White, Green, Black, and Oolong Tea: What’s the Difference?

published on July 20, 2020

Did you know that white green oolong and black teas all come from the same plant it's pretty amazing considering how vastly different they are in flavor and color but what really sets these styles of tea apart is the chemistry that happens in the tea leaves during

Production if you line these four types of tea up there's more than just a gradient of color it's a gradient of chemistry too in each process of production chemically builds on the last the most rudimentary of which is white

Tea white tea production involves plucking the early buds of tea leaves and then lightly steaming them which is important to denature and deactivate oxidative enzymes in the leaves without steaming these enzymes can cause

Chemical changes that impact flavor and color next the leaves are dried out which makes tiny little white hairs on the surface stick out hence the name white tea the dried leaves are often kept out of direct sunlight to limit the

Potential breakdown of healthful and flavorful compounds found inside the simplicity of production of these tea leaves gives them a delicate earthy yet fruity flavor but for some reason it's also led to a couple myths that we're

Gonna let steep in some scientific facts it's often claimed that white tea has less caffeine than other teas which is actually false this myth may have started because the plant used to make white tea and Fujian China actually has

Lower quantities of caffeine than other plants but generally speaking the biosynthesis of caffeine happens at a higher rate in younger plans so white tea buds typically have higher levels of caffeine the mature leaves so long as

They're not from Fujian it's also touted that white tea has higher concentrations of healthy polyphenols which are known antioxidants as far as antioxidants are concerned some studies have shown that white tea can contain higher levels than

Green tea but this isn't always the case who long and black teas will always have less due to their production processes but we'll get into that later overall white tea is a distinctly delicious drink that does carry healthy

Antioxidants but because you have to pick it young and protect it from oxidation it's much more difficult to produce green tea on the other hand is the easiest to make which may be why it's the second most consumed beverage

In Asia behind water of course to make green tea the leaves are picked when fully mature some producers choose to wilt delese for up to 24 hours which causes biochemical degradation that changes the overall flavor and

Appearance wilted or not the leaves are then subjected is steaming like with white tea or oven firing to deactivate oxidative enzymes otherwise the end product will not be green the steam believes are then balled up and

Left dry because they're cultivated maturely they're much easier to produce than white tea which adds to why green tea is one of the most heavily studied herbs in the world for its range of health benefits green tea leaves are

Loaded with healthy polyphenols and in particular four compounds from a family known as flavonols these compounds are known as catechins and are thought to potentially improve heart health prevent cancer and even potentially help us lose

Weight so the process of producing green tea really brings out the best the tea leaf has to offer with an emphasis on natural flavor and color now we're gonna skip ahead in the gradient to black tea which is where the production process

Really takes a new direction because this time it's all about oxidation just like green tea mature leaves are picked but this time they're not steamed to halt the oxidative process instead they're mechanically wilted to rupture

Cells exposing them to oxygen to get the process of oxidation going then they're laid out for a period of time to let the oxidation set in enzymes like polyphenol oxidase speed things up quickly clumping the polyphenols inside like our four

Catechins into bigger reddish-brown pigments such as tharu bhajans and thea Flavin's this oxidative process is referred to as fermentation in the tea industry but chemically speaking it isn't at all it's more like aeration the

Process to make along tea rests somewhere between green and black tea production this time around the mature leaves are left out to wilt like green tea but afterwards they're tossed in baskets to bruise the edges of the

Leaves and then they lay them out for a period of time this makes it so the oxidation process is only partial leaving behind both polyphenols and their oxidized counterparts the rubra gins and thea Flavin's to make sure the

Process of oxidation doesn't complete like with black tea the leaves are then steamed or fire roasted just like during the early steps of green tea production who long is the best of both worlds so if you can't decide between black or

Green this one is for you tea has found a place in the heart of every culture around the world in the States were mostly black iced tea drinkers but if you haven't tried these other types make sure you do so there are other

Interesting teas and processes that we left out if you know of any unique ones post them down in the comments also we'd like to thank the Dilma tea company and the Jets nate'd company for letting us use all the awesome tea

Footage in this video thanks for tuning in folks and we'll see you again soon

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