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Green Vs White Tea - The Ultimate Debate

Updated on December 17, 2019
Zuzanna Szafranska profile image

Although Tea Connoisseur may not be an actual expertise or profession - Zuzanna considers herself one.


Both of these teas actually come from the same plant; the only distinction is that white tea is essentially the unprocessed version of green tea. So let's break down the discrepancies and which is overall superior.


Firstly let's discuss the colour, which may seem pointless, but it's critical to some. The leaves are a very similar colour, with the green tea being greener and white tea being lighter. Once brewed despite the names, both teas are surprisingly yellow in colour, despite the names white and green tea, but with the white tea being again lighter in colour.


Next is probably the most crucial determinant in choosing which one you would pick to drink, how it tastes. Both are essentially quite bitter; however, the bitterness in the white tea is milder, and it has a tinge of sweetness to it that's all there is to it.

Because it's a herbal tea, I would not recommend it with sugar and definitely not with milk. However, with sugar it tastes good, especially white tea. At the end of the day, it's your choice. Whatever's your cup of tea.

Health Benefits

For all those health maniacs out there, such as myself, this might prove to be more important than taste. So due to the fact that white tea is less processed/unprocessed, it has a much higher quantity of antioxidants. 'Antioxidants' is a very broad term, and scientist aren't sure of their primary purpose - what they actually do. But from what we kind of know is that they protect cells from damage, i.e. prevent cancer and other diseases.
White tea has the same type of antioxidants as green tea - catechins.

Furthermore, white tea has a much lower caffeine content - up to 20mg per cup whereas green tea can have up to 30mg per cup.


And finally, we have the price. And oh, boy, white tea is very expensive. Well, it's known as The Emperor's Tea for a good reason, as Chinese emperors would have these tea leaves freshly plucked and brewed. The silver needle white tea is the most expensive as it's said to be the finest.
The reason for white tea being so expensive is that it needs to be harvested by hand from tiny tea leaves, which is a very tedious and lengthy process, not to mention costly.

Green tea is, well, cheap, that's the only way to put it, and can be bought almost anywhere, unlike white tea.

Teabags or Loose Leaf

Personally, I tend to stay away from tea bags as they may have parts of plastic and be overall toxic. So better safe than sorry.

So loose leaf tea is the best option, you can brew tea with or without a steeper. A steeper, however, makes the tea more pleasant to drink.

When brewing white tea, you may need to add an extra teaspoon as from personal experience a normal amount tastes rather 'dull'.

Due to tea still having a moderate amount of caffeine, most people don't recommend drinking more than 3 cups a day.

It is recommended not to steep tea for more than 5 minutes, due to posing some negative side effects to health.

Steeper For Loose Leaf Tea

Green Tea Pros and Cons

+Still boasts a large number of antioxidants

+Much cheaper than white tea

+A little goes a long way

-Much less antioxidants than white tea

White Tea Pros and Cons

+Sweeter taste


+More antioxidants than green tea

-Very expensive

-May need to add more for taste

Recommended White Tea

VAHDAM, Imperial White Tea Leaves from Himalayas (25 Cups/1.76oz) High Elevation Grown Loose Leaf Tea - Vacuum Sealed Pack
VAHDAM, Imperial White Tea Leaves from Himalayas (25 Cups/1.76oz) High Elevation Grown Loose Leaf Tea - Vacuum Sealed Pack
This is the brand of white tea I drink on a daily basis - high quality for a good price. This brand also sells numerous other types of teas, including green tea, which I also like to enjoy.


In conclusion, I definitely prefer white tea due to its sweetness, lower caffeine content and higher amount of antioxidants. However, when on a budget I would choose green tea and still enjoy it. So if you don't want to spend lots and lots of money of tea, just go with green tea - it's still a very good and healthy choice.

What's Your Cuppa Tea?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Zuzanna Weronika Szafranska


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