CHEMISTRY BEHIND THE AROMA OF TEA

Aroma is one of the critical aspects of tea quality which can determine acceptance or rejection of tea before it is tasted. The aroma of tea is as fascinating and unique as the taste of tea and can hardly be summarized into distinct categories. While strong malty fragrances are associated to the heady Assam teas, the Darjeeling teas are complex in their soft floral aromas.

Chemical compounds responsible for tea aroma:

What makes tea smell sweet?

Linalool and its oxide contribute to the floral sweetness in teas.

What causes the floral fragrance of tea?

The unique floral character of tea is contributed by compounds like Geraniol and Phenylacetaldehyde.

Fruity smell in teas

The delicious fruit flavours in tea are the result of trace Benzaldehyde, Nerolidol, Phenyl ethanol and Methyl salicylate. 

What makes tea smell fresh?

Trans-2-hexenal, n-hexanal, cis-3-hexenol and b-ionone are responsible for the tea’s fresh flavour.

Tea’s Aroma Complex is made up of more than 600 volatile flavour and aroma compounds that exist in trace amounts. Some of these compounds are formed during processing (secondary aroma). The flavour and aroma of each finished tea depends on a wide variety of compound combinations that makes each tea unique and special, hence the name aroma complex.