Green vs. Black
Same Source, Different Taste
Both come from the same source: the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
But that’s where black tea and green tea go in separate directions, taking on their unique flavor and appearance according to how they are processed.
For black tea, the leaves are crushed and fermented; leaves for green tea are weathered and steamed. The key difference we owe to oxidation, which gives black tea its robust look, feel and taste. Green tea is un-oxidized, and the leaves retain their green color and lightness.
Black tea has a hearty, full-bodied flavor, while green tea has a light taste, often described as fresh and grassy. But how it tastes will depend on which of the many varieties you drink, ranging from astringent to sweet.
Black tea has a deeper, more complex character, with many varieties bursting with multiple flavors. Some have sweet and spicy overtones while others may possess sweet floral aromas or hints of chocolate.
One of the major differences between black and green tea is that black tea contains approximately two to three times the caffeine of green tea. The more the leaves are fermented, the higher the caffeine content. As such, those who are sensitive to caffeine, sometimes linked to insomnia and irritability, should opt for green tea or perhaps choose a decaffeinated black tea. Even some green tea drinkers report sensitivity to caffeine’s effects so if that includes you, decaf green tea is an option.
Brewing methods are distinct. For black tea, you must use boiling water. Green tea will become bitter under boiling water. The water must be between 175 degrees and 180 degrees – hot but not boiling.
Steeping times also differ. For black tea, steep for two to four minutes. The more delicate green must be brewed no longer than two minutes, again to prevent bitterness.