Black Tea vs Green Tea: Difference, Taste, Health, Cost, Caffeine


Tea Facts, Tea Guides /

Perhaps you’ve tried both black tea and green tea, and they both seemed pretty good. So what’s the difference then? Well, as something of a tea connoisseur, and author of my own tea course. I’ve tried a lot of teas in my time, and that includes both black and green tea.

So in this article, I’m highlighting all the differences between black tea vs green tea. Starting with a quick summary, then I’ll get into the details…

FeatureBlack teaGreen tea
Tea varietyTrue tea variety True tea variety
Processing Highly processed, full oxidizationMinimal processing and oxidization 
Water temperature185°F to 194°150 to 160°F
Steeping time3 minutes2 – 4 minutes
Taste Bold, nutty, sweet Earthy, vegetal, bittersweet 
Caffeine per cup40 to 70 milligrams 35 milligrams 
Cost Cheaper (high quality = higher price) Generally more expensive than black tea
Diuretic effects HighMedium
Which is healthier?Less healthy than green tea, higher caffeine levelGreater healthy effects, less caffeine 
Similar benefitsReduces the risk of heart diseases
Increases alertness and focus
Reduces stress
Relaxes the body
Reduces the risk of heart diseases
Increases alertness and focus
Reduces stress
Relaxes the body
black tea vs green eta comparison table

So that’s the quick summary, but to understand more we can first look at the differences between black tea vs green tea.

Main differences between black tea and green tea

Both black and green tea are considered as true varieties of tea.

This means both of these teas are made from the true tea plant “Camellia Sinensis” and share similar properties and health benefits. 

The main difference that sets them apart as two tea varieties is the different processing and level of oxidation they experience, giving them their unique taste and flavor profile. 

In general, black tea is consumed more for its flavor, whereas green tea is often consumed for its health benefits.

Popularity: black tea vs green tea

In terms of popularity, black tea outweighs green tea. Particularly globally, according to my global tea survey, which is an ongoing survey that all tea drinkers can take part in.

Black tea drinkers currently form 66.7% of the tea drank. Whereas Green tea constitutes 59.5%. This is still fairly close considering some of the top tea-drinking nations, such as Britain and Turkey drink mainly black tea as a base.

black tea vs green tea survey results
black tea vs green tea survey results

You can check out more tea drinking popularity results below:

What tea do the British drink

What tea is popular in America

American tea vs British tea

Chinese tea culture

How black and green tea is processed

As mentioned previously, the main difference between black and green tea is the form of processing and oxidations they are subjected to.

Oxidation …in simple terms, is the extent to which the tea leaves are exposed to oxygen.

Black tea is heavily processed while allowing the leaves to fully oxidize once harvested. This allows the tea leaves to turn brown or even almost black, with green no longer present anywhere on the leaf.

Green tea on the other hand is least processed – next to white tea, and is either steamed or pan-fired to halt the oxidation process. This minimal processing and oxidation are why green tea retains its bright green color.

So that’s the main difference prior to consumption of these teas. When it comes to black tea vs green tea, let’s take a look at the aspects that differ beyond production and during the making and consuming process.

black tea vs green tea
black tea vs green tea

How black tea and green tea are brewed

Both black and green tea is brewed according to generally established standards and calls for no special brewing techniques. 

The general brewing standard for black tea calls for a water temperature of around 185°F to 194°F and a steeping time of 3 minutes.

Whereas for green tea the standard water temperature is around 150°F to 160°F and is steeped for 2 to 4 minutes.

Water TemperatureApprox. Steep time
Black tea185°F – 194°F3 minutes
Green tea150°F – 160°F2 – 4 minutes

These standard brewing methods can vary depending on your preference, variations used, and expected flavor profile.

Black tea vs green tea: Taste

Generally, black tea tastes malty, nutty, sweet, and strong. Green tea tastes grassy, vegetal, floral, and earthy. Steeping green tea too long can cause high bitterness so accurate steeping enhances the flavor. Green tea is more astringent and can be more bitter on the tongue than black tea.

Here’s what you can do to remedy it if your green tea is too bitter.

Black tea can be described as the stronger and bolder taste of the two. Being fairly astringent, with hints of stone fruit, malt, honey, and spice. Black tea produces a red or orange-looking brew.

On the other hand, green tea has a more delicate flavor profile that is earthy and bittersweet with vegetal, and sometimes aquatic notes. Green tea produces a golden-green color or mossy green-colored brew.

It’s also important to mention that as green tea has a more delicate taste, it calls for more precise and careful brewing, unlike black tea which is stronger. And you can make black tea even stronger too.

And it’s very easy for the taste and flavor of green tea to be easily spoiled, unlike black tea.

Caffeine content black tea vs green tea

On average, the amount of caffeine in an 8-oz (230-ml) serving of black tea is 40 to 70 milligrams, whereas caffeine in green tea is around 35 mg of caffeine per the same serving. 

This caffeine content can increase based on your brewing methods and the quality of your tea. Some tea experts believe that high-quality green tea can have more caffeine than low-quality black tea.

I’ve written extensively about caffeine in various types of tea. That includes an article with more specific details on caffeine in green tea

For caffeine in other teas, here are a few further options to explore…

Does Herbal tea have caffeine

Does Iced tea have caffeine

Caffeine in all varieties of Chai tea

Cost

Generally, black tea tends to be cheaper than green tea.

High-quality green tea is delicately processed to retain its special properties – this makes it more expensive due to greater labor and time costs. Black tea is often mass-produced so it’s more readily available. However, a good quality black and lower quality green tea could be of equal price. 

TIP: If you’re unfamiliar with different types of tea. Then you can often be guided by the price when it comes to the quality of black and green tea. From a reasonably good quality tea seller, you can make your own basic comparisons by looking at black tea cost vs green tea cost when comparing equal weight, and further comparing the price between those and other similar teas.

General properties

Black tea is packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenol, potassium, alkylamine, tannins, minerals, and vitamins, that all act as remedies for several illnesses.

Green tea boasts a profile of anti-inflammatory properties, fat-burning properties, Bio-active compounds, flavonoids, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, detoxifying properties, and even hydrating properties.

However, unlike green tea, the beneficial properties of black tea tend to be overshadowed by the caffeine content in black tea.

Popular benefits

Setting aside the caffeine content, which we covered earlier, here are the benefits of black tea vs green tea.

Popular benefits of black tea include:

  • Has a high