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Extreme Weather Affects How Your Tea Tastes

Oct 22, 2014 03:41 PM EDT
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If you're a tea connoisseur you may have noticed that sometimes your favorite brew just doesn't taste like it should. Now researchers are arguing that this may be because shifting rain patterns can actually affect the chemicals in tea that are responsible for flavor and even its health benefits.
(Photo : Pixabay)

If you're a tea connoisseur you may have noticed that sometimes your favorite brew just doesn't taste like it should. Now researchers are arguing that this may be because shifting rain patterns can actually affect the chemicals in tea that are responsible for flavor and even its health benefits.

That's at least according to a new study published in the journal PLOS One, which details how major antioxidant compounds found in tea leaves actually fell in concentration by up to 50 percent after grown in an area which was affected by an extreme monsoon. Other compounds were even found to increase in the same supply. And most stunning of all, sales of that specific tea supply were found to have dropped by nearly half, potentially indicating that consumers were unsatisfied with its taste.

This was determined after Selena Ahmed from Montana State University and her colleagues collected data and samples from various teas found in southwest China. The samples were collected from leaves that grew during two extreme weather events - a drought and a monsoon - and were subjected to chemical analysis.

After speaking with tea farmers and considering these findings, Ahmed suspects that "tea farmers will face increased variability in their livelihoods with the increased prevalence and intensity of extreme droughts and heavy rains associated with climate change."

"The study has compelling implications not only for tea, but also for all other food and medicinal plants for which changes in weather patterns can alter flavor and nutritional and medicinal properties," she added in a recent statement.

Nature World News has previously reported how changing trade winds and a churning atmosphere are leading to some wild and unpredictable precipitation patterns. China has recently seen more extreme wet and dry spells, worsening the inequality of the region's water distribution, and apparently even altering how our tea tastes.

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