Thursday, March 17, 2011

❏This vs That ❐: White Tea vs. Green Tea

Welcome to Thursday's

White Tea Vs Green Tea

By now, a lot of people around the world have heard of green tea and its high content of antioxidants. More and more health-conscious people are making the enjoyment of green tea a part of their daily routine. It's easy to understand why - green tea contains antioxidants in high concentrations, it tastes good and it has a low content of caffeine. The popularity of green tea is rapidly growing.

But there is another wave of tea on the horizon, and this time it's white. White tea is tea leaves that are picked before they open fully, when the buds are still covered in fine, white hairs. That, of course, is why it's called "white" tea. When discussing white tea vs green tea, it is important to realize that they both come from the same plant, the tea plant Camellia sinensis. The main difference between the two types of tea is that the white tea leaves are harvested at a younger age than the green tea leaves. They both undergo very little processing. White tea is not fermented at all, while green tea is partly fermented. By contrast, black tea is fully fermented. Because they are so gently treated, white tea and green tea retain their content of beneficial antioxidants.

However, studies have shown that the young, white tea leaves retain antioxidants in higher concentrations than green tea does. Studies have shown that white tea has a concentration of antioxidants that is three times higher than in green tea. Essentially, white tea contains the same concentrations of antioxidants as the young and fresh tea leaf buds that are still attached to the bush. This makes white tea the tea with the highest antioxidant content, which for many is the main reason for drinking white tea. For comparison, one cup of white tea contains approximately twelve (12) times as much antioxidants as fresh orange juice.

For many, the taste of the tea is important, and not everyone is a fan of the often "grassy" aftertaste associated with green tea. White tea has a much gentler and subtler taste, smooth and silky and almost sweet. The appearance of correctly brewed white tea has been described as a pale gold, not unlike a young white wine.

White tea contains less caffeine than green tea, about 15 mg per serving compared to the 20 mg for green tea. If caffeine tends to make you jittery, white tea may be the better choice.

Because white tea is hand plucked from special bushes, during only a few days of early spring, and treated in such a delicate manner, it is much more scarce than other types of tea. That means that it is also more expensive, up to three times as expensive as green tea for the best qualities. On the other hand, less white tea is needed to get a fresh and strong infusion of antioxidants that strengthens the immune system and the body. Only a spoonful of white tea buds is enough to brew about one quart (one liter) of white tea - several times. Without question, drinking green tea daily is an excellent habit which will go a long way towards getting the antioxidants you need in your system. But you can do one better, and get ahead of the masses in making the healthy enjoyment of white tea a part of your daily ritual. The choice is yours.

Summary: White tea and green tea come from the same plant, but white tea is made from very young buds that are hand plucked. White tea contains more antioxidants and less caffeine than green tea. The taste is considerably milder and the appearence paler and more neutral.

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