Green Tea or Black Tea? Learn Their Benefits and Differences

Green Tea or Black Tea? Learn Their Benefits and Differences. Photo: pexels Green Tea or Black Tea? Learn Their Benefits and Differences. Photo: pexels

If you’re a tea lover or if you’re simply trying to reduce your coffee consumption, you have probably tried both green tea and black tea—and noticed that they can be quite different. But what exactly sets them apart (besides their color)?

Each tea has different nutritional purposes, as explained by nutritionist Marissa Meshulam. So, even though green tea and black tea originate from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, they have differences that go beyond taste.

Nutritionist Erica Zellner states that the main difference between black tea and green tea is how the leaves are processed after being harvested. That being said, the teas also have their similarities: both are sources of caffeine and antioxidants, for example. Below, discover the differences between the teas and find out which one is best for your health.

Main Differences Between Green Tea and Black Tea

They Are Processed Using Different Methods

Black tea leaves are oxidized after being harvested, which means they are exposed to air to dry. This step gives black tea a more “earthy” and full-bodied flavor. On the other hand, green tea leaves are immediately heated after being harvested to halt oxidation. That’s why green tea can have a lighter and more herbaceous flavor.

They Are Not Prepared in the Same Way

In addition to being processed differently, green tea and black tea are also prepared for drinking in various ways, as explained by nutritionist Keri Gans. Many people, especially abroad, often prepare black tea with a bit of milk or honey. Green tea, however, is usually consumed without additions, maybe just a drop of honey or a slice of lemon.

Furthermore, some commonly marketed beverages in cafés, such as matcha and chai lattes, are made from green and black tea, with milk and spices mixed in.

They Have Different Levels of Caffeine

Caffeine content is something important for many tea enthusiasts. Therefore, Erica emphasizes that black tea generally contains more caffeine than green tea: specifically, black tea contains around 47 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while green tea contains about 28 milligrams per cup.

Benefits of Green Tea and Black Tea

Green Tea or Black Tea? Learn Their Benefits and Differences. Photo: pexels Green Tea or Black Tea? Learn Their Benefits and Differences. Photo: pexels[/captio]

They Contain Powerful Antioxidants

“Both green tea and black tea contain antioxidant properties that can promote heart health,” says Marissa. “Green tea is specifically rich in EGCG—a natural antioxidant compound—and black tea is rich in theaflavins.”

EGCG is believed to have beneficial effects on blood sugar control and cognitive health, adds the expert. Theaflavins, on the other hand, support cardiovascular and metabolic health.

Their Caffeine Stimulates Cognitive Function

Marissa also mentions that teas can stimulate your mental abilities, which is why you might consume them when working or in need of a focus or energy boost.

Additionally, both teas contain the amino acid L-theanine, which works differently from caffeine found in coffee. L-theanine keeps you relaxed while remaining alert. In contrast, caffeine from coffee can trigger anxiety or stress.

Drinking Tea Keeps You Hydrated

While you have a cup of tea, you’re also consuming water. Therefore, tea is great for hydration. If you need more ways to increase your water intake during the day, consider adding black or green tea to your list of beverages.

So, Which Tea Should You Drink?

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, Keri recommends considering green tea instead of black tea since it contains less caffeine. However, both black and green tea are great beverage options, and both can contribute to your health when consumed in moderation.

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