Camellia ptilophylla

Camellia ptilophylla, also called the cocoa tea plant (not to be confused with the chocolate plant Theobroma cacao), is a species of Camellia plant found in Southern Asia. It has insignificant levels of naturally occurring caffeine, unlike other varieties of the plant used to make tea.[1][2]

Camellia ptilophylla
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Theaceae
Genus: Camellia
C. ptilophylla
Binomial name
Camellia ptilophylla


For many years, it has been widely consumed by local inhabitants in the Longmen area of Guangdong Province of China but has only started attracting scientific interest since 1988.[1] It was first scientifically documented in the 1980s.[3]

Preparation for teaEdit

A recommendation for consuming cocoa tea is like steeping most other teas, in which to infuse tea leaves with boiling water for 3 min. The aroma profile of Cocoa tea is different from the traditional green tea, but the difference between oolong Cocoa tea and traditional oolong tea is not. For instance, fruity, white peach-like and floral, orchid-like and dry-fruit were stronger in the Cocoa tea infusion, while roasted, fresh tree-like and sweet, sugar-like were stronger in the traditional oolong tea, also known as Tie guan yin.[4]

Health BenefitsEdit

Studies have shown that green tea has positive health effects. However, the presence of caffeine in other varieties of tea plant has certain limitations. Therefore, this presents the idea that dietary cocoa tea might be of therapeutic value. For example, a study was conducted to see if it could provide a safer option for patients with diet-induced metabolic syndrome.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Yang XR, Wat E, Wang YP, Ko CH, Koon CM, Siu WS, Gao S, Cheung DW, Lau CB, Ye CX, Leung PC (2013). "Effect of Dietary Cocoa Tea (Camellia ptilophylla) Supplementation on High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity, Hepatic Steatosis, and Hyperlipidemia in Mice". Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013: 783860. doi:10.1155/2013/783860. PMC 3723092. PMID 23935682.
  2. ^ "A newly discovered tea plant is caffeine-free". November 15, 2018 – via The Economist.
  3. ^ Lin X, Chen Z, Zhang Y, Gao X, Luo W, Li B (June 2014). "Interactions among chemical components of Cocoa tea (Camellia ptilophylla Chang), a naturally low caffeine-containing tea species". Food & Function. 5 (6): 1175–85. doi:10.1039/c3fo60720h. PMID 24699984.
  4. ^ Wang X, Wang D, Li J, Ye C, Kubota K (2010). "Aroma characteristics of cocoa tea (Camellia ptilophylla Chang)". Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 74 (5): 946–53. doi:10.1271/bbb.90752. PMID 20460717.