Green Tea vs. Black Tea
Both green tea and black tea are derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. However, black and green teas have a unique flavor and appearance because they are processed in different ways. Tea leaves are crushed and fermented to make black tea whereas to make green tea, the tea leaves are withered and steamed. The factor that determines the difference between green and black tea is oxidization. Black tea is fully oxidized and fermented while green tea is un-oxidized. Green tea leaves retain their green color as a result.
The Flavor Difference between Green and Black Tea
Black tea has a hearty, full-bodied flavor, while green tea has a light flavor. Green tea is often described as having a fresh, grassy taste, but its flavor will depend on the type of green tea you drink. There are many different green tea varieties out there. Some have an astringent aftertaste while others taste sweet.
Green tea and black tea are different flavor-wise in that black tea has a deeper, more complex character. There are several different varieties of black tea, all of which burst with multiple flavors. Some black teas have sweet and spicy overtones while others may possess sweet floral aromas or hints of chocolate.
The Difference between Green and Black Tea Brewing Methods
Brewing methods for black and green tea are distinct. In order to brew black tea, you must use boiling water. However, to brew green tea, you cannot use boiling water because your tea will become bitter. You must use water that is between 175 degrees and 180 degrees, which is hot but not boiling.
Steeping times also differ in the preparation of black vs. green tea. Black tea is steeped for two to four minutes. Green tea should be steeped for a maximum of two minutes to prevent it from developing a bitter taste. Green tea is more delicate than black tea so it must be brewed with care.
Tea Health Benefits: Green Tea vs. Black Tea
Until recently, green tea has been the center of attention in studies about the health benefits of tea. Green tea has a high concentration of a powerful antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). When black tea undergoes the fermentation process, EGCG is converted into other compounds. Researchers have thus assumed that drinking black tea has fewer health benefits. However, recent studies show that the antioxidants that black tea contains also have many health-promoting properties.
Black tea contains theaflavins and thearubigens, which help to reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of stroke and heart attack. Black tea also prevents tooth decay because of the fluoride it contains. Black tea is thought to be effective in treating intestinal illnesses and diarrhea due to its high level of tannins. The theophylline in black tea improves circulation.
The well-known health benefits of green tea include that it prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol, relieves rheumatoid arthritis, and boosts your immune system, to name a few. Green tea's health benefits stem from the catechin polyphenols it contains, particularly EGCG.
One of the major differences between black and green tea is the fact that black tea contains approximately two to three times the caffeine of green tea. The more the leaves are fermented, the higher the caffeine content. As such, those who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, which include insomnia and irritability, should opt for green tea instead of black tea. There are also decaffeinated versions of black tea available if you cannot stand the flavor of green tea. Even some green tea drinkers report sensitivity to caffeine's effects so if you have that problem, decaf green tea is an option.
The color difference between green and black tea is also a factor that may affect your decision of which tea to drink. Black and green tea can both stain your teeth but due to black tea's dark color, it can stain your teeth much more drastically. Some people choose green tea over black tea in order to avoid the obvious darkening of their teeth that black tea causes.
If you enjoy the flavor of both green tea and black tea, try alternating between the two. Contrary to popular belief, you will not be missing out on any health benefits by drinking black tea instead of green tea since it also provides you with a number of important health benefits. However, your choice should ultimately depend on which tea flavor you enjoy the most so let your taste buds have a say in which tea you drink!