Hongyacha, The Gospel of Milk Tea Followers
Hongyacha, a new type of wild tea plant from the mountains of southern China, contains little or no caffeine, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
“Hongyacha is a wild tea plant only distributed in the narrow mountain area at altitudes of 2,300-3,300 feet (700-1,000 m) of several neighboring villages in the southern region of Fujian Province,” said lead author Dr. Liang Chen from China’s Tea Research Institute and colleagues.
“Local people believe that drinking this tea can reduce internal heat, cure colds, and heal stomach pains, etc.”
“However, given its narrow and special distribution, detailed information about hongyacha is lacking.”
In the new study, Dr. Chen and co-authors characterized the chemical components of hongyacha by using high-performance liquid chromatography.
They found that buds and leaves of hongyacha contain several potentially health-promoting compounds and virtually no caffeine.
Digging deeper, the team found that hongyacha has a mutation in the gene encoding the enzyme tea caffeine synthase, which promotes caffeine production in most tea plants.