The Difference Between Iced Green Tea And Iced Black Tea
With names like Green Tea and Black Tea, it would be understandable for anyone to think that they are completely different leaves. The truth is that green tea and black tea come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis, to take it a step further they are the same leaves from the same plant. So what is it that makes green tea and black tea so different?
The difference comes from the way the leaves are treated after harvest. This treatment alters the taste, appearance and properties of the tea leaves.
Green tea is processed after harvest by briefly steaming the harvested leaves, this softens them and stops fermentation, it also stops them from changing color, hence the green color of the tea. . After the initial steaming, the leaves are spread out and “fired” (a process of drying by hot air or frying in a wok) until they are crisp. Because there is no real fermentation taken place and the leaves are minimally processed, it is thought that green tea retains more of the health benefits than do other teas such as black and oolong tea.
To produce black tea, the leaves are first spread on racks and air-blown, which removes moisture and makes them pliable. They are then rolled to break their cell walls. This releases chemicals essential to fermentation. Next, they are spread out and kept under high humidity to hasten fermentation, which turns the leaves a dark color and develops black tea’s flavor. The final step is the firing of the leaves, producing a brown colored tea that when steeped, gives a reddish-brown brew with a stronger flavor than green teas.
As you can see, the two teas start from the same plant but undergo very different processing. The main difference is the fermentation which accounts for the difference in taste as well as the possible difference in benefits to the drinker.