Tea And Health Benefits Of Black, Green, Oolong, Yellow And White Tea

Tea plant
Tea plant | Source

About Tea


Tea is a beverage having a sweet smell. It is mostly drunk hot especially in the Asian countries and next to water is the most consumed beverage in the world.

Tea gives the body the much needed stimulus and energy to shrug off the early morning lethargy. The caffeine in tea provides this.

In India as well as many other countries including the Middle East and UK, tea is mainly drunk hot. In the US and Canada the majority prefer it cold as iced tea.

Tea is the national drink of UK especially England. In Burma a pickle of tea leaves, known as laphet, is also made which is a national delicacy.


About The Tea Plant - Camellia sinensis

Tea has its origin in India and China.

Camellia sinensis plant, amongst the Camellia genus of plants, has been bred selectively over hundreds of years to produce the finest qualities of teas.

Two major tea varieties - the small leaved, Camellia sinensis var. sinensis is used to produce Chinese tea and the Indian teas, the Darjeeling and Nilgiri teas while the larger leaved, Camellia sinensis var. assamica is used to produce Assam tea.

In some parts of Japan, Camellia sasanqua, is used to produce tea.

Many other species of Camellia can produce a beverage similar to tea.

Green tea, black tea, in fact, all different varieties of teas except the herbal teas are made from the leaves of the plant, Camellia sinensis.

In the wild state, the tea plant grows to a tree of height ranging from 30-50 feet but when it is cultivated for commercial use in tea plantations, it is maintained at about waist height or about 3 feet. This is done by constantly pruning the tea plant. Pruning ensures that new shoots with leaves keep coming out as well as making it easier to pick the leaves.

Tea plants need a warm climate to survive though they can be grown at altitudes up to 7000 feet. Tea plants at higher altitudes offer the best teas in terms of a richer, smoother flavor as the leaves mature slower.

A mature tea plant is productive for about 100 years though it takes anywhere between 3 - 5 years for it to mature. When leaves are picked, the bud and 2 leaves at the tip of the young shoot are picked. Tea leaves are mostly picked by hand.

Though growing conditions have a bearing on the production of different types of leaves, it is the processing method that affects the ultimate tea quality and characteristics.


A tree plantation
A tree plantation | Source

Effect Of Adding Milk And Lemon To Tea

Adding milk to tea has shown to bind the milk protein casein to catechins, especially EGCG in tea and block the beneficial effects of tea in heart disease and cancer. However, this binding has a protective effect in that the binding with tannin in tea renders tannin harmless.

Soy milk has no casein and thus has none of this binding effect.

Lemon juice is usually added to green or black tea before drinking. It helps to lower the intestinal pH which helps in increasing the absorption of more catechins.


Nutrients In Tea

Tea contains catechins which are antioxidants. White, yellow and green tea contain the highest concentration of catechins as they are much less oxidised or fermented as compared to oolong and black tea.
A variety of polyphenols and tannin are also found in tea. Also present are theamine, an amino acid, the stimulant caffeine, the bitter alkaloid theobromine and theophylline, a bronchodilator drug which relieves asthmatic symptoms.


Teas Of Different Stages Of Fermentation

from left, green, yellow, oolong, black
from left, green, yellow, oolong, black | Source

Types Or Varieties Of Teas


The basic method to process the different varieties of tea is the same except for some variations.
The higher the oxidation or fermentation, the lower the levels of polyphenols and higher the caffeine levels.
AND
The lower the fermentation or oxidation, the higher the levels of polyphenols and lower the caffeine levels .

The major types of tea are :

  • Green Tea.
  • Black Tea.
  • oolong Tea.
  • White Tea.
  • Yellow Tea.
  • Post Fermented Tea.

Green Tea Leaves

Source

Green Tea

Source

Green Tea


It is believed to have originated in China about 4000 years ago.

Green tea has undergone the least processing and hence fermentation. Because of this it has the highest levels of the polyphenolic antioxidants amongst all the varieties of teas. It is especially high in the catechin polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3- gallate. It is this polyphenol that is the most beneficial in offering the multiple health benefits of green tea.

After the leaves are harvested, they are steamed for a very short time just enough to make them soft and pliable and before they change color. Leaves are then rolled and dried with hot air or are dried in hot pans till they are crisp. The final product is a greenish yellow tea.

Green tea has an astringent flavor and contains the least amount of caffeine.

