Black Tea vs. Green Tea
Read on if you are wondering which tea to go with, or if there is really any difference between black tea and green tea at all.
Serial tea drinker and new tea drinkers might be wondering what the difference is between black tea and green tea. Both are popular choices in the tea aisle and on restaurant menus. We are here to help you choose which one is best as both instant tea choices have different health properties and alleged health benefits.
How the Teas Are Processed
Black tea and green tea are processed completely differently. The process and the level of oxidation they receive during processing are two of the main differences between the two teas.
Black tea is allowed to harvest for a longer period of time and becomes fully oxidized. The leaves turn completely brown and black during the oxidation process so that all the green comes out of it.
Green tea leaves, on the other hand, experience less oxidation. This just means that they are exposed to oxygen for a shorter period of time. The oxidation process in green tea is halted so that tea leaves stay a nice healthy green color.
The Leaves are Grown in Different Places
Black tea and green tea leaves are grown in very different places. Some of the regions across Asia and India overlap though. Black tea primarily comes from China and India. This includes the very popular varieties of Assam, Darjeeling, and Golden Yunnan.
The black tea leaves are often named after regions found in these countries. Nepal and Vietnam also produce black teas. They are often exported in smaller amounts though than in the other countries in Asia.
Green tea is also grown in China, but most of the exports come from Japan. Black tea and green tea are able to be grown in a variety of different places though as long as there is the proper climate.
The reason the leaves are often grown in these specialty regions is largely due to cultural and historical factors.
Black tea and green tea actually come from the same plant, which few people know. The varieties are different though despite them coming from the same plants. Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis which mostly comes from China and other Asian countries in the same region.
Black tea comes from the variety Camellia sinensis which mostly comes from India rather than the Eastern regions of Asia. These special varieties are then harvested and made in different ways.
The Ways They are Brewed
Many people just allow water to brew in the kettle or on the stovetop and then pour it onto whatever tea they might be making. Different color tea leaves should be given different water temperatures though.
Black tea should always have boiling water, whole green is given a less temperature of 175 degrees. Some green teas like Gyokuro and Kabusecha are brewed at 140 degrees only. Some people claim that green tea is bitter. It’s usually because they used too hot of water when pouring it over the tea.
Black tea is steeped for around 3 to 5 minutes depending on the strength the drinker wants. Green is usually only steeped for around 1 to 2 minutes.
The Look and Taste
The main difference people want to know about usually is the taste. Black tea tends to be richer and stronger than green tea. Black tea is also darker in color and some leaves might have notes of malt, honey, spice, or even fruit.
If you want a more robust black tea, try going with an Indian variety. Chinese black teas are also nice, but they tend to be softer and full-bodied.
You will find that green tea is much lighter and more delicate than black tea. They also have notes that are more vegetal and nuttier. Japanese green teas are darker and have an umami flavor while Chinese green teas are mellower.
Black Tea Vs Green Tea Similarities
While the two different kinds of teas have more differences, they do have a few things in common. Both teas have a large number of varieties between themselves. Meaning that you can find different flavors and specialties within the teas.
If you are looking for a new kind of tea to drink, you can always try different specialties within the two until you find something you enjoy. Black tea is great for a day when you still need some caffeine but do not want to drink a cup of coffee.
Green tea is a perfect hot drink for says where you want a light and mellow flavor without so much caffeine. If you want to try more tea varieties, black tea and green tea are not the only ones even though they might be the most popular.
You could always try a cup of purple tea, oolong tea, or white tea. These teas also have their own flavor profiles and are steeped at different temperatures.