Growing up in an Asian family, tea is one beverage that most traditional families drink on a regular basis. Besides carrying its traditional value, drinking tea can give you the caffeine fix you needed to get through the day. Being a student with gastric problems, we are strongly advised to minimise our caffeine intake to prevent any gastric attacks. What many do not recognise is how suitable of a replacement tea can be for the heavy black coffees consumed by many teenagers and working adults.
Caffeine Extraction in Tea
But how do we go about extracting and measuring caffeine content in tea? Although it may seem like a difficult and arduous process, extraction of caffeine simply involves the addition of an organic solvent like dichloromethane before distilling the organic layer that contains the caffeine using a separating funnel. Knowledge of these chemistry techniques are essential in both the IB and A Level syllabi and will be taught on a deeper level by experienced in chemistry tuition. Additionally, an experienced chemistry tutor can go a step further by teaching students important practical skills that may be tested in A Levels. IB students will also benefit from the practical classes as they can then better tackle the often-feared chemistry internal assessment (IA).
Caffeine Content in Tea
After the organic layer is obtained, UV-spectrometry, an instrumental technique widely used in chemistry is employed to analyse caffeine content. This is yet another important procedure that will be covered in chemistry tuition as chemistry syllabi shift towards demanding for more practical and analytical skills. Studies have shown that black tea contains the most percentage of caffeine as compared to other teas like green or white tea. The reason behind this is that black tea leaves are fully oxidised and fermented which gives it a bold and sharp caffeinated flavour. It has been proven that the higher the degree of fermentation, the higher the amount of caffeine that can be released during steeping. It can be a perfect quick caffeine fix that would not be too strong whilst burning the midnight oil.
Difference between Tea and Coffee
On the other hand, green tea contains less caffeine as it is not fully oxidised. White tea contains the least amount of caffeine between the three. This can be used as a guide to which teas you choose to brew at night.
Additionally, caffeine in tea can make us feel different as compared to when drinking coffee. This is due to the caffeine attaching itself to the tea’s tannins which stabilises its chemical molecule and reducing its effect. Caffeine is then released more slowly, stimulating our full central nervous system. On the other hand, caffeine in coffee directly increases the rate at which our heart pumps blood to our muscles. In other words, tea has a calming effect while coffee excites us. So the next time you’re tired and are mulling over a choice between coffee and tea, don’t rule tea out just yet as it may be the hidden solution to your dilemma! So join our chemistry tuition classes to discover more and enjoy a complimentary cup of tea!
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Chemistry Tuition Singapore @ MY CHEM CAFE
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