The white tea vs green tea is a new debate among health enthusiast. And it’s worth analyzing what really makes these two tea leaves from the same parent plant so different. We started digging to find valuable information regarding the processing, benefits, contents, and taste of these two tea leaves.
If you think drinking one or the other is the same, then you are wrong! By the end of the article, you will know the right tea to have your hands on!
White Tea Overview
The simplest way to know which tea leaves are white tea is to look at the color. White tea leaves are very delicate and minimally processed. As a result, it has fine white hairs around it that gives the whitish look. The tea leaves are handpicked from plants that just budded. What’s important is the minimal oxidization process that these leaves go through. Hence, the leaves have a different aroma and health benefits.
It’s the lightest tea ever compared to other tea profiles like green and black tea.
Green Tea Overview
You might be surprised to know that only 20% of the tea consumed in the world is green. That just speaks of the number of people who are health conscious. Good news is you are one of those people who care for their health. Proof- You are reading this article. Green tea is slightly more processed than white tea and the harvesting time is also different.
Usually steaming, charcoal firing and sun drying methods are used to stop the oxidation process. And then rolled and dried.
The Difference in Processing White Tea and Green Tea
White tea undergoes the least processing.
It starts with harvesting tea leaves from the plant in early spring. Though there are differences in opinion regarding the harvesting time of white tea leaves, most of the research studies confirm this.
The first buds or baby leaves are harvested for white tea. This is the reason white tea looks tender and tastes very mild. The tea leaves are then sun-dried or steamed without any fermentation involved. And it’s ready to consume.
This video will give you a clear look at white tea processing-
Green tea is harvested from young leaves.
But not as tender as white tea leaves. Manufacturers process green tea in different ways. The most common way is drying them in 5-10% sunlight. And then steaming and rolling. This adds a little fermentation but not as high as black tea.
Winner: White tea. Because the processing time is pretty low!
If you believe the myth that white tea contains less caffeine than green tea, then you have been lied. Young tea bud contains more caffeine than matured tea leaves. Research studies confirm the fact that white tea is, in fact, rich in caffeine. So, it’s safe to say that if you don’t want too much caffeine consumption, it’s best to stick with green tea.
Keep in mind that the temperature, climate and steeping time can also affect caffeine content in tea.
Winner: Green tea. Because it has lower levels of caffeine
Catechins are enzymes derived from phenolics present in tea. This acts as an anti-oxidant that can reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. So, who has it more? Green tea or white tea? The growing hype of white tea and marketing tactics portray white tea having more catechins.
But research shows that green tea has more phenolics than white tea. Phenolics in green tea can range from 759 to 2377 mg/l while in white tea it can range from 423 to 241 mg/l. And so the antioxidant effects of green tea are higher than white tea. There are also contradictory studies that found certain types of catechins to be more in white tea.
Winner: Green tea. Because it has more antioxidant benefits.
White Tea Vs Green Tea Weight Loss War
Weight loss and drinking tea is a connection that has been talked about for years. But there’s no conclusive evidence that can support this connection. Both green tea and white tea are low in calories. So if you choose any one of them as an alternative to other milk or sugar-based drinks, you are effectively controlling your weight.
It all comes down to individual preference. If you want to boost your energy level throughout the day, white tea is the better option.
Winner: Both have low calories.
Potential Side Effects of Drinking Green Tea and White Tea
The potential side effects of green tea and white tea are none. Except that both contain caffeine. So if you are caffeine sensitive, it’s best to avoid both. Both white tea and green tea are raw teas. So to avoid stomach issues, drink tea when you have eaten something.
As an alternative, you can switch to caffeine free floral and herbal teas.
Winner: White tea as it’s easier on the stomach.
The Taste Profile of Green Tea and White Tea
The flavor profile of both white tea and green tea are quite similar. But certain differences make them unique.
|The green tea flavor profile:||The white tea flavor profile:|
You can see the major difference that white tea has from green tea is that white tea is milder, delicate and has a sweeter taste.
Winner: White tea. It has a sweeter and milder taste that’s just incomparable.
Special Benefits of White Tea Vs Green Tea
White tea and green tea both provide similar sort of benefits. We still manage to find out some unique benefits that you might not know yet.
White Tea Benefits:
- Keeps teeth clean: White tea is almost colorless. So you can keep your teeth out of stain marks if you are a heavy tea drinker.
- Causes less strain on the stomach: The Tanin content in white tea is lesser than it’s cousins green tea and black tea. So side effects like ache or nausea are less likely to occur.
- Good for people who need more caffeine: we discussed earlier that white tea has more caffeine than other teas. So, for people who remain active throughout the day, 2-3 cups of white tea should be enough.
- Relieves stress: The presence of caffeine and Theanine can improve your mood and reduce stress. Among white tea and green tea, white tea has the best anti-stress property.
- Enhances mental performance: The Theanine in white tea has shown to boost mental performance. Some discreet studies also found that white tea might even increase your memory and learning ability.
- Low fluoride content: Let’s bust the myth that says fluoride is good for human health. All tea contains some amount of fluoride. The tea plants suck up fluoride along with other minerals from the soil. A study conducted in the Sichuan province of China confirms the fact that older tea leaves have more fluoride. As white tea is processed from the youngest leaves, it’s safe to say it has less fluoride.
Green Tea Benefits:
- Decreases anxiety: The L-theanine in green tea can really change your mood and help you get relieved from anxiety. It also increases dopamine in your brain, and that’s the reason it feels so refreshing to drink green tea throughout the day.
- Reduce the risk of cancer: The antioxidants in green tea can protect you from certain types of cancers. For example, an analysis of women drinking green tea revealed found that drinking green tea can reduce breast cancer by 20-30%. That’s not the end. It can also reduce colorectal cancer by 42%.
- Kills bacteria and improves dental health: Green tea can destroy harmful bacteria in your mouth like the Streptococcus mutans. Numerous studies confirmed the fact that green tea can improve your dental health.
- Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: High sugar levels can lead to type 2 diabetes. So if you drink green tea, it will reduce your blood sugar levels. A significant study in Japan confirmed the fact that green tea can reduce type 2 diabetes development by 42%.
- Anti-aging effects: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are two of the most significant signs of aging. And green tea has shown results in lowering the risk of these two diseases.
Winner: Green tea. White tea research is still ongoing.
White Tea, Green Tea Or Black Tea- Which Is Better?
When it comes to tea, personal preference matters most. We discussed white tea and green tea in details earlier. Black tea is processed further, dried and crushed for consumption.
Black tea is rich in caffeine, and that’s the reason most healthy diets avoid black tea. But it’s still the most popular drink in the western world because people crave for high activity level.