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Tea and Health Benefits of Black, Green, Oolong, Yellow and White Tea

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

About Tea

Tea is a beverage having a sweet smell. It is mostly drunk hot especially in Asian countries and next to water is the most consumed beverage in the world.

Tea gives the body the much-needed stimulus and energy to shrug off the early morning lethargy. The caffeine component of tea provides this.

In India, as well as many other countries including the Middle East and the UK, tea is mainly drunk hot. In the US and Canada, the majority prefer it cold as iced tea.

Tea is the national drink of UK especially England. In Burma, a pickle of tea leaves, known as laphet, is also made which is a national delicacy.

The Tea Plant - Camellia sinensis

Tea has its origin in India and China.

Camellia sinensis plant, amongst the Camellia genus of plants, has been bred selectively over hundreds of years to produce the finest qualities of teas.

Two major tea varieties - the small-leaved, Camellia sinensis var. sinensis is used to produce Chinese tea and the Indian teas, the Darjeeling and Nilgiri teas while the larger leaved, Camellia sinensis var. assamica is used to produce Assam tea.

In some parts of Japan, Camellia sasanqua is used to produce tea.

Many other species of Camellia can produce a beverage similar to tea.

Green tea, black tea, in fact, all different varieties of teas except the herbal teas are made from the leaves of the plant, Camellia sinensis.

In the wild state, the tea plant grows to a tree of height ranging from 30-50 feet but when it is cultivated for commercial use in tea plantations, it is maintained at about waist height or about 3 feet. This is done by constantly pruning the tea plant. Pruning ensures that new shoots with leaves keep coming out as well as making it easier to pick the leaves.

Tea plants need a warm climate to survive though they can be grown at altitudes up to 7000 feet. Tea plants at higher altitudes offer the best teas in terms of a richer, smoother flavour as the leaves mature slower.

Although it takes anywhere between 3 - 5 years for a tree plant to mature it is productive for about 100 years. When the leaves are to be leaves are picked, the bud and 2 leaves at the tip of the young shoot are selected. Tea leaves are mostly picked by hand.

Though growing conditions have a bearing on the production of different types of leaves, it is the processing method that affects the ultimate tea quality and characteristics.

Effect Of Adding Milk And Lemon To Tea

Adding milk to tea has shown to bind the milk protein casein to catechins, especially EGCG in tea and block the beneficial effects of tea in heart disease and cancer. However, this binding has a protective effect in that the binding with tannin in tea renders tannin harmless.

Soy milk has no casein and thus has none of this binding effect.

Lemon juice is usually added to green or black tea before drinking. It helps to lower the intestinal pH which helps in increasing the absorption of more catechins.

Nutrients In Tea

Tea contains catechins which are antioxidants. White, yellow and green tea contains the highest concentration of catechins as they are much less oxidised or fermented as compared to oolong and black tea.
A variety of polyphenols and tannin are also found in tea. Also present are theanine, an amino acid, the stimulant caffeine, the bitter alkaloid theobromine and theophylline, a bronchodilator drug which relieves asthmatic symptoms.

Chai - The Indian Tea

Chai, the Indian tea is prepared with black tea leaves but after simmering the leaves for a minute or so, milk, sugar, green cardamom, and sometimes ginger in the winter season, are added to it and the mixture simmered for a minute or so until a nice brown colour and flavour are imparted to the tea.

Check out my recipe video given below for making chai.

How To Make Adrak Wali Chai - Ginger Chai

Teas at Different Stages Of Fermentation

Types Or Varieties Of Teas

The basic method to process the different varieties of tea is the same except for some variations.
The higher the oxidation or fermentation, the lower the levels of polyphenols and the higher the caffeine levels.
AND
The lower the fermentation or oxidation, the higher the levels of polyphenols and lower the caffeine levels.

The major types of tea are :

  • Green tea.
  • Black tea.
  • Oolong tea.
  • White tea.
  • Yellow tea.
  • Post Fermented tea.

Green Tea Leaves

Green Tea

Green Tea

Green tea is believed to have originated in China about 4000 years ago.

Green tea has undergone the least processing and hence fermentation. Because of this, it has the highest levels of the polyphenolic antioxidants amongst all the varieties of teas. It is especially high in the catechin polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3- gallate. It is this polyphenol that is the most beneficial in offering the multiple health benefits of green tea.

After the leaves are harvested, they are steamed for a very short time just enough to make them soft and pliable and before they change colour. Leaves are then rolled and dried with hot air or are dried in hot pans till they are crisp. The final product is a greenish-yellow tea.

Green tea has an astringent flavour and contains the least amount of caffeine.

Some examples of green tea are Matcha, Sencha, Gyokuro, Dragonwell and Gunpowder.

The Correct Way of Making Green Tea

Health Benefits Of Green Tea

Of all the tea varieties, the most known and used for its various health benefits is the green tea. It is used in a big way for its weight-reducing properties. The health benefits are attributed to the polyphenolic antioxidants in this tea especially the catechin polyphenol - EGCG, of which it has the highest concentration.

Other health benefits include but are not restricted to just the following, are:

  • Green tea helps to reduce weight by keeping the metabolism raised for a long time thus burning calories and fat. It especially targets abdominal fat.
  • The catechins in green tea slow down the action of the lipase enzyme which results in slower conversion of calories into fats.
  • Due to its LDL cholesterol-reducing, HDL cholesterol increasing and triglyceride reducing action and blood-thinning property it helps in preventing atherosclerosis as well as reducing blood pressure, risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • Green tea kills cancer cells by various mechanisms and ways and stops their further growth. Cancers of the stomach, bladder, prostate, pancreas, lungs, oesophagus, ovary, colorectal, breast etc are those whose growth is arrested and killed.
  • It protects against Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and age-related cognitive decline.
  • Green tea improves the body's immunity status and increases endurance.
  • It reduces inflammations in arthritis, increases bone density, prevents dental caries, colds and flu.
  • The low caffeine content of green tea suppresses the appetite.
  • Green tea protects the liver from toxins and inflammations of viral hepatitis.
  • Traditionally it has been used to treat indigestion, headaches and depression.
  • Green tea benefits the kidneys is a diuretic and aids in eliminating excess fluids from the body.

Note

It has been found in animal studies that the consumption of black pepper while drinking green tea increases the amount of EGCG absorbed. Piperine in black pepper causes this increased absorption.
Therefore, if green tea is consumed with meals do not forget to add some black pepper to your favourite foods.

About Matcha Green Tea Powder

Matcha green tea is powdered green tea. The process of making this tea is totally different starting right from the type of leaves to be picked to the processing and finishing the final product.

Miss Olive has written an exceptionally wonderful hub on Matcha green tea which can read at the link below.

  • Benefits of Matcha - Green Tea Powder
    A variety of sites claim that just one cup of matcha tea is equivalent to 10 cups of regular steeped green tea. After my research, I can see why. The health benefits of matcha tea far exceed those of regular green tea. When you drink matcha you inges

Black Tea Leaves

Black Tea

Black Tea

The harvested leaves are spread and air-dried till they are soft, pliable and lose about a third of their moisture. They are then rolled to break the leaf cells which releases enzymes needed for fermentation.
The leaves are spread out once more but under temperature and humidity-controlled conditions to assist fermentation. This results in the tea leaves attaining a dark copper colour.
The leaves are then hot air-dried to produce the distinctive coloured, brownish-black tea which is the regular tea available.

Some examples of black teas are Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Ceylon, Jin Junmei and Jiu Qu Hong Mei.

Health Benefits Of White, Yellow, Oolong And Black Tea

In case you are wondering why I have given the benefits of all the other teas together, let me tell you that all the different types of teas give the same benefits in varying degrees. This is because of the different concentrations of polyphenols, the main active principles in all teas. The more tea is oxidised or fermented the more polyphenols it loses. However, higher fermentation leads to a corresponding increase in caffeine concentrations.

