For tea drinkers, the morning starts with chirps of birds in the fresh morning sky and a cup of tea in hand. Now tea as a beverage has many varieties, enough to satisfy tea drinkers of all ethnicity. One might be healthier than the other teas, while the other might be tastier than the other teas.
There are many different types of teas that tea drinkers must be familiar with, which are very different. Tea drinkers love green and black teas, herbal tea, white tea, chai tea, and oolong tea. All of these are actually different categories of tea altogether.
Both kinds of tea are incredibly easy to make. You only need boiling water and green tea leaves or black tea leaves to make either one of them.
How to make a perfect cup of green tea?
- Heat water to 80-85ºC/176-185ºF (this is the optimum temperature for making green tea as brewing green tea in boiling water will lead to a bitter taste)- the optimum temperature can be achieved by temperature-controlled kettle or thermometer or heat the water to ‘just before boiling point.’ When it simmers, allow it to cool for a couple of minutes and then brew green tea in it.
- Pour water in your glass/mug first.
- Then, add the tea leaves to the water. You can use a tea strainer/sieve/infuser or add leaves directly to the water.
- Steep the tea for three minutes. However, steeping time varies depending on how strong you want your green tea to be. Steeping it for too long will make the green tea bitter/grassy.
- You can enjoy green tea as it is or can also add sweeteners of any choice if you want.
How to make a perfect cup of black tea?
- Take some water (say a cup of water) in a saucepan. Add sugar or cubes in water if you want and cook on a medium flame for about 2 mins. Stir occasionally.
- When the water comes to a boil, add tea leaves and stir on a medium flame for about two minutes.
- Now let the water soak all the goodness from the tea leaves by keeping the flame on low. Cover the lid for about another two minutes.
- Strain the black tea and enjoy.
Japan is very famous for its green teas. There are many varieties of green tea available: Chinese green teas, Japanese green teas, and many more. Chinese green teas tend to be lighter and mellower, while Japanese green teas tend to be a darker green with a more savory umami flavor.
Sencha is a Japanese green tea. It is one of the most popular varieties of green tea. Other varieties of Japanese green tea include- Matcha, Shincha, Tencha, and many more.
Like green tea, Black tea has many varieties available: Earl Grey, Assam black teas, and Darjeeling black tea are some Indian black teas varieties. There are many other varieties of black tea apart from these, like Ceylon black tea.
Before we dive into “what to choose” from black tea vs green tea, we have a little learning to do about black tea vs. green tea in order to understand which tea out of the two fits your needs and preferences more.
Green tea, black tea, and oolong tea come from the same tea plant. The same plant is the Camellia Sinensis plant. Even though both teas (green tea and black tea) are derived from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis, both are prepared via different methods. The black tea is oxidized, and the green tea is not.
Black and Green Tea preparation: Black Tea vs Green Tea
For preparing green tea, leaves from the plant are steamed, pan-fried, and dried and do not undergo an oxidation process. Hence green tea has a bright green color, unlike black teas.
The black tea leaves are first rolled and then exposed to air for preparing black tea. This triggers the oxidation process. The fact that black tea undergoes this reaction turns the black tea leaves dark brown. The process changes the chemical composition of the leaves. Hence, in black tea leaves, the flavors heighten and intensify.
Comparison of Health Benefits of Black and Green tea: Black Tea vs. Green Tea
Antioxidant content: Black Tea vs. Green Tea
Black and green tea leaves have high antioxidant content that helps prevent cancer, hence almost similar health benefits in this area. Black and green tea both are rich in a group of protective antioxidants called polyphenols.
Black tea vs. green tea: But green tea has the upper hand in this area. Green tea is full of a particular type of catechin (flavonoid) called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). These polyphenols potentially reduce the risks of heart disease.
EGCG regulates gene activity in cancer cells and may even prevent cancer growth. EGCG is considered the most powerful antioxidant and likely responsible for many of green tea’s health benefits.
Health Benefits of EGCG:
- EGCG in green tea leaves can inhibit the multiplication of cancer cells and cause cancer cell death.
- Amyloid plaques accumulate in Alzheimer’s patients, EGCG may reduce its harmful effects.
- ECGC is known to have anti-fatigue properties.
