Common Tea Questions


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Common Tea Questions

Postby Charles » Mar 10th, '10, 15:50

This discussion thread is dedicated to questions and comments on the TeaClass lesson: Common Tea Questions (http://www.teaclass.com/lesson_0304.html). TeaClass is designed to be a free educational tool so if anything is unclear, let us know! We're also using TeaClass to train our own retail store staff so please feel free to share anything you've heard or read that disagrees with the lesson. Our goal is to continually improve this tool based on your feedback.
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Re: Common Tea Questions

Postby Janine » May 8th, '10, 07:48

Hi Charles - I hope I'm doing this right and it's the right forum...

I've had a discussion with some friends about the pH of tea. I say it's acidic... others say alkaline. (By "tea" I mean just tea itself, camellia sinensis - not herbs, fruit additives, etc.)

I googled around the web and as far as I can tell the pH range varies with the tea and brewing parameters, but all are in the acidic range, below 7 (<7). It seems tea is commonly used to acidify soil for plants in gardening. Also there are extensive tests on the effects of tea on dental enamel -- which tends to be viewed as a better beverage than even more acidic drinks which might contain citric acid and sugar, but the tea still has an acidic pH level. Also, I'm under the impression that the acidic quality of tea causes it to be antimicrobial.

Anyway - I thought maybe you'd have an answer. I figured Adagio has all kinds of lab equipment and regularly tests this sort of thing :-)
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Re: Common Tea Questions

Postby Charles » May 8th, '10, 12:09

The acidity of tea depends in large part on the water you use. Anything with a pH below 7 is considered acidic. A study in the British Dental Journal put the pH of cola at 2.5, orange juice at 3.5 and black tea at 4.9.

Acids are antimicrobial, but given the slight acidity of tea and the slight antimicrobial effect of acids you're probably not going to drink tea for this impact. Cola is very acidic but I don't think I've ever heard it recommended as antimicrobial. :)
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Re: Common Tea Questions

Postby Janine » May 8th, '10, 14:19

Thanks Charles. That would explain why people use it to help acidify soil for plants.
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Re: Common Tea Questions

Postby beecrofter » May 8th, '10, 20:28

While the tea may test acid these weak organic acids are not very strong and have a limited effect in altering soil pH. As a mulch a few inches thick they would be very benneficial in adding organic material and maintaining [i]soil pH.
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Re: Common Tea Questions

Postby Janine » May 10th, '10, 22:35

Thanks Beecrofter ... I still have to check out your recommendation of an oolong from a nursery in Connecticut, I remember ...
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