Enzymes in the Tea Leaf

Tea leaves contain essential enzymes, including polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase, which play a significant role in the oxidation process of tea leaves. When the cell walls of the leaves rupture, the enzymes react with the polyphenols and oxygen, leading to the oxidation process. However, tea makers can control the oxidation process by denaturing or deactivating the enzymes through heat or moisture deprivation. This is a crucial step in the production of green and white tea, as green tea remains green due to the deactivation of these enzymes through heat, while white tea undergoes a long withering process to achieve its unique flavor profile by depriving the enzymes of moisture.

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