Differences Between Green Tea and White Tea – Dilmah-Singapore
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Differences Between Green Tea and White Tea

Differences Between Green Tea and White Tea

All teas have their origins in the Camellia Sinensis bush, however after the leaves are plucked depending on the amount of processing they undergo, the teas are divided into different types. The most famous is black tea, followed closely by green tea. The other tea types include white, yellow and oolong tea.

What is Green Tea?

Originating in China, green tea is now processed and manufactured in other parts of the world as well. The manufacturing process for green tea differs from the traditional black tea in that the leaves are heated either through pan-frying or steaming rather than left to wither. This prevents oxidation which is what causes the leaves to turn black. Due to this process the green tea maintains its original fresh flavour.

What is White Tea?

White tea is manufactured by plucking the freshest leaves from the plants, the buds and leaves before they unfurl; once plucked, the leaves are dried. This is the only processing the leaves undergo. As a result, white tea is considered to produce some of the freshest and delicate forms of tea from all the tea types.

Green Tea vs White Tea

How does green tea and white tea differ from each other? There are several distinctions between the two types of tea:

Flavour & Aroma

Green tea when brewed, has a green, yellow or light brown colour. The flavour of the tea can range from grass-like and toasted (if it’s pan-fried) to a more vegetal, sweet and seaweed-like taste (in case it’s steamed).

White tea when brewed takes on a pearly white colour. The taste of the tea varies from floral to herby, delicate and sweet. Other descriptions of the tea’s taste include honey like, fruity, citrusy and vanilla like.

Caffeine in Green and White Tea

Green tea and white tea both are known to have low amounts of caffeine compared to either black tea and coffee. The caffeine levels in green tea is about 24 to 40mg/ cup compared to black tea’s 60mg/cup and coffee’s 95-200mg/cup. White tea is thought to have lower caffeine levels than green tea.

Health Benefits of Green and White Tea

There are several health benefits in both green and white tea. Both types of tea are rich in antioxidants and nutrients due to the lower processing they undergo. As a result both types of tea have similar benefits. These are:

  • Green Tea Benefits
        • The lower levels of caffeine in green tea as well as amino acid L-theanine is said to help in the improvement of brain functions that takes away the negative effects of jitteriness of caffeine.
        • Green tea is known to help with fat burning and reduction in weight by boosting your metabolism rate.
        • Antioxidants in green tea is said to help protect against the development of cancerous cells in certain cancer types such as breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.
        • Certain compounds in green tea are thought to help lower risks of Alzheimer’s as well as Parkinsons.
        • Catechins in the tea is known to kill bacteria and inhibit viruses. Thereby aiding in improving dental health and lowering the risk of infections.
        • Green tea’s health benefits also include a reduction in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  • White Tea Benefits
      • White tea is rich in antioxidants that kill free radicals in your body. These free radicals are responsible for aging, chronic illnesses and harmful diseases.
      • Polyphenols in white tea are said to help with chronic heart disease by relaxing blood vessels, boosting immunity and preventing bad cholesterol from becoming oxidised.
      • Polyphenols in white tea are also said to lower risk of insulin resistance which helps improve blood sugar control.
      • Osteoporosis is a disease that reduces the density and quality of bones, common among the elderly which may lead to fractures. Compounds such as catechins, may lower the risk of osteoporosis.
      • White tea’s health benefits also include protection of your skin from external and internal damage. This is by protecting from the UV rays and cellular components that affect the skin’s fiber network.

    Storage of the Tea

    Storage of tea is very important. Tea is very absorbent in nature and therefore to ensure the tea retains its flavour and freshness it is vital that it is stored correctly. Both green and white tea due to the lesser amount of oxidation undergone, should be consumed within a period of 6 months - 1 year respectively. Ensure to store both tea types in cool, dark places. Keep away from light, oxygen and moisture and never store the tea in the refrigerator. Ensure to never store tea with coffee or spices due to their absorbent nature.

    How to Brew Green Tea

    Green tea brewing depends on the type of green tea being brewed, but the general guidelines are as follows:

    • The water used should be fresh and pure. Spring water is best.
    • Green tea should be brewed with water that has been rested after boiling. If not the tea leaves will be scorched and the flavour would become bitter.
    • Usually 2 grams of loose leaf tea is used per 8 ounce cup of water.
    • Green tea should steep from 30-60 seconds or from 2-3 minutes. Again this depends on the type of tea. Ensure to keep your tea covered during this time.
    • You can add milk to your green tea but it is recommended not to, as this may overpower the taste.

    How to Brew White Tea

    The general rules for white tea brewing is as follows:

    • The water used should be fresh and pure. Spring water is best.
    • White tea should be brewed with boiled water just under a simmer.
    • Usually 2 grams of loose leaf tea is used per 8 ounce cup of water.
    • White tea should be steeped from 3-5 minutes or 2-3 minutes depending on the type of green tea. Tea should be brewed by covering it, similar to green tea.
    • White tea is best had plain, with no milk or sugar.
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