Green Tea vs. White Tea - Which Is Better?

For serious tea enthusiasts, the subject of green tea vs. white tea has sparked a growing debate. While many studies and researchers have proven the numerous health benefits of green tea, not much is publicly known about its less-popular sibling, white tea. So here are some comparisons of green tea vs. white tea that you may want to know.

  • Both green tea and white tea come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea is found in China and Japan, while white tea almost exclusively comes from the Fujian province of China.
  • The white tea leaves are harvested during the early spring in a short period of time—just one to two weeks. White tea is derived from the immature, unopened buds of the plant.
  • Green tea has a longer harvesting period and can have three to four yields in a year. Green tea is made from the mature leaves of the plant.
  • Both teas are very minimally processed, which allows them to keep most of their antioxidants intact. Green tea undergoes partial fermentation, but white tea is not fermented at all. Because white tea is not fermented, it contains three times the amount of antioxidants that green tea has.
  • In terms of white tea vs. green tea benefits, studies have shown that white tea has more antibacterial and antiviral properties than green tea has because of a higher antioxidant content. Both have been proven to boost immune systems, and both have anti-aging properties when added to skin care products. The journal Carcinogenesis published a study by researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute, who showed that both green and white tea might help to protect against colon cancer.
  • Because white tea is picked at a much earlier stage and undergoes very little processing, it has less caffeine than green tea does. A cup of white tea has an average of 15 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of green tea has about 20 mg.
  • White tea has a sweet and subtle flavor, while green tea has a somewhat “grassy” taste, which is why some prefer white tea over green tea.
  • Less white tea is produced each year because of the short harvest season. Because the supply is lower, and because of the delicate harvesting process, white tea is more expensive than green tea. In fact, it costs nearly three times as much as green tea. However, only a few white tea leaves are necessary to brew such a beneficial cup of tea.

The information above should clear up some issues in the green tea vs. white tea debate. Both green and white teas offer numerous health benefits, but white tea may have a slight edge over green tea. However, white tea is more expensive. Perhaps the way to get the best of both teas is to include green tea in a daily diet and to splurge on white tea once in a while.