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  • Writer's pictureHolly Harper

Black Tea, Green Tea, What's the Difference?

You might be surprised to find out that black tea and green tea are quite different and yet similar! How so you ask? Well, aside from colour, there are a few things that either distinguish from or relate the two teas.

Left to Right: Black tea, Oolong tea, Green tea & White tea.

One fact that relates the two together is that both green and black tea contain caffeine! This is because green and black tea are made from the same plant! They both begin as freshly picked Camelia Sinensis leaves.

In fact all tea containing real tea leaves (black, green, oolong & white teas) comes from the very same Camelia Sinensis plant. The way the tea leaves are processed after being picked is what distinguishes the different types of tea.

So how are green and black tea different to each other if they're made from the same plant? Black tea undergoes different processing than green tea. Tea leaves are picked and then left to oxidize for a period of time before being dried; this turns the tea leaves black, increases the caffeine content and also gives it a stronger and richer flavour.

Green tea, on the other hand, is minimally processed. Tea leaves are harvested and then quickly heated; using either traditional methods such as: pan-frying or basket firing; or more modern methods may be used like: oven drying, tumbling or steaming. The leaves are then immediately dried to preserve the fresh green colour and flavour. The minimal processing keeps caffeine levels relatively low and flavour stays bright, fresh and vegetative.

Oolong and White follow similar processing. Oolong is more oxidized than green tea, but less than black tea. And white tea undergoes even less processing than green tea; leaves and/or leaf buds are picked and almost immediately dried.

Even though these teas come from the same plant, they actually taste better when brewed differently! For example, black tea tastes best steeped in boiled water for 3-5 minutes and green tea prefers water that is just under boiling temperatures for 2-3 minutes. Here is a handy guide for tea brewing:

With over 80 teas in stock on our online shop, you're sure to find one you'll love, whether it's black, green or anything in between!

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