So, how did you do? Did any of the answers surprise you? Let’s chat about some of the similarities and differences when it comes to teas. For starters, White, Green and Black teas all came from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis. The difference in color, flavor, and caffeine levels comes with the time the leaves are harvested.
White Teais harvested earlier than both green and black teas. White tea is hand-picked in early Spring, and as the name indicates, it is a pale color that offers a light & refreshing flavor. The new buds and fledgling leaves are the least processed and are steamed quickly instead of being rolled or oxidized, allowing for high level antioxidant retention. The average 8 oz. cup of tea contains about 15-20 mg of caffeine, which is far less than the 95 mg in a same-sized cup of coffee.
Green Tea:Harvested mid-to-late Spring when the leaves are light green, supple and still slightly curled. Green tea leaves are processed by steaming the tea leaves for several minutes, then rolled and dried. The leaves are heated quickly after harvest to prevent oxidation. Green teas contain the same healthy antioxidants as white tea, just in slightly lower levels due to the additional processing.
Color – light green
Flavor – vegetal, grassy and floral
Caffeine – 20-30 mg of caffeine
Black Tea:Harvested mid-to-late Summer, picking the youngest leaves at time of harvest. Black teas leaves are processed not by steaming, but by rolling, fermenting and then drying. The fermentation process creates essential oils, which give black tea its characteristic aroma and flavor.
Black tea can retain flavor for several years
Color – brown in color due to the oxidation of the leaves
Flavor – bold and fragrant
Caffeine – 45-50 mg of caffeine
Herbal Tisane (Tea): Technically not a tea because it is not made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal Tea is made from a blend of herbs, leaves, fruit, bark, roots, seeds, or flowers harvested at a variety of times.
With the variety of teas available in both hot and cold forms, you are sure to find your idea of a perfect, delicious Cup of Tea!
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