There are considerable health benefits associated with regular drinking of green tea. High in antioxidants, it’s been proven to help treat, fight, and prevent a wide variety of known ailments, including arthritis, thrombosis, high cholesterol, premature aging, and even cancer. However, in recent years, we’ve heard similarly great things about the wonders of white tea as well. So which one is better than the other, and which one will better meet your personal needs? Let’s examine how white tea and green tea stack up against each other and find out.
As far as each of the teas’ origins, they both come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The differences between the two come into play concerning when they are harvested and how they are each processed. White tea consists of very young buds and leaves, while the leaves found in green tea are mature. Both types of tea undergo a minimum of processing, but white tea is fast-dried and not fermented, while green tea is either roasted or partially fermented, although not to the degree that other teas are (like oolong and black tea). The low level of processing involved in creating both teas makes it possible for both of them to retain their natural health benefits to such a high degree.
When it comes to the antioxidant level in each of the teas, studies have shown that white tea typically contains a much higher concentration than green tea – up to three times higher. That is because although green tea undergoes minimal processing, white tea goes through almost none, allowing it to retain such high levels of antioxidants. For most white tea enthusiasts, the higher level of antioxidants is usually the main reason for choosing it.
When it comes to caffeine levels, white tea generally contains a slightly lower amount than green tea because it is harvested while still relatively young. For those watching their caffeine intake or who have trouble with problems such as insomnia, white tea may be a better choice for this reason. However, it is also important to note that caffeine levels will further vary depending on the specific variety of tea in question.
Both green and white teas are also notable for their natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. They’ve been known to help fight and alleviate the symptoms of many bacteria or virus-related ailments, including the common cold, the flu, and even some of the symptoms associated with HIV and AIDS. However, white tea is generally considered superior when it comes to this angle. The reason once again is the minimum of processing it goes through, allowing the tea to retain more of its natural properties.
Another determining factor for some tea drinkers may be flavor or price. Since white tea is harvested during a particular period in the spring and handled with kid gloves, it’s generally more expensive than green tea. It is also milder in flavor, lighter in color, lacking in the “grassy” quality present in green tea, and unpleasant to some palettes. However, many tea drinkers often find that they enjoy both teas’ flavors and will alternate between the two.