We previously reported the group of aroma constituents that characterize the odor of sencha (green tea made from leaves) which is similar to but distinct from the odor of commercially available matcha (Japanese green tea made from powder).This study, investigated whether the group of aroma compounds contributing to this matcha-like odor is present in all green tea cultivars and products. Crude sencha teas made from the 'Yabukita', 'Sayamakaori', 'Samidori', and 'Ujimidori' cultivars, and teas prepared by different processes (hojicha and unkacha), were investigated. These green tea leaves had a common matcha-like odor originating from a group of identical constituents. Commercially available matcha were studied as the source of the standard odor. The extracts obtained from matcha were separated into groups with different odors by fractional distillation. Chemical and analytical methods showed that the group of key compounds producing the matcha-like odor included a minute quantity of several aliphatic aldehydes. Many aldehyde proton signals were observed by 1H NMR and some aldehydes were detected by mass spectroscopy. It was concluded that a matcha-like odor that contained some aliphatic aldehydes was the base note of green tea leaves, indicating the importance of the matcha-like odor to green tea's odor character.
Matcha, green tea leaves, matcha-like odor, base note, aldehyde