“If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.” – William Ewart Gladstone
This explains, in a nutshell, the relevance of tea as a beverage in our everyday life. But when we talk about tea it is important to specify the type we are referring to. It can be classified into 5 types depending on the type of tea leaves picked, the level of its oxidation and the way it is processed. These types are Black, Green, Oolong White and Pu-erh. Learn more about oolong vs green tea here.
Of all these types of tea, green tea and white tea have recently become extremely popular due to their numerous health benefits. In this article, we will be taking a close look at these two types of tea.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is a type of unoxidized tea that originated in China. The leaves for making green tea are heated right after being plucked so that the enzymes responsible for carrying out the process of oxidization gets destroyed. This process helps to preserve the high level of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that make it a healthy beverage. Green tea is characterized by a pale greenish-yellow color and light and grassy taste. Learn more about the pros and cons of green tea here.
What is White Tea?
This variant of tea is the least processed one among all the types. It is made with the closed buds and young leaves that are covered with silver fuzz only. The withered and dried ones are not used to make this variety of tea. The caffeine content of white tea is lower than that of green tea. It also contains quite a high level of antioxidants.
How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
There is hardly anything else in the world that gives as much pleasure as sipping on a perfectly brewed cup of tea. This experience gets better as this refreshing cup adds to your wellness while helping you unwind after a long day at work. So here is the tried and tested way of making green tea and white tea to let you enjoy a flawless warm cup.
Green Tea – To make a nice cup of green tea start with getting your measurements right. Use 2 grams of green tea leaves for 6 ounces of water. Make sure that the water you are using does not have any added flavor or taste. This tends to ruin the original flavor of the tea. Use cold water which has not been boiled previously.
The temperature of the water plays an important role in extracting the flavors from the leaves. It should be just short of boiling to bring out the right balance of the amino acids (adds the flavor and sweetness) and the tannins (adds the bitterness and astringency). But this varies depending on the type of tea you’re drinking. Whether it is a high quality senchca, or an expensive gyokuro, or a ground green tea for example changes the brewing temp and time.
The steeping time (soaking time) is also important while making your cup of tea. As a thumb rule, you can soak it from 1 minute to 3 minutes. The soaking time depends on the size of the leaves and your preference for the strength of the decoction. Smaller leaves tend to infuse more quickly than the larger ones.
White Tea – Brewing the perfect cup of white tea could be quite a challenging task as you cannot access it by its color. To make this variant, 2 teaspoons in 6 ounces of water if the tea contains buds only. For light and fluffy leaves of this tea, you will be requiring 2 tablespoons in the same amount of water. Just like any other type of tea that has a delicate flavor, the water you use should be around 170°F which is a temperature just below the boiling point.
Unlike green tea, white tea requires a higher steeping time. It could usually take up to 5 minutes to release the perfect flavor. But in some cases, the soaking time could extend to about 10 minutes.
Health Benefits of Green Tea and White Tea
- It helps improve brain function that can provide you with more stable energy and make you more productive as compared to caffeine.
- Green tea helps to increase fat burning and increases the rate of metabolism in your body.
- It contains high levels of antioxidants that have been seen to lower the risk of certain types of cancers like breast and prostate cancer.
- Green tea contains catechins that help to prevent bad breath.
- White tea can help reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- It is a good source of fluoride that helps to fight bacteria and protects your teeth from damage.
- This tea also helps to lower the risk of insulin resistance due to the presence of polyphenols in it.
- White tea contains compounds that can help protect you from osteoporosis.