Green tea has been taken as an example to enumerate the various health benefits accruing due to the intake of tea as these benefits of green tea have been the most studied. White and yellow teas are not very popular though their benefits are being recognised in the west now. The production of these teas is very less.

Oolong tea benefits fall somewhere in between the benefits of green and black teas.

Oolong Tea Leaves

Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea

Fermentation level of this tea lies somewhere between the green and black types of teas. It is a greenish-brown tea whose colour, flavour and aroma also lie between the green and black varieties of teas.

Oolong tea leaves are picked on a sunny day. The bud and lower 3 leaves are picked. They are exposed to the sun for some time. Then they are taken indoors to dry and complete the fermentation process. When the leaves are 30% red and 70% green the leaves are rubbed to bring out the aroma and flavour. They are dried in hot woks till they are crisp.

Some examples of oolong tea are Golden cassia, Red robe, Dong Ding oolong, Darjeeling oolong and Oriental beauty.

Yellow Tea Leaves

Yellow Tea

Yellow Tea

Processing of this tea is different as instead of drying the leaves immediately, they are stacked and covered. Gentle heat is given in humidity-controlled conditions. Due to the longer drying period, the leaves take on a light yellow colour and do not contain the grass like the taste of green tea.

Yellow tea is not produced much and is the least known of all the tea varieties. However, it retains all the health benefits of green tea but the taste is more sweet and subtle.

Some examples of yellow tea are Junshan YinZhen and Huoshan Huangyan.

White Tea Leaves

White Tea

White Tea

Tea leaves selected for making white tea are the immature leaves of just opened buds which have a good amount of very fine hair. Such leaves produce the best quality of white tea. The method to produce white tea is the simplest of all the teas.

The tea leaves in this variety have undergone the least amount of oxidation. The oxidative process is stopped by dry baking the leaves in an controlled environment. It is produced in very less quantity and is more expensive than the other teas. Not very well known outside China, this tea is gaining recognition in the west now.

Some examples of white tea are : Silver needle, Silver tips, Darjeeling white tea and White monkey paw.

Compressed Post Fermented Tea

Post Fermented Tea

Post Fermented Tea

It is a black tea that undergoes second natural oxidation and fermentation in the presence of air, humidity and natural microflora. It may be allowed to age from several months to many years to improve its flavour.

It is mellower and sweeter in taste and leaves a more pleasant aftertaste than black tea. It is also known as dark tea and even black tea.

In China, post-fermented tea is known as black tea, which is not to be confused with the black tea as is known in the west. Black tea as is known in the West is known in China as Red tea.

It is sold in compressed form in various shapes like bricks, bowls, discs etc.

Some examples of post-fermented teas are Puerh, Hunan Bianchi and Sichuan Zhang Cha.

Temperature, Steep Times, No Of Infusions For Different Teas

source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea

 

 

 

 

Type

Water Temp in degees Centigrade

Steep Time

Infusions

 

 

 

 

White Tea

65-70

1-2 min

3

 

 

 

 

Yellow Tea

70 -75

1-2 min

3

 

 

 

 

Green Tea

75 - 80

1-2 min

4 to 6

 

 

 

 

Oolong Tea

80 -85

2-3 min

4 to 6

 

 

 

 

Black Tea

99

2-3 min

2 to 3

 

 

 

 

Post Fermented Tea

99 -100

Limitless

Several

 

 

 

 

Herbal Tea

99

3 to 6

Varied

 

 

 

 

Some of my Hubs on Healthy foods

  • 14 Health Benefits Of Green Tea
    Green tea is the least processed of all the teas and contains the maximum concentration of beneficial polyphenols - the catechins. To know the many health benefits of green tea, read on...
  • The Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
    Dark Chocolate is the healthiest of all the types of chocolates. To know all about chocolates and the health benefits of dark chocolate, read on...
  • Some Amazing Health Benefits Of Beetroot Or Beet
    Beet, beetroot or garden beet is a super food that has a unique phytonutrients called betalains. Betalains are very useful for weight loss, cancer, diabetes, dementia, skin, high blood pressure, constipation etc. To know how you can benefit from cons
  • Health Benefits Of Jaggery or Gur
    Gur or Jaggery was the traditional sweetener much before the modern day white sugar came into being. This unrefined, coarse and pure sweetener has innumerable benefits. To know about the various health benefits of jaggery or gur, read on...

