What's the difference between black tea and green tea?
Drinking tea is becoming more and more popular. In the past you could only choose from a few flavors of tea, the options now seem endless. Both black tea and green tea are mentioned by the Dutch Nutrition Centrein the Wheel of Five as a healthy drink. But what is the difference between black tea and green tea?
Similarities Between Black Tea and Green Tea
Many tea drinkers may not realise that black tea and green tea share a major similarity. They are both harvested from the same plant, namely the tea plant.
Black and green tea: more than just a different color
If they both come from the tea plant, shouldn't they be seen as the same? Well, not quite. The difference between black tea and green tea lies in the preparation and oxidation phase. During this process, different method gives the tea leaves unique color and flavor.
To produce black tea, the whole leaves are cut for maximum freshness and allowed to wither. Withering naturally reduces the amount of water in the leaves, then they are set aside to dry and oxidize in a process called fermentation. The chemical composition of the tea leaves changes through fermentation: the longer the leaves left to oxidize, the darker the leaves will become. A long oxidation process gives black tea its distinct, bold flavor.
Although the green tea production process starts in the same way as the black tea, the duration of the fermentation is different, yielding drastically different results. Green tea leaves are sometimes slightly withered, then pan-fried, oven-dried, or steamed to prevent oxidation. Since the leaves do not undergo fermentation, they retain their green color and produce a lighter, grassier flavor.
We hope you now know a little more about the differences between black tea and green tea. We will explain the difference in the different types of black tea and green tea another time. Stay tuned!