A Green Tea Question!

Here’s a fun question for you:

Q: What is green tea made from?

  • A: A different type of tea leaf, a green one
  • B: The same leaf as regular tea, before it goes brown
  • C: Or the stem of the tea leaf plant?

If you guessed B, you’d be right! It’s made of the same leaf as regular tea!

Green, black, and oolong teas all originate from the Camellia sinensis plant, however they undergo different preparation methods.

The preparation of green tea is designed to prevent the oxidation (oxygen exposure and darkening – like a cut apple when exposed to air) of green leaf polyphenols (micronutrients that occur naturally in plants). 

In contrast, black tea production encourages oxidation, leading to the oxidation of most of these compounds. 

Oolong tea falls in between, being a partially oxidised product.

Oxidation influences the flavour, aroma, and strength of taste of the tea.

But which one is better for you?

There is evidence to show that the antioxidant capacity (ability to clear away unhelpful molecules) in the blood of healthy adults increases within 30–60 minutes after consuming a single dose of tea; green, black or oolong.

Other investigations have shown that this capacity also increases with regular consumption of green, black or oolong tea over a period of 1-4 weeks.

Green tea does have slightly stronger antioxidant properties than black tea, but both have advantageous levels.

Green tea is lower in caffeine than black tea so may be a good option for those sensitive to this stimulant.

It’s important to note that both black and green tea contain tannins, which can bind to the minerals in your food and potentially reduce how much you absorb. 

Therefore, consuming tea between meals is the optimal approach.

What about caffeine-free tea?

If you want to cut down on caffeine, you can still get the benefit of the antioxidants in naturally caffeine free Rooibos tea (Redbush). Some brands also do a green tea version now!

It’s best to avoid decaffeinated regular tea if you can, due to the heavy processing that occurs.

Time for a cuppa?


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