The type of tea you drink daily can make a big difference in your overall health and energy levels. This blog post should help you figure out which tea – black, white, green or herbal – you should be drinking and why.
All ‘real’ teas have antioxidant properties (black, white and green tea). Although they look completely different they all come from the same plant: Camellia Sinensis. What makes them different is their harvested time and the way they’re prepared.
Black, white and green tea all contain caffeine while herbal tea doesn’t. But herbal tea is not actually tea, because it doesn’t come from the tea plant, it comes from herbs. That’s why in French we don’t say herbal tea, we say ‘tisane’ or infusion. When we, myself included, refer to herbal tea as tea, that’s actually 100% incorrect.
The process to make black tea is to oxidise the leaves (oxidation is a process through which tea leaves are exposed to the air in order to dry and darken). That’s what gives it its brownish-like blackish colour. It is then dried.
It is often thought to contain the most caffeine out of all the teas but that’s not true.
Benefits: Black tea is quite good for gut health, for your digestive system. If you ever feel nauseous, have a strong black tea with sugar or honey – for me, it works wonders. It also helps with hangovers, as a good old grandmother remedy. Black tea is also known to be great for heart health.
It is the easiest tea to prepare because you don’t have to worry about the temperature of your boiling water or to burn the leaves. With black tea, you can just boil and pour. It’s that easy.
The process for White tea is to harvest the leaves very young as new tea buds. That’s what gives it that lighter colour. It is then steamed or fried, and then dried.
Benefits: White tea is great for skin and bone health, preventing ageing of those organs. It’s also known to help with heart health.
The key to having that green colour is that it is processed right after it has been harvested. The tea leaves will be immediately steamed and then rolled and dried.
Green tea is the tea that contains the most caffeine and the level varies depending on the actual family or type. Matcha Green tea is known to be the one with the most caffeine content, but green tea in general has a lot of caffeine. That’s why it’s recommended to actually not brew your green tea for too long because it’ll get stronger fast (and bitter too).
Benefits: Green tea is the tea that has the most antioxidant properties. It’s known for brain health and the protection of brain cells as well as helping with brain function in general.
Remember that white, green, and black tea, all contain antioxidants, and most herbs do too. They all also contain caffeine (not the herbs). A little fun fact is that so the hotter the water, the most caffeine you’ll have in your tea even if you pop that bag out right away.
There are many other wonderful benefits for each of these teas. That will also help you find which one will suit you best if you’re still not sure.
The great thing with herbal tea is variety! There are as many herbal teas as there are herbs. Multiply that by a number of herbs and a number of combinations that you can get with herbal tea, the possibilities are endless. So it’s hard for me to tell you the benefits of herbal tea in general, because each herb is different and will have a different benefit.
What is important to know is that herbal tea is naturally caffeine free. It can support you in a natural way for a wide range of ailments, and it has lots of benefits, from supporting the digestive system, to heart health, brain function, skin, etc.
For every health problem there’s a herb that can help. That’s the wonderful thing with herbal teas, and it’s also a really great convenient way to consume your herbs. So don’t rule out herbal tea just because it doesn’t have caffeine. I think that’s actually a great benefit of herbal teas.
Important fact, which I don’t think we share enough; with herbal teas, you don’t actually want to be using boiling water. You want to go to the point where the water just has the little bubbles on the surface If you forgot and it’s fully boiled, you want to pour it into your empty teapot and wait for five to ten minutes so that it cools down before adding the herbs. The reason for that is that boiling water actually burns the leaves and reduces it’s properties.
Which tea is right for you?
So how do you know which tea you should be drinking? Well, the answer is yours, and within you. Your body knows. I encourage you to tune into your body when you sipping in your next cup of tea, and feel. Another great time to do that is when you smell the tea leaves – your body’s reaction will give you a clue.
Also take into account that black, white and green tea contain caffeine. The more tea you’ll be drinking the more caffeine you’ll be consuming and that’s not great for your health. I don’t mean that one cup is bad, but ten cups a day is definitely a lot of caffeine and that can lead to a lot of other issues. Including insomnia, anxiety, and lots of other problems. Personally, I do like to balance my teas out. I don’t drink coffee anymore during the week, so I’ll have a fake coffee in the morning and then I just drink herbal tea throughout the day. I especially love my afternoon cup of Vif, my herbal tea that helps with focus, energy, and brainpower.
There are always some alternatives. If you’re a builder’s tea fan for example, which a lot of people in the UK are, that’s totally okay. Just bear in mind that every cup is more caffeine in your system. Maybe try to stick to morning tea for example and then explore some herbal options. There are actually some wonderful herbal teas that might make you think of black tea, green tea or even white tea.
I hope this was helpful! I’d love to know which tea(s) do you feel is/are best for you? Share below!
P.S. To find out more about teas and herbs, and learn how to tune in to your body and actually listen, join me for my Tea Alchemy Workshop! After the theory I’ll teach you how to experiment with herbs and blend your own teas, with intention.