Some examples of green tea are: Matcha, Sencha, Gyokuro, Dragonwell and Gunpowder.


Health Benefits Of Green Tea

Of all the tea varieties, the most known and used for its various health benefits, is the green tea. It is used in a big way for its weight reducing properties.The health benefits are attributed to the polyphenolic antioxidants in this tea especially the catechin polyphenol - EGCG, of which it has the highest concentration.

Other health benefits include but are not restricted to just the following, are:

  • Green tea helps to reduce weight by keeping the metabolism raised for a long time thus burning calories and fat. It especially targets the abdominal fat.
  • The catechins in green tea slow down the action of the lipase enzyme which results in slower conversion of calories into fats.
  • Due to its LDL cholesterol reducing, HDL cholesterol increasing and triglyceride reducing action and blood thinning property it helps in preventing atherosclerosis as well as reducing blood pressure, risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • Green tea kills cancer cells by various mechanisms and ways and stops their further growth. Cancers of the stomach, bladder, prostrate, pancreas, lungs, esophagus, ovary, colorectal, breast etc are those whose growth is arrested and killed.
  • It protects against Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and age related cognitive decline.
  • Green tea improves the body's immunity status and increases endurance.
  • It reduces inflammations in arthritis, increases bone density, prevents dental caries, colds and flu.
  • The low caffeine content of green tea suppresses the appetite.
  • Green tea protects the liver from toxins and inflammations of viral hepatitis.
  • Traditionally it has been used to treat indigestion, headaches and depression.
  • Green tea benefits the kidneys, is a diuretic and aids in eliminating excess fluids from the body.

Note

It has been found in animal studies that the consumption of black pepper while drinking green tea increases the amount of EGCG absorbed. Piperine in black pepper causes this increased absorption.
Therefore, if green tea is consumed with meals do not forget to add some black pepper to your favorite foods.

About Matcha Green Tea Powder

Matcha green tea is powdered green tea. The process of making this tea is totally different starting right from the type of leaves to be picked to the processing and finishing the final product.

Miss Olive has written an exceptionally wonderful hub on Matcha green tea which you can read at the link below.

Black Tea Leaves

Source

Black Tea

Source

Black Tea


The harvested leaves are spread and air dried till they are soft, pliable and lose about a third of their moisture. They are then rolled to break the leaf cells which releases enzymes needed for fermentation.
The leaves are spread out once more but under temperature and humidity controlled conditions to assist fermentation. This results in the tea leaves attaining a dark copper color.
The leaves are then hot air dried to produce the distinctive colored, brownish black tea which is the regular tea available.

Some examples of black teas are : Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Ceylon, Jin Junmei and Jiu Qu Hong mei.


Health Benefits Of White, Yellow, Oolong And Black Tea


In case you are wondering why I have given the benefits of all the other teas together, let me tell you that all the different types of teas give the same benefits in varying degrees. This is because of the different concentrations of polyphenols, the main active principles in all teas.The more a tea is oxidised or fermented the more polyphenols it loses. However, higher fermentation leads to a corresponding increase in caffeine concentrations.

Green tea has been taken as an example to enumerate the various health benefits accruing due to the intake of tea as these benefits of green tea have been the most studied. White and yellow teas are not very popular though their benefits are being recognised in the west now. The production of these teas is very less.

Oolong tea benefits fall somewhere in between the benefits of green and black teas.

Oolong Tea Leaves

Source

Oolong Tea


Fermentation level of this tea lies somewhere between the green and black types of teas. It is a greenish brown tea whose color, flavor and aroma also lies between the green and black varieties of teas.

Oolong tea leaves are picked on a sunny day. The bud and lower 3 leaves are picked. They are exposed to the sun for sometime. Then they are taken indoors to dry and complete the fermentation process.When the leaves are 30% red and 70% green the leaves are rubbed to bring out the aroma and flavor. They are dried in hot woks till they are crisp.

Some examples of oolong tea are : Golden cassia, Red robe, Dong Ding oolong, Darjeeling oolong and Oriental beauty.


Yellow Tea Leaves

Source

Yellow Tea



Processing of this tea is different as instead of drying the leaves immediately, they are stacked and covered. Gentle heat is given in humidity controlled conditions. Due to the longer drying period, the leaves take on a light yellow color and do not contain the grass like taste of green tea.


Yellow tea is not produced much and is the least known of all the tea varieties. However, it retains all the health benefits of green tea but the taste is more sweet and subtle.


