics; Main water-soluble contents; Oolong tea; Processing technology; Volatile compounds

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