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Health Benefits

Black Tea vs Green Tea: 6 Amazing Health Benefits

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 ethnicities. 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.

When we talk about “healthy” varieties of tea, we immediately have two famous names in our minds: black tea and green tea.

Two bowls of Green tea and black tea dry leaves kept on a plain beige table cloth,
Photo by eskymaks on Unlimphotos

1. A Little Information about Black Tea and Green Tea

Japan is very famous for its green tea. 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 mellow, 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 tea 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 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.

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.

2. Look into the Preparation Methods of 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.

A view of a woman preparing a herbal tea in the kitchen. A saucer with dry tea leaves in it and a white kettle-cup set is kept on a white table. The woman takes the dry leaves and puts them in the water to make tea.
Photo by DCStudio on Unlimphotos

The black tea leaves are first rolled and then exposed to air to prepare 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.

2.1. 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 the 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 into 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.

2.2. 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.

3. Comparison of Health Benefits of the Herbal Teas: Black Tea vs Green Tea

A person pours hot herbal tea into several white ceramic cups in Chinese style.
Photo by 五玄土 ORIENTO on Unsplash Copyrights 2018

3.1. Antioxidant content

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.

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.

3.1.1. 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.

3.2. Fluoride Content

High-quality green tea and black tea both are high in fluoride content. The right, fluoride content in the body helps prevent cavities. It strengthens the enamel, thereby helping in the remineralization of teeth and preventing tooth decay.

A view of black tea in a glass cup and dry tea leaves scattered from a spoon on a white table. Black tea is higher in fluoride content than green tea.
Photo by makidotvn on Unlimphotos

Black tea is higher in fluoride content than green tea. However 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.

3.3. Caffeine Content

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 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.

The caffeine content in black tea: About 40- 50 mg in 1 cup of black tea (8 fl oz)

The caffeine content in green tea: About 30-40 mg in 1 cup of green tea (8 fl oz)

3.4. Theaflavins Content

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.

3.4.1. 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 by 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.
A cup of black tea that contains Theaflavins content. Theaflavins are a group of polyphenols characteristic of black tea.
Photo by Negar Mz on Unsplash Copyrights 2021

3.5. Heart Health

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.

3.6. Brain Function

As mentioned above, green tea contains less caffeine than black tea. Both black and green tea contain 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.

3.7. L-Theanine Content

Green and black tea also contains 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. Also, The combination of these two substances may even be synergistic, meaning they enhance the effects of each other when present together.

A woman smiling and holding a cup of herbal tea. Green and black tea contains the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine promotes the release of the mood-enhancing hormones.
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash Copyrights 2022

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.

4. Final Note on Black Tea vs Green Tea

In conclusion, if we talk about 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.

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 and green tea. In short, black tea vs green tea: both can be an excellent addition to your diet.

5. Frequently Asked Questions

5.1. What is the difference between black tea and green tea?

The main difference between black tea and green tea is that black tea goes under the oxidation process and green tea doesn’t. That’s why, we have lighter color and taste in green tea and an intensified color and taste in black tea.

5.2. Which tea is healthier green tea or black tea?

As we’ll read the article, we’ll know that both teas carry their health benefits. They almost have the same quality except for the EGCG and Theaflavins. The green tea contains EGCG and the black tea contains Theaflavins.

5.3. Why green tea is costlier than black tea?

Green tea is costlier than black tea, simply, because of the process of how delicately green tea is made.

Read more from us here.


  • Saima Qureshi

    Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy, Saima has a keen interest in reading various ongoing research related to discoveries in the field of medicine. She has written many articles regarding health, lifestyle, and medicine for Icy Health on multiple topics such as Jaw Locking, Thyroid, and Herpes. She ensures that the articles she writes are always scientifically accurate and help in bringing a positive lifestyle change in anyone reading them. She plans on working in the Research and Development sector of the Pharma industry after her education.

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