Both green and black tea comes from the tea plant. Both green and black tea can make a fantastic cup of tea. However, the similarities end there. There are a few differences between green and black tea that you really should know about.
We are going to assume that you already know that green tea leaves look green, and black tea leaves look black. Although, that was pretty much a given.
The Picking Process
Both green and black teas are picked at exactly the same time. However, black tea undergoes a bit of extra processing.
In order to make black tea, the tea leaves need to go through a process known as fermentation. During this process, the black tea leaves will be allowed to wither. They are also left out in the sun, eventually turning them black.
Green tea is kept as fresh as possible. While slight withering may happen with the green tea leaves, the producer will do everything possible to ensure that the tea doesn’t start to oxidize. This, in many cases, means that the green tea leaves will be lightly fried when they are pulled off the vine. This stops the oxidization process dead in its tracks.
Black tea has a far stronger taste. This is due to the oxidization process. Black tea often tastes a little bit bitter, which is why some people may spice up their drink with a bit of milk and sugar.
Green tea is much lighter and more delicate in flavor. While green tea is often consumed on its own, it can also be paired with a variety of fruit flavors. Those really play into the lighter taste of the tea. There will be no bitterness here.
How You Brew The Tea
Black tea needs to be brewed at 212F (100C), so the boiling point of water. This does make black tea a little bit easier to produce since it is obvious when water is boiling. You can just use a kettle, or boil the water on the stove.
Green tea, on the other hand, needs to be brewed at 172F (80C), which is a bit trickier to do. There are some green teas that may require you to brew at an even lower temperature than this.
Black tea can be left to brew for around 5-minutes, or longer if you feel that you need a stronger-tasting brew. However, many green teas shouldn’t be brewed for longer than a minute or two. Anything longer than that, and the taste of the tea is going to be severely impaired. That being said, there are a few green teas that require you to brew for up to 15-minutes.
The Color After Brewing
When the tea is brewed, black tea will always have a dark brown or black color.
Green tea, on the other hand, will have a slightly more varied color. Some will have a green color in the mug, while others will be a bit closer to gold or yellow.