Tea is one of the most popular drinks around the world. It’s a healthier alternative to soft drinks and sugary juices – and there are tons of flavor options to choose from. Let’s take a look at two essential types: white tea vs. black tea. This essential comparison will give you a solid foundation when it’s time to choose your new favorite flavor.
The Creation of Tea
To differentiate between the types of tea, it’s important to know how the processing of tea can affect the flavor. Tea leaves are processed through something known as oxidation. Every fruit and plant goes through the oxidation process – and this process will impact its appearance, flavor, and even the amount of caffeine it contains.1
Tea leaves start off green, but they turn brown or black during oxidation. The longer the oxidation process, the deeper the tea flavor.
The Difference Between White and Black Tea
As you likely already know, white tea and black tea are two of the most popular tea varieties. White tea is the least processed of all the tea types. It has the most naturally occurring antioxidants since it undergoes minimal oxidation. White tea has a mild flavor and low amounts of caffeine. You’ll find that white tea has a mildly sweet taste – and it’s also considered the healthiest of all the teas available on the market.
On the other hand, black tea is fully oxidized, giving it a dark, blackish color. This tea is strong, with a high caffeine content. For this reason, many people consider it a great alternative to a morning cup of coffee. Some black tea leaves are flavored with compounds of fruits and spices – but you can also find unflavored varieties.
What are the Health Benefits of White and Black Teas?
Black and white teas are both full of polyphenols, which tea drinkers recognize as health benefits. Polyphenols are micro-nutrients that are packed with antioxidants, which can support healthy blood sugar and healthy blood pressure.2
Some experts even believe that drinking tea can help promote healthy cognitive function – and thanks to the high flavonoid content, it may even support heart and blood vessel health.3
The Role of Polyphenols in Tea
As you can see, drinking tea has numerous health benefits. EGCG (Epigallocatechin) is one polyphenol that is studied extensively – and it’s found in many types of tea. Because it’s packed with antioxidants, EGCG can help defend against free radicals in your body.4 Certain studies have also found that EGCG may be helpful with weight loss, joint issues, and even muscle aches.5
You’ll find more EGCG in green tea than any other tea, although all tea varieties contain traces of this polyphenol.
Varieties of White and Black Tea
Among the black and white tea varieties, you’ll also find tons of flavored teas. (In fact, there are so many, you can probably find a type of tea for each day of the week!)
If you like black tea, you may enjoy the rich, comforting taste of chai tea. Masala chai is a spiced, sweetened black tea mixed with milk. It has a flavor profile of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper, and fennel.
For those who prefer a sweeter, more refreshing taste, opt for a white tea like white peony tea. It is made with young tea leaves and unopened leaf buds. For best results, try this tea in loose form. Be sure to not steep it for too long, as it should have a mild, sweet taste.
Here are a few other types of teas you may enjoy:
|Long Life Eyebrow||Yunnan|
|African White||Earl Grey|
|Darjeeling||English Breakfast Tea|
|Imperial Himalayan||Masala Chai|
One of the full-bodied teas that is a favorite for many is red rooibos. Its sweet-yet-strong flavor makes rooibos a great choice as iced tea – and it’s delicious served hot or cold. Because it’s caffeine-free, red rooibos is great for people with stomach sensitivities.6 All the taste without the calories makes it a favorite for weight loss.7
Fun Fact: The leaves are harvested from a shrub in South Africa, and the fermentation process turns them bright red!
If you’re looking for a nice way to relax and unwind, try ending your day with a warm cup of chamomile tea. It is caffeine-free, with the light flavor of a white tea. This tea contains apigenin, an antioxidant that promotes sleepiness and may promote healthy sleep.8
Picking your Tea
Tea is an inexpensive, healthy beverage that is easy to make. The essential comparison of white tea versus black tea comes down to your personal preferences. Whether you’re looking to slim down, or you simply want to give a new flavor a try, there are tons of options to choose from – so don’t be afraid to experiment! 9
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