Anyone who knows me knows that I love to drink tea! After making some small dietary changes and huge exercise changes in my life recently I started looking in to health benefits of different teas. All teas actually come from the same plant camellia sinensis. So black, white, green and oolong tea all come from the same plant. Herbal “teas” are made from infusions of herbs, spices, fruits and other plant materials. As such these infusions are not technically teas and don’t usually contain caffeine. Tea generally contains less caffeine than coffee but it also depends on how long you steep it for.
This is made from young leaves and buds of the tea plant. There is not much processing done with this type of tea and so it usually has a higher antioxidant level and milder flavour with a lower caffeine level.
There are different types of green tea with different tastes and nutrients. Green tea contains high levels of antioxidants also. There are a number of studies showing how green tea is good for metabolism and can slow down aging and cancer growth as well as improve brain function and reduce heart disease and diabetes risk. Matcha green tea powder seems to be the latest craze for good reason.
- Matcha is made from ground tea leaves. The powder is bright green as the type of leaf it is made from is very high in chlorophyll and so very high in antioxidants.
- Sencha is a mild green tea and the most popular type in Japan.
- Gyukuro seems to be a cross between Matcha (high antioxidant levels) and Sencha (milder flavour).
- Bancha has a more bitter taste and a low caffeine level. It is one of the most common green teas as it is cheaper to produce.
There are not many differences in health benefits between the different types of black teas so it is really a matter of taste. Black teas have high antioxidant levels (though different antioxidants to green tea) and give a boost of caffeine.
A benefit of oolong is that it can help metabolise fat and assist in weight loss similarly to green tea.
Well I’m satisfied that my addiction to tea drinking can continue!