Green Tea vs. White Tea: A battle for Camellia sinensis supremacy!
Posted by Susan Lutfallah on June 6, 2009
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about green tea and its ability to improve your overall health by being loaded with a high concentration of health-promoting antioxidants. Moreover, the popularity of green tea seems to be growing rapidly – more and more health-conscious people are making the enjoyment of green tea a part of their daily routine. After reviewing the facts, it’s easy to understand why – green tea contains a relatively high concentration of antioxidants, has a relatively low caffeine content, and unlike most ‘health food’ items, it actually tastes good. As a result, it would seem that green tea is the undisputed champion of healthy beverages.
However, there is another type of tea on the horizon that is making its green comrade a little bit nervous about keeping its title. White tea, which originates in the Chinese province of Fujian, is rapidly gaining a reputation as the healthiest brew, and is even claiming to surpass its green counterpart in antioxidant content!
When discussing white tea vs green tea, it is important to realize that they both come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Generally, 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 – that is, white tea leaves are picked before they open fully, when the buds are still covered in fine, white hairs. Of course, that is why it’s called “white” tea. However, both green tea and white tea undergo very little processing – while green tea is partly fermented, white tea is not fermented at all. On the other hand, black tea is fully fermented. Because they are so gently treated, both white tea and green tea retain a sizable content of beneficial antioxidants – however, as we’ll see in the Green Tea vs. White Tea Antioxidants and Health Benefits section, they greatly differ in the actual amount of antioxidants they contain.