Teas for Health

By: Crystal Shelton

Green and Black Teas Explained

If you drink tea, you’re already doing your body a huge favor.  Tea has been regarded as the key to good health, wisdom, and happiness in the East for thousands of years and, more recently, has made itself known in the West.  What is the difference, however, between the two most widely consumed types of and why are they so widely known in the realm of health?

How It’s Made

While both types come from the plant Camellia sinensis, there are major differences lie in the way that the parts of the plant are treated.  An important factor in determining which tea will be produced is the degree of fermentation the leaves undergo. Actually a bit of a misleading term, “fermentation” in this case actually refers to how much the freshly picked leaves are allowed to dry.

In black tea, the leaves are fermented to give it the dark red hue and the deep aroma of malt sugar and stems are included in the process.  In green tea, however, the leaves are hardly allowed to dry before they are pan-fried at a high temperature to seal in the fresh, earthy flavor.  Many of these are mixed in with jasmine petals to give it a floral aroma as well.


Black Tea: The Benefits


Black tea contains a large number of tannins polyphenols, micronutrients found in plant-based foods packed with antioxidants. Theaflavins – these are a type of polyphenol – actually make up about 2% of dried black tea! These chemicals are affected by growing conditions, leaf age, and storage.   It also contains anywhere from 2%-4% caffeine, higher than any non-fermented teas. So, what are the benefits of these chemicals?

  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Assists weight management
  • Improves cognitive performance
  • Increases alertness
  • Promotes oral and bone health
  • Anti-inflammatory properties


Green Tea: The Benefits

The steaming of the green tea leaves stops the fermentation process without decreasing but a number of its own polyphenols.  Here are the benefits of green tea:

  • Improves cognitive performance and health
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Strong anti-oxidant protection
  • Supports weight loss
  • Increases alertness
  • Promotes a healthy digestive tract and flora


Many of the benefits of green and black teas are similar, despite the different fermentation and treatment processes. If you’re not a fan yet, try it out! The health benefits are impressive, and you might just find yourself reaching for a teapot instead of coffee before long!




Ten Benefits of Green Tea:


Fermentation of Teas: