Green or White Tea: Which is Better?

by Steven Carney on September 17, 2012

I know you may have heard of green tea. You might drink it already or you’ve had it at your local Chinese restaurant.

Green tea is a common beverage in many Asian countries. But how does it compare to white tea? Green tea is harvested from the Camellia plant’s younger leaves and has minimal processing. White tea includes (or is made of) the plant’s earliest leaves/white buds and has even less processing than green tea (often steamed, then dried).

I’ve been drinking both types for years (Chinese green tea for probably 10 years). It’s been studied for its many health effects for a long time. Although I thought white tea would be very light and kind of watery, I was wrong! The more affordable white tea has leaves and buds, and isn’t named for the color of the tea, it’s named for its early buds, which are white or silvery.

In fact, almost every white tea I’ve tried is actually more robust in flavor than green tea. I think it’s a bit more tannic, like a drinkable red wine, with a deeper flavor and color than green tea. I love it, and I alternate between jasmine green tea in the morning, and organic white peony tea in the afternoon and evening.

Health benefits

These teas have important health benefits that make them a great alternative to soda and other sugary drinks. For example, green tea can offer:

  • Powerful antioxidants (polyphenols/catechins)
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Heart and artery benefits, including blood pressure
  • Helpful effects for blood sugar
  • Helpful against cell mutations and cancer
  • Helpful for good bones and teeth
  • Can help you de-stress
  • Helps with hydration

White Tea is even better!

Although white tea shares many of the same health benefits as green tea (from the same plant), it’s earlier harvesting and minimal processing offers:

  • Higher antioxidants
  • More powerful anti-inflammatory effects
  • More help with infections
  • Helps with a range of microbes (bacterial and viral)
  • More potential disease-fighting potential (heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc.)
  • Great anti-aging benefits, including skin health and integrity

These health benefits are significant and if you don’t regularly drink chinese green or white tea (try the more affordable white peony), I encourage you to use them in place of any sugary or energy drinks you have (and of course, don’t add sugar or milk to your tea as they decrease the health benefits)!

Remember that if you read any studies on tea, cups in Asia are often smaller, around 3-5 ounces, whereas our cups and mugs tend to be a larger 8-12 ounces. That means 1 of our cups/mugs can equal about 2 of their cups. Unfortunately, many articles and studies forget to clarify that important detail, but a study done in Asia saying 4-5 cups per day is needed for health benefits can be 2 of our larger cups/mugs!

Questions or comments? Comment after the post or drop me a line! As a health and life coach, I’m here to help you break through the challenges and to make any health or life improvements you would like to make. You can enjoy the health and life success you desire!

Helpful links:

After I published this article, this study on green tea/prostate cancer came out:

Here is another good study on digestive cancers that came out after I published the tea article:

A human study that shows good benefits from drinking tea for artery health/lower mortality:

A human review study from 6/28/13 shows blood-sugar benefits for green tea:

Some new info on tea, polyphenols and health benefits I found on 11/4/13:

Another good overview of green tea for hydration and health benefits: 


© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

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