Black Tea vs Green Tea – Which is better for your health?
Both black tea and green tea are processed differently; therefore they should be consumed accordingly. Find out which is the healthiest: black tea or green tea?
There is nothing better than a cup of tea, whether it is consumed first thing in the morning or early evening, it is a constant agent of calm. Step into any supermarket and you will find aisles stacked with a variety of teas; green tea, black tea, oolong and even white tea, to name a few. Each of these tea types are also available in a variety of flavors, packaging size and sold by several different brands.
Having undergone different stages of oxidation or fermentation, teas come with different properties and health benefits. Sometimes, this kind of variety can make it hard for the consumer to choose an appropriate type of tea! The most common query, and a beginner’s dilemma, is to do with two particular types, namely black tea (the most oxidized type) and green tea (which is not at all oxidized).
Often people wonder if one is better than the other ( i.e., if Green tea is healthier than Black Tea ) ?
What Is Black Tea?
Black tea is a type of tea, which undergoes the highest level of oxidation giving it a darker appearance as compared to other tea leaves. Due to the level of oxidation it goes through, black tea consists of unique antioxidants formed up till that point called Theaflavins.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is a type of tea, which does not undergo any oxidation; hence its green appearance. Due to the lack of oxidation in its production process, green tea consists of the highest level of antioxidants. Green tea, unlike black tea, contains an antioxidant known as ECGC (Epigallocatechin Gallate) with a lot of benefits to its credit. Green tea is of different types.
To know more about the types of green tea, read: Varieties Of Green Tea
Also, there are more types of teas such as white tea, yellow tea, chamomile tea, etc.
Black Tea Vs Green Tea: In Depth Comparison
Let’s go through our in depth comprehensive discussion on black tea vs green tea.
Though both black and green teas have different appearances, they are derived from the same plant.
1.1 Green Tea
Green tea is derived from the plant named Camellia Sinensis. Green tea is available in its pure form and is not at all oxidized.
1.2 Black Tea
Like green tea, black tea is also derived from the same plant, namely Camellia Sinensis. Black tea has the highest level of oxidation. One of the most common differences between the two is that black tea is oxidized (or fermented), whereas green tea is not at all oxidized.
Another major difference between black tea and green tea is the level of antioxidants present in both.
The process of oxidation robs the tea leaves of its naturally occurring antioxidants. The more oxidation the tea leaves go through, the lesser its levels of antioxidants.
2.1 Green Tea
As we saw above, green tea is not at all oxidized, making it high in antioxidants. In fact, most of the benefits credited to green tea are said to be derived from its high concentration of antioxidants present in green tea.
2.2 Black Tea
Black tea has the highest level of oxidation compared to any other tea. This is why black tea is far lower in antioxidants as compared to green tea.
3. Caffeine Content
Black tea has significantly higher levels of caffeine as compared to green tea. The caffeine content in black coffee is 47.4 mg/230 ml, whereas the caffeine content present in green tea is 35 mg/230 ml. (A typical cup size as per US standards can hold up to 230 ml of liquid; this would be your standard tea-cup size)
3.1 Green Tea
As mentioned earlier, green tea has many health benefits. But those who consume green tea regularly, often wonder about the caffeine content in green tea.
On an average, there is 35 mg of caffeine in one serving of green tea which is about 230 ml as per the size of a typical cup of US standards. But, this reading may vary for different green teas. The caffeine in green tea forms naturally and its amount completely depends on the type of tea plant, growing conditions of the tea plant and how it was processed and brewed.
The average amount of caffeine in green tea ranges from 30 mg to 50 mg. You must know that tea which is made from young leaves has more caffeine in them as compared to the one that was made with old leaves. The tea bags also have more caffeine as compared to tea leaves. But green tea which is in powder form has the most caffeine in them.
While brewing a cup of green tea for yourself, remember that the longer you brew your tea, more caffeine will enter your drink.
White tea vs Green tea: Which one to include in your beverage list?
3.2 Black Tea
You all will agree with the fact that black tea is the most common type of tea which is consumed by every other person. Like green tea, the taste of black tea also depends on its growing conditions and how it was processed.
The average amount of caffeine in black tea ranges from 40 mg to 75 mg per serving. But the caffeine in black tea works like a stimulant as it increases concentration and alertness.
Even though the caffeine content in black tea is more, but, it has tannins which is an antioxidant and is responsible for slower absorption of caffeine in the body. Just like green tea, black tea made from young leaves has higher caffeine content than the one made from old leaves.
4. Pros and Cons
In this discussion let now have a deeper look on the pros and cons each of this tea offers us.
4.1 Green Tea
Here’s a list of health benefits of consuming green tea.
- Green tea has essential nutrients that improve the health of a person.
- Caffeine in green tea improves brain function, makes you smarter and more alert.
- Green tea boosts the metabolic rate and is responsible for burning fat from the body and as a result, physical performance is improved.
- As mentioned earlier, green tea has powerful antioxidants which reduce the risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.
- Green tea has long term benefits as it protects your brain in old age and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
- Green tea kills any sort of bacteria in the body, hence, reducing the risk of infections and improving dental health.
- Green tea helps in weight loss and reduces the risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Green tea has a few side effects. Due to its caffeine content, it might cause insomnia, nausea, anxiety, irritability or upset your stomach, if consumed regularly.
4.2 Black Tea
Here’s a list of health benefits of consuming black tea.
- Black tea has antioxidants which offer a lot of health benefits.
- Black tea has flavonoids, which keeps your heart healthy.
- Black tea may reduce the level of bad cholesterol from your body.
- Black tea also controls the blood pressure and keeps it at a normal level.
- Black tea increases your alertness.
- Black tea is easy to make and it reduces the levels of blood in sugar, reduces the risk of cancer and increases concentration.
If black tea is consumed moderately, it will not cause any harm to your body. But if it is highly consumed, then there might be some risks such as:
- Ringing in the ears
- Nervousness and extreme restlessness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased urination
- Fast breathing
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have answered an interesting question asked by our reader on the never ending discussion topic which is black tea vs green tea.
1. Which is healthier: black tea or green tea?
There is no way to effectively point out a healthier option. In order words, it depends on your needs, for both green tea and black tea differ in their content, and both have side effects when consumed in excess.
2. Is black tea good for losing weight?
Being high in caffeine content makes it an ideal option for weight loss. More caffeine intake makes you burn more as caffeine boosts the body’s energy levels. In one study it’s shown that the 3 cups of daily intake of black tea helped to reduce visceral fat.
3. Does black tea taste similar to green tea?
Black tea is much stronger in taste than green tea. Black is a very oxidized tea with a malty flavor with the side notes of light beer without the acidity.
Black Tea Vs Green Tea – Verdict
Both black and green tea are fine when consumed in regulated quantities, and cater to different needs. However, if you are looking for something with more health benefits then the higher concentration of antioxidants certainly gives green tea an upper hand. Make the right choice, as per your needs!