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L-theanine


L-theanine variations

We're starting to learn about the various health benefits of theanine from green tea, but exactly how much do you get in your usual 6 to 8 ounce cup?

That will depend on the specific climate variations where the tea plant was grown.

A study in South Korea focused on tea plants from three different agricultural growing areas that varied in rainfall, temperature, and sun exposure.

Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, the researchers analyzed leaves plucked in the spring for

  • amino acids including theanine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, alanine, threonine, and glutamine,

  • caffeine, glucose, and quinic acid,

  • and green tea's primary antioxidants: EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate, EGC or epigallocatechin, and EC or epicatechin.

The highest levels of theanine were found with growing conditions of comparatively high temperature, high rainfall, and long sun exposure.

However, those same conditions reduced the amount of caffeine, EGCG, EGC, EC, isoleucine, leucine, valine, and alanine (Lee JE et al, Geographical and climatic dependencies of green tea (Camellia sinensis) metabolites: a (1) NMR-based metabolomics study, Journal Agric Food Chem, October 2010, p10582-9) .

In addition, the growing season changes somewhat each year, causing more variations in the amount of beneficial chemicals from tea.

Add that to plant hybrid and clonal variations, manufacturing differences(caffeine variations as an example), shipping or storage times, or your own preparation or brewing (again, caffeine is the example), and you can easily see why the best solution is to learn all you can about each tea you choose.

But that's not a hardship.

With over 400 different green teas available now on the internet, choosing delicious new teas becomes a very delightful lifelong journey.

Enjoy!

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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