I don’t know what all the things in tea which make it bitter, but I know that one important component of that is caffeine, which is supposedly quite bitter on its own.
When I make aged oolongs (and to a lesser extent, well aged puerhs) no matter how long you brew it, it’s hard to get any sort of bitterness out of the tea.
If I put one and one together, does that mean that these teas contain very little caffeine? That the caffeine, over time, broke down into some other things? What happens to that stuff? What else makes tea bitter? Obviously, none of those things are present in their original form anymore in these aged teas. New oolongs can be quite bitter if overbrewed, but aged ones don’t. Roasted oolongs tend to be less bitter, and I guess the heat has a lot to do with it.
Does that mean that when I drink a tea a day, and I’m only drinking aged oolong, I am actually drinking very little caffeine?
I don’t know the answer to any of these questions in any conclusive manner. They are mere speculations. But it’s something worth thinking about…. any knowledge welcomed!