It doesn’t take more than a few seconds when browsing online or the tea aisle in your local
grocer to realize that we are blessed with a seemingly infinite number of tea varieties to enjoy.
Yet, amidst the Earl Greys, spicy chai’s, aromatic jasmine teas, and countless other specialty teas
and wellness blends… two varieties of tea reign supreme in both history AND popularity. Of
course, we’re talking about green and black tea!
Undoubtedly some of the most popular beverages around the world, both green and black tea
have been adored for centuries for their refreshing taste, steady and manageable caffeine
levels, and plethora of health benefits!
In this helpful green tea vs black tea guide, we’re breaking down every major difference between
these beloved tea types that avid tea drinkers and newbies alike should know.
So, regardless of whether you’re trying to decide which option will be best help you reach your
specific health and fitness goals or simply want to further your tea education, simply keep
reading to discover in the primary difference (and few similarities!) between these two
varieties of tea.
Green Tea Vs Black Tea Similarities
Before we jump head first into discussing the primary differences between green and black tea,
let’s first briefly examine 2 ways in which these two powerhouse beverages are alike!
Please consider the following similarities…
Similarity #1: Origin
Caption: Did you know? To make just 454 grams of tea it takes roughly 2,000 tea leaves! That’s
the equivalent of using all the leaves from 2 fully grown, adult Camellia Sinensis over the course
of an entire harvest season.
Green tea was first steeped thousands of years ago and was highly regarded for its medicinal
properties. Much later, around the late 16th century, black tea was discovered and quickly
became extremely popular not only in China, but in India, England, and eventually the world.
But, don’t let the difference in color or origin dates fool you… these two tea brothers are
definitely from the same plant mother!
You see, contrary to what one may think, green and black tea actually come from the same
plant! Specifically, the plant we have to thank for green and black tea is called Camellia
Sinensis, and it is originally native to South East Asia.
Fun Fact: Camellia Sinensis is also responsible for giving us Oolong Tea and White tea, which
when combined with black and green tea, account for the world’s 4 true teas.
Similarity #2: An Abundance of Antioxidants
Although their chemical compounds differ due to differences in processing (see further down), both green and black tea are super rich in good-for-you antioxidants, which provide a
bounty of amazing health benefits!
In green tea, these antioxidants are referred to as “Catechins”, while in black tea they take a new
form and names due to oxidization (see further down).
More specifically, these teas have in part received their claim to fame as a direct result of
their high concentration of polyphenols, which are micronutrients loaded with antioxidants.
Some of the major benefits of polyphenols include but are not limited to…
●Protection against heart disease
●Helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes
●Helps prevent certain cancers
●Boosts brain health
Fun Fact: Want to enjoy MAXIMUM polyphenol benefits from your tea? If so, be sure to brew
your tea hot from home and avoid store bought ready-made varieties.
Green Tea Vs Black Tea Differences
Now that you have an understanding of the primary ways in which green tea and black tea are alike, let’s briefly discuss the 5 main ways in which they are different…
Difference #1: Processing
Caption: Creating an ideal black tea involves stopping the oxidation process at precisely the
right time, ensuring the tea isn’t too fermented and dried out. Typically, tea masters aim to
preserve around 3% moisture levels in their black tea leaves before stopping fermentation.
Although both green tea and black tea are relatively minimally processed compared to other
beverages such as soda and energy drinks, they do naturally require varying degrees of
processing to take them from leaf to liquid gold.
In fact, it is this difference in processing that is responsible for black and green tea’s difference in
color, taste, aroma, and chemical makeup.
You see, after the black tea leaves are harvested, they are withered and then fermented to
help release liquid. Afterwards, they are laid out to oxidize, which results in their dark
color and earthy taste.
It is during this oxidation that the catechins found in black tea leaves are transformed in a
chemical reaction, resulting in two new polyphenols, referred to as “thearubigins” and
Alternatively, green tea leaves are processed in a manner to actually prevent oxidation,
which in turn helps preserve their natural green color and taste. Instead, green tea leaves are
immediately heated after being harvested in order to lock in their delicate flavor profile