All various kinds of tea come from the leaves of the same plant, Camellia sinensis
. The three main types of tea are green tea
, oolong tea
, and black tea
The difference between them is the fermentation degree of the leaves. Fermentation, in turn, influences their oxidation levels. When tea leaves are steamed (like with sencha
), baked, or pan fried (like with kamairicha
), there is no oxidation and therefore the leaves remain green. Oolong tea is partially fermented, and black tea is fully fermented.
In this sense, Japanese white tea
is a kind of green tea; its pale color comes from the shading process used by the producers. Sunlight exposure is completely blocked, so there is no chlorophylle production. The same process boosts the levels of amino acids in the leaves, making Japanese white tea
an extra healthy kind of green tea.
Green tea has gained a lot of attention from scientists because a specific and powerful antioxidant (epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG
)) found in tea leaves is preserved thanks to their lack of oxidation. On the opposite, when there is a degree of fermentation, this antioxidant is lost.
Studies have shown that antioxidants help the body fight against free radicals, that cause cellular damage leading to various health issues, from cancer to heart diseases and premature aging.
Research has pointed out that the EGCG found in green tea is a very powerful antioxidant, 100 times more effective than Vitamin C
for example. So, ready to see what green tea can do for you? Read on, the list is long!