What is the difference between black tea, green tea and white tea?
I am a long time tea drinker but am curious about the differences between black, green and white tea as they all look brown when I brew them. Do they come from different plants or are they from different parts or stages of growth of the tea leaf?
The latter, the differences depending on when the plant was harvested, and how it was processed. White tea is from the buds, and is not oxidized before curing. Green tea is from the leaf, and also not oxidized before curing. Black tea, likewise from the leaf, is oxidized.
You forgot oolong, which is from the leaf and oxidized (though not for as long as black), but there are other processing differences with oolong that I don't remember.
I just wrote a hub about the different levels of fluoride in tea ~ each of these types of tea contain different levels (fluoride is toxic). The type of leaf in addition to where the tea plant is grown affects the level of fluoride in the tea.
It's one more thing to consider in addition to different antioxidant levels and caffeine levels for each of these types.
All tea (non herbal) comes from the same plant, the camellia sinensis plant. The differences are in how it is processed. White tea is the most delicately flavored; black tea has the strongest flavor. White tea is from the youngest tea leaves which are dried in the sun. Green tea comes from leaves that are steamed or pan fired. Oolong tea is created when leaves are briefly fermented, and black tea is leaves which have been fully fermented which gives it a rich color and flavor.
All 6 categories of tea start as the same plant and same leaves. Really the only difference is how much the tea was allowed to oxidize before firing and how it was processed.
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