Some examples of yellow tea are : Junshan YinZhen and Huoshan Huangya.


White Tea Leaves

Source

White Tea


Tea leaves selected for making white tea are the immature leaves of just opened buds which have a good amount of very fine hair. Such leaves produce the best quality of white tea. The method to produce white tea is the simplest of all the teas.

The tea leaves in this variety have undergone the least amount of oxidation. The oxidative process is stopped by dry baking the leaves in an controlled environment. It is produced in very less quantity and is more expensive than the other teas. Not very well known outside China, this tea is gaining recognition in the west now.

Some examples of white tea are : Silver needle, Silver tips, Darjeeling white tea and White monkey paw.


Compressed Post Fermented Tea

Source

Post Fermented Tea

Source

Post Fermented Tea



It is a black tea that undergoes a second natural oxidation and fermentation in the presence of air, humidity and natural microflora. It may be allowed to age from several months to many years to improve its flavor.

It is mellower and sweeter in taste and leaves a more pleasant aftertaste than black tea. It is also known as dark tea and even black tea.

In China, post fermented tea is known as black tea, which is not to be confused with the black tea as is known in the west. Black tea as is known in the West, is known in China as Red tea.

It is sold in compressed form in various shapes like bricks, bowls, discs etc.

Some examples of post fermented teas are : puerh, Hunan Biancha and Sichuan Zhang Cha.


Temperature, Steep Times, No Of Infusions For Different Teas

(click column header to sort results)
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
 
Type
Water Temp in degees Centigrade
Steep Time
Infusions
 
 
 
 
White Tea
65-70
1-2 min
3
 
 
 
 
Yellow Tea
70 -75
1-2 min
3
 
 
 
 
Green Tea
75 - 80
1-2 min
4 to 6
 
 
 
 
Oolong Tea
80 -85
2-3 min
4 to 6
 
 
 
 
Black Tea
99
2-3 min
2 to 3
 
 
 
 
Post Fermented Tea
99 -100
Limitless
Several
 
 
 
 
Herbal Tea
99
3 to 6
Varied
 
 
 
 
source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

How To Brew Different Types Of Chinese Teas In Various Teaware - An Excellent Video

Green Tea Smoothie

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

More by this Author


Comments 39 comments

missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas

Rajan, this is excellent. What a wonderful hub! I do want to thank you for including a reference to my matcha hub. I am glad to know about the pepper tip and how it can boost absorption. I'll be sure to pass the info along.

Thanks again - voted up and sharing!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

This is really interesting. I didn’t know about catechins, nor did I know why green tea is better for us. My favourite is jasmine green tea.

Voted up, thanks for sharing.


kelleyward 4 years ago

Very well written and researched article voted up and Shared on Twitter. I just wrote one on how tea and coffee may help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Tea is very beneficial.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Marisa, I had to include your matcha hub link in this hub. It is an awesome piece of work. Thanks for being supportive as usual and thanks for passing on the info. The pepper one was new to me too.

I really value and appreciate your comments.

Thanks for the vote and sharing.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

Wonderful article on my favorite drink. I've been a tea drinker for years, before it was popular or the health benefits known here in America. I drink green tea and ginseng everyday.

I want to try Matcha but am having trouble finding it here locally.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Beautiful hub! I have to bookmark! I often drink tea all day long. I once heard that if you drink more than two cups of tea, that you should add milk because it does something to the bladder. I've never really added milk because I like the taste as is. Have you ever heard that?


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Melovy. I am so glad that this hub has been informational in more ways than one. I appreciate your comments and inputs. Thank you.

@ kelleyward. I am grateful for all the appreciative comments, the vote and sharing. I need to read your hub on tea and coffee. Thanks for your visit.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Pamela. All green teas but more so matcha green tea, are extremely healthy. It's wonderful to see that you are already drinking green tea and ginseng - 2 of the best drinks. I hope you do get to try matcha however.

@ cclitgirl. I've really not heard about the milk, tea and bladder connection. I personally feel it is best to drink tea without milk to benefit fully.

Thanks for your observations, and comments. And of course reading and finding it worth of a bookmark.

Thanks for stopping by.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I love tea but I did not know all these facts. Thanks for sharing.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Vinaya, thanks for the read and I'm happy to note it was informational. Glad to see you again.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

A big tea lover, myself. Thank you for enlightening me, Rajan.


urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

Very well researched hub. I am sharing this hub with all the tea lovers. Useful, informative and voted up! Good Night!( It`s night there, right?.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Ruchira, thanks for the nice words that you put in. i appreciate your visit.

