An HPLC method with gradient elution for the quantification of catechins ((−)-epigallocatechin (EGC), ( )-catechin (C), (−)-epicatechin (EC), (−)-epigallocatechingallate (EGCg) and (−)-epicatechingallate (ECg)) in tea was developed. The method was used to determine catechins in black tea, green tea and oolong tea. Sample preparation was simple because only filtration and adjustment of pH was required. The levels of catechins in different teas varied between <5 and 287 (EGC), 17 and 94 (EC), 18 and 408 (EGCg), and 8 and 85 mg/l (ECg). ( )-Catechin was not present in any of these teas.