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WHITE  OR GREEN?

In ancient China, scientific treatises mentioned that green tea is second only to white tea when it comes to taste, aroma, and craftmanship since white tea is the most natural between the two.

Modern science though has tons of green tea studies and less of white teas.  

So, let's compare the two.

SIMILAR:  WHITE TEA AND GREEN TEA ARE FROM THE SAME PLANT

We need to remember that both Green and White teas are made from the same plant - Camellia sinensis.  Hence, both classified as TRUE TEA.

 

All raw tea leaves have the same chemical composition but the next processes will determine the type of tea that will be created.   

White tea usually uses buds and young shoots. Green tea is often commercialized and normally uses full mature leaves.  Some high-quality green teas also use young shoots.

DIFFERENCE:  PROCESSING  METHODS ARE DIFFERENT

In both tea types,  the leaves go through the process of WITHERING or WILTING.  This allows the leaves to lose some moisture.  This process takes about 14-18 hours for some green teas but for white teas, withering happens for 7-8 hours using constant temperature and humidity. This process enables the tea to lose some water content but maintain all other compounds in the leaves. After this process, the leaves then go through their defining process.

GREEN TEA PROCESS:

The next step for green tea after withering is  "FIXING" or "KILL-GREEN" or in simple terms, "HEATING".  Heat is applied to the leaves to stop browning.  Imagine your spinach, if you leave spinach leaves on your kitchen counter, after some time, the leaves could turn brown. But if heat is applied, it can stay green for a longer period.  This is because heating stops the action of polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase,  the enzymes responsible for the browning of plant fruits and leaves when they are removed from the tree or plant.  There are various techniques in "fixing" withered tea leaves and all depend on the tradition: Speciality green teas  Pan-firing is a Chinese tradition;  while steaming is used in Japanese tradition.  Other countries u a more modern process to make green teas such as heating using mechanical ovens.  

WHITE TEA PROCESS:

White tea does not go through chemical changes by artificial heat like green tea.  But withering white tea requires the unique skills of experienced tea makers.  Most high-quality white teas are handcrafted by skilled tea makers who determine the temperature and humidity needed to produce white teas.   They manually turn over the buds or young shoots so that the tea gets a uniform loss of water. - withering white tea is an intricate and delicate process.  It removes moisture from the leaves while making sure that the compounds responsible for the aroma, taste, and sensory remain intact. Drying is another complicated process for white tea. 

White tea is the most natural form of tea and tea experts know, understand,  and appreciate the craftsmanship needed to create white tea. 

The table below will give you a better view of the difference between white and green tea.

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