@ Urmila, thank you for sharing and appreciating. Yes its almost midnight now. I'm signing off for now but hope you have a wonderful day.


sidds123450 profile image

sidds123450 4 years ago

Very well researched and detailed hub.., Thanks for the info.!!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Great overview. I like your summary table at the end. Voting this Up and Useful.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Excellent work covering the different types of teas and explaining how they come to our cups in the morning. I like tea, I do not drink coffee.


KStro18 profile image

KStro18 4 years ago from PA

Great hub. These are good things to know. I have a cup of green tea every morning!


KimberlyLake profile image

KimberlyLake 4 years ago from California

Excellent! I love gren and black teas. Thorough research. Voted up awesome and shared.


KimberlyLake profile image

KimberlyLake 4 years ago from California

Excellent! I love gren and black teas. Thorough research. Voted up awesome and shared.


pinappu profile image

pinappu 4 years ago from India

Very well researched article. I am a daily drinker of tree. It is the national drink in India. Your article will get very good traffic from google I think, best of luck.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ sidds. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ alocsin. Wonderful to have you her and thanks for the vote up.

@ Christy. Thanks for your appreciative words. A morning cup of tea is so welcome.

@ KStro18. You start off the day with a healthy drink. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

@ kimberly. Tea is a good way to start off a day.

Thanks so much for being here. Thanks for the vote and appreciation.

@ pinappu. I am having my morning cup of tea as I am replying to the comments. All the hubbers here are tea lovers as I see. Tea is a universal drink. Thanks for reading and leaving your insight.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Great information, Rajan! I try to drink green tea often. Voted up, up and away!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Dex. Great to know you too are a green tea lover. It's always a pleasure to have you around. Thank you.


learner365 profile image

learner365 4 years ago

This is a very informative Hub about tea.I never knew about the white and yellow tea.But thanks to the information provided by you now i am well aware about tea of many kinds and its health benefits.

Thank you for sharing.My vote up and interesting.Enjoyed reading it :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi learner. Thanks for your input and I'm glad you found this informational and interesting. Thanks for reading and voting.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

This was an outstanding hub. I have always avoided green tea because I don't drink caffeine, but now I think I'll give it a try because of the many health benefits. Voted up, useful and interesting. Thanks for sharing this information.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Thanks. This is full of useful information. I like the smell of Earl Grey tea and drink it once in a while. I hope it has good benefits. :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Beautifully informative! I love tea...and coffee:) lol


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ TIMETRAVELER. Green tea is definitely healthy and the caffeine content is quite low if that's your concern. Happy to note that you are thinking of giving it a shot.Thanks for stopping by to read and leaving your appreciation.

@ Lady_E. Earl Grey has all the benefits of black tea. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Real Housewife. Thanks for stopping by.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Extremely informative hub. I enjoy at least one cup of green tea, or some of the others you listed every day. I never used milk but I didn't know that would block the nutrients. I enjoyed your hub very much.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Pamela, green tea or any of the other lighter varieties of tea are best consumed without milk to derive the full benefits. If need be one can go for soy milk as an additive. It will not bind the casein.

Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your inputs.

Thank you.


AnnaCia profile image

AnnaCia 4 years ago

Great information written in such an elegance way. Love the photos. I love tea. From the ones you have mentioned I have had green tea. I have had tea with milk and also with lemon. Very good and soothing. Thanks for the hub. I am sharing it with other hubbers if you don't mind. Voted up


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

AnnaCia, I'm glad to learn you too are a tea lover. BTW, try out some ginger tea. It works wonders for a sore throat, cough and cold. I certainly don't mind your sharing this hub. I should be thankful to you for this fine gesture as well as for stopping by to read and leave your observations.

Thanks.


beingwell profile image

beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

I love drinking tea. I prefer green over black, too.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

beingwell, glad to have your input. Green tea is the healthiest.

Thanks for reading.


timtalkstech profile image

timtalkstech 3 years ago

Excellent hub! I didn't know these types of teas had such a wide range of benefits.

Voted up!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for stopping by Tim. Appreciate the comments.


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

Wow, this is a great hub. I love tea and drink it all day long. I enjoy most of these teas, except I have never even heard of yellow tea. White tea is delicious. Thank you for this well-written and informative hub. Voted up and useful.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Gail. Glad you enjoyed reading.

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