Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Green Tea or Black Tea: Which is the ‘Real’ Tea?

After tea leaves are harvested, depending on how they are processed, you get either green tea or black tea.


Both the teas come from the same tea plant. Green tea is more authentic since its compounds are almost identical to those in the original plant leaves.

The Science

‘Tea’ is a word used in two ways: the concoction made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis or the steeping process to prepare a brew. The former can be called real tea, while the latter includes herbal teas, which may not involve any leaves.

Making Green Tea

When tea leaves are harvested, the planters steam them immediately to make green tea or let them dry without boiling to make black tea.

  • Steamed tea leaves retain their green colour even after they are dried, preserving the delicate natural compounds in the leaves.
  • If the fresh tea leaves are not steamed, they oxidise and turn black. After drying, you get black tea leaves.
  • Many original compounds in the tea leaves get oxidised and turn differently healthy (catechins, which are brain-healthy turn into theaflavins, which are equally strong antioxidants but not very brain-protective). They get a more pungent aroma and tangier flavour than green tea.
  • The green tea brewing method is also slightly different from black tea.

Alcohol lovers may call black tea country liquors and green tea single malts of the tea world.

Most of the information in this article is taken from my upcoming book to be published by Macmillan Publishers in Nov 2023. The book discusses a thousand such preventive health tidbits. It covers twenty superfoods, their nutrients, health benefits, recommended amounts and excess levels. It also explains how to select and store and who should avoid them. Some of the superfoods are tomatoes, coconut, capsicum (Shimla mirch), drumsticks, amla (Indian gooseberry), jamun (Java plum), turmeric, cinnamon, flax seeds, asafoetida (hing), and sabja (sweet basil seeds).

To Read More

First Published on: 6th May 2023
Image Credit: jcomp on Freepik


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