Green Tea vs White Tea: Which is Better?

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I’ve heard a few times recently that white tea is the new green tea. There was definitely a time, not too long ago, when most people didn’t even know what white tea was, but it’s definitely making a splash these days.

If you’re wondering which is better – green tea vs white tea – or even what the big difference is, you’ll find out all you need to know in this article.

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» If you’re a tea lover, you might also want to read about rooibos tea and oolong tea.

drinking tea

Differences Between Green & White Tea?

As far as popularity, white tea is definitely catching up to green tea lately. While white tea tends to be harder to find and more expensive than green, it also has a few other differences to consider.

All tea, like black, oolong, green and white, are a product of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The difference between the varieties comes from the processing of the leaves and the level of oxidation, or how long the tea leaves are exposed to oxygen once they’ve been harvested. The less oxidation, the lighter and more delicate the tea.

For instance, black tea is fully oxidized, as well as heat processed to produce a deep color and flavor. Green tea, on the other hand, is only minimally heat processed to prevent oxidation, so it is much lighter in color and flavor.

green tea leaves
Green tea leaves and brewed tea

White tea is also not oxidized, but it is made from leaves that are harvested prior to full maturation. In fact, the leaves are not completely open when they are picked and have a soft white fuzz on them – leading to the name “white” tea.

There is very little processing involved in making white tea so only very minimal oxidation occurs. The resulting taste is light, sweet and delicate. It might also have less caffeine than other types of tea.

white tea leaves
White tea leaves and brewed tea

Green Teas to Try

If you haven’t tried a lot of different types of green tea, you might be surprised that there are so many. Each one is quite different, so you should try a few to see what you like best. Here are 5 green teas for beginners.

  • Sencha
  • Jasmine Green tea
  • Genmaicha
  • Gunpowder
white tea in a glass

White Teas to Try

Many online stores carry these major types of loose white tea, so unless you have a great tea shop near you that stocks them, your best bet for finding good high-quality white tea is online.

  • Pai Mu Tan
  • Silver Needle
  • Bai Hao Yin Zhen
  • White Puerh 

Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is one of the most popular drinks on the planet. In fact, some say it is second only to water. The fact that two of the most popular beverages available are also the two healthiest is great news for all of us.

By why is green tea so good for you? All the research points to the antioxidants it contains. Antioxidants are somewhat of a super power against cancer and inflammation.

drinking green tea

In addition to its cancer fighting properties, green tea is also thought to improve cardiovascular health, lower LDL cholesterol levels and even help prevent bad breath.

Last but not least, this tea is also considered to be effective for weight loss. It is considered by some experts to be a superior weight loss supplement because of its ability to boost the metabolism without the dangerous side effects that usually accompany other weight loss drugs.

Benefits of White Tea

White tea contains many of the same healthy antioxidants as green tea and in fact it could contain even more polyphenols due to the lesser amount of processing.

Studies have shown that white tea can fight cancer causing cells and help maintain a healthy immune system. As Healthline states, “Polyphenols like those found in white tea may help relax blood vessels, boost immunity and prevent bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized. These factors may help lower the risk of heart disease.”

drinking tea

White tea also aids in weight loss, as it has similar levels of caffeine and catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that green tea has.

The only downside appears to be the scarcity and higher cost, but there are many places you can find white tea online it’s worth the splurge to try something a bit different. If you’re looking for a change to your typical green tea, give white tea a try for a boost to your taste buds.

The Lowdown

Now that we’ve gone over all the differences and benefits, let’s take a look at the breakdown in the battle between green tea and white tea.

White tea vs green tea for taste

White tea has a more mellow and subdued flavor compared to green tea, but if you’re sipping them side by side, you probably won’t even notice that much of a difference. White tea tends to have more of a floral, citrusy taste while green tea has more of a vegetal taste.

White tea vs green tea for weight loss

Both of these teas are said to be good for weight loss because they have similar levels of caffeine and catechins like EGCG. According to Tea101, “In a recent study conducted by German scientists, there have been some indications that white tea burns away fat cells.”

White tea vs green tea for price

Both of these teas can vary greatly in price, from affordable to outrageous, depending on how rare it is. White tea does tend to be more expensive than green tea, because it’s more difficult to make and isn’t exported as much. You can expect to pay

Conclusion

The differences between green tea vs white tea are very small, but definitely noticeable to someone who loves the nuances of tea. The less mature leaves, lower processing, and less oxidation makes white tea an even more delicate and light tea than green, but they pack many of the same benefits.

Both white and green tea are exceptional nutritional beverages in regard to health benefits and should be a part of every healthy diet.

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