- It is known to prevent fatty liver conditions.
- This antioxidant has anti-microbial properties as it causes damage to bacterial cell walls and may even reduce the transmission of some viruses.
- It has a calming effect on your body by interacting with the receptors in the brain.
Fluoride Content: Black Tea vs. Green Tea
High-quality green tea and black tea both are high in fluoride content. Right fluoride content in the body helps prevent cavities. It strengthens the enamel, thereby helping in the remineralization of teeth and preventing tooth decay. Black tea vs green tea: Black tea is higher in fluoride content than green tea. But since excess of anything is unhealthy, a very high level of fluoride is toxic to the human body. Hence, while drinking tea, especially black tea, watching the number of cups you have drunk is essential.
Caffeine Content: Black Tea vs. Green Tea
Both green tea and black tea have caffeine content. Black tea vs green tea: But, the caffeine content of black tea is higher than green tea for the same serving.
So to cater to the energetic lifestyle, you may choose black tea. But, if you want to relax your blood vessels and enjoy a soothing drink, you may choose green tea, which obviously has less caffeine to soothe you and your body. If you have insomnia, drinking green tea is a better option for your evening tea needs since high caffeine content may disrupt your sleep cycle further.
Caffeine content black tea: About 40- 50 mg in 1 cup of black tea (8 fl oz)
Caffeine content green tea: About 30-40 mg in 1 cup of green tea (8 fl oz)
Theaflavins Content: Black tea vs. Green tea
Theaflavins are a group of polyphenols characteristic of black tea; it is only present in black tea and not in green tea. Theaflavins have many health benefits because of their antioxidant abilities.
Health Benefits of Theaflavins:
- These polyphenols can protect fat cells from damage by free radicals.
- They may support your body’s natural antioxidant production.
- Theaflavins may protect your heart and blood vessels.
- A study on animals showed that theaflavins could lower the risk of plaque formation in blood vessels via reducing inflammation and increasing nitric oxide availability, which helps to dilate your blood vessels.
- Theaflavins have been shown to significantly reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
- They may promote fat breakdown and have been recommended as a potential aid for fat, hence obesity management.
Heart health: Black tea vs. Green tea
Green and black tea are rich in protective antioxidants called polyphenols (specifically flavonoids, a subgroup of polyphenols) that look out for overall heart health. Flavonoids present in green and black tea are known to protect your heart.
However, the type and amount of flavonoids they contain differ. Black tea vs. green tea: On one hand, green tea is richer in EGCG. On the other hand, black tea is a rich and exclusive source of theaflavins.
Be it green or black tea, both help reduce LDL (which is considered “bad” cholesterol) cholesterol and triglycerides. Green and black tea potentially reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or any cardiovascular disease.
Brain Function: Black Tea vs Green Tea
Black tea vs green tea: But as mentioned above, green tea contains less caffeine than black tea. Both black and green tea contains caffeine. Caffeine stimulates our nervous system. It does so by blocking the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine.
It also helps release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are known to be mood-enhancing in nature. Hence, caffeine can boost energy, alertness, vigilance, mood, reaction time, and short-term recall.
Green and black tea also contain the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine is not present in coffee. Now it is believed that this L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier and triggers the release of an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA helps in bringing a relaxed but alert state. We can say it releases stress and increases alertness.
L-theanine is believed to balance out the effects of caffeine. In addition to that, it promotes the release of the mood-enhancing hormones dopamine and serotonin too. Also, The combination of these two substances may even be synergistic, meaning they enhance the effects of each other when present together.
A study showed that people who ingested L-theanine and caffeine together had better attention than when either was used alone. Hence, both black tea and green tea are good alternatives for coffee if one wants mood-lift and alertness without the side effects of coffee.
The other shared health benefit of green tea and black tea is that both improve gut health and help in weight loss management. However, for weight loss management, green tea is more profoundly known.
In conclusion, on the topic of black tea vs green tea: both green tea and black tea are good for the overall health of your heart and brain. All the facts are known to you now for black tea vs. green tea.
It’s all in your hands to choose between black tea vs green tea. You know which is better for you and which meets all your needs between black tea vs. green tea. In short, black tea vs green tea: both can be an excellent addition to your diet.
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Content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. Reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students.