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

How To Brew Different Types Of Chinese Teas In Various Teaware - An Excellent Video

Green Tea Smoothie

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 01, 2013:

Thanks Gail. Glad you enjoyed reading.

Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on February 28, 2013:

Wow, this is a great hub. I love tea and drink it all day long. I enjoy most of these teas, except I have never even heard of yellow tea. White tea is delicious. Thank you for this well-written and informative hub. Voted up and useful.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 04, 2013:

Thanks for stopping by Tim. Appreciate the comments.

timtalkstech on January 03, 2013:

Excellent hub! I didn't know these types of teas had such a wide range of benefits.

Voted up!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 17, 2012:

beingwell, glad to have your input. Green tea is the healthiest.

Thanks for reading.

beingwell from Bangkok on June 17, 2012:

I love drinking tea. I prefer green over black, too.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 23, 2012:

AnnaCia, I'm glad to learn you too are a tea lover. BTW, try out some ginger tea. It works wonders for a sore throat, cough and cold. I certainly don't mind your sharing this hub. I should be thankful to you for this fine gesture as well as for stopping by to read and leave your observations.

Thanks.

AnnaCia on March 23, 2012:

Great information written in such an elegance way. Love the photos. I love tea. From the ones you have mentioned I have had green tea. I have had tea with milk and also with lemon. Very good and soothing. Thanks for the hub. I am sharing it with other hubbers if you don't mind. Voted up

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 03, 2012:

Pamela, green tea or any of the other lighter varieties of tea are best consumed without milk to derive the full benefits. If need be one can go for soy milk as an additive. It will not bind the casein.

Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your inputs.

Thank you.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 03, 2012:

Extremely informative hub. I enjoy at least one cup of green tea, or some of the others you listed every day. I never used milk but I didn't know that would block the nutrients. I enjoyed your hub very much.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 01, 2012:

@ TIMETRAVELER. Green tea is definitely healthy and the caffeine content is quite low if that's your concern. Happy to note that you are thinking of giving it a shot.Thanks for stopping by to read and leaving your appreciation.

@ Lady_E. Earl Grey has all the benefits of black tea. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Real Housewife. Thanks for stopping by.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on February 29, 2012:

Beautifully informative! I love tea...and coffee:) lol

Elena from London, UK on February 29, 2012:

Thanks. This is full of useful information. I like the smell of Earl Grey tea and drink it once in a while. I hope it has good benefits. :)

Sondra Rochelle from USA on February 29, 2012:

This was an outstanding hub. I have always avoided green tea because I don't drink caffeine, but now I think I'll give it a try because of the many health benefits. Voted up, useful and interesting. Thanks for sharing this information.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 29, 2012:

Hi learner. Thanks for your input and I'm glad you found this informational and interesting. Thanks for reading and voting.

Saadia A on February 28, 2012:

This is a very informative Hub about tea.I never knew about the white and yellow tea.But thanks to the information provided by you now i am well aware about tea of many kinds and its health benefits.

Thank you for sharing.My vote up and interesting.Enjoyed reading it :)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2012:

Hi Dex. Great to know you too are a green tea lover. It's always a pleasure to have you around. Thank you.

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on February 28, 2012:

Great information, Rajan! I try to drink green tea often. Voted up, up and away!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2012:

@ sidds. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ alocsin. Wonderful to have you her and thanks for the vote up.

@ Christy. Thanks for your appreciative words. A morning cup of tea is so welcome.

@ KStro18. You start off the day with a healthy drink. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it.

@ kimberly. Tea is a good way to start off a day.

Thanks so much for being here. Thanks for the vote and appreciation.

@ pinappu. I am having my morning cup of tea as I am replying to the comments. All the hubbers here are tea lovers as I see. Tea is a universal drink. Thanks for reading and leaving your insight.

pinappu from India on February 28, 2012:

Very well researched article. I am a daily drinker of tree. It is the national drink in India. Your article will get very good traffic from google I think, best of luck.

Kimberly Lake from California on February 28, 2012:

Excellent! I love gren and black teas. Thorough research. Voted up awesome and shared.

Kimberly Lake from California on February 28, 2012:

Excellent! I love gren and black teas. Thorough research. Voted up awesome and shared.

KStro18 from PA on February 28, 2012:

Great hub. These are good things to know. I have a cup of green tea every morning!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on February 28, 2012:

Excellent work covering the different types of teas and explaining how they come to our cups in the morning. I like tea, I do not drink coffee.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 28, 2012:

Great overview. I like your summary table at the end. Voting this Up and Useful.

sidds123450 on February 28, 2012:

Very well researched and detailed hub.., Thanks for the info.!!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2012:

@ Ruchira, thanks for the nice words that you put in. i appreciate your visit.

@ Urmila, thank you for sharing and appreciating. Yes its almost midnight now. I'm signing off for now but hope you have a wonderful day.

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on February 28, 2012:

Very well researched hub. I am sharing this hub with all the tea lovers. Useful, informative and voted up! Good Night!( It`s night there, right?.

Ruchira from United States on February 28, 2012:

A big tea lover, myself. Thank you for enlightening me, Rajan.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2012:

Vinaya, thanks for the read and I'm happy to note it was informational. Glad to see you again.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on February 28, 2012:

I love tea but I did not know all these facts. Thanks for sharing.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2012:

@ Pamela. All green teas but more so matcha green tea, are extremely healthy. It's wonderful to see that you are already drinking green tea and ginseng - 2 of the best drinks. I hope you do get to try matcha however.

@ cclitgirl. I've really not heard about the milk, tea and bladder connection. I personally feel it is best to drink tea without milk to benefit fully.

Thanks for your observations, and comments. And of course reading and finding it worth of a bookmark.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2012:

@ Melovy. I am so glad that this hub has been informational in more ways than one. I appreciate your comments and inputs. Thank you.

@ kelleyward. I am grateful for all the appreciative comments, the vote and sharing. I need to read your hub on tea and coffee. Thanks for your visit.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on February 28, 2012:

Beautiful hub! I have to bookmark! I often drink tea all day long. I once heard that if you drink more than two cups of tea, that you should add milk because it does something to the bladder. I've never really added milk because I like the taste as is. Have you ever heard that?

Pamela N Red from Oklahoma on February 28, 2012:

Wonderful article on my favorite drink. I've been a tea drinker for years, before it was popular or the health benefits known here in America. I drink green tea and ginseng everyday.

I want to try Matcha but am having trouble finding it here locally.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 28, 2012:

Marisa, I had to include your matcha hub link in this hub. It is an awesome piece of work. Thanks for being supportive as usual and thanks for passing on the info. The pepper one was new to me too.

I really value and appreciate your comments.

Thanks for the vote and sharing.

kelleyward on February 28, 2012:

Very well written and researched article voted up and Shared on Twitter. I just wrote one on how tea and coffee may help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Tea is very beneficial.

Yvonne Spence from UK on February 28, 2012:

This is really interesting. I didn’t know about catechins, nor did I know why green tea is better for us. My favourite is jasmine green tea.

Voted up, thanks for sharing.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on February 28, 2012:

Rajan, this is excellent. What a wonderful hub! I do want to thank you for including a reference to my matcha hub. I am glad to know about the pepper tip and how it can boost absorption. I'll be sure to pass the info along.

Thanks again - voted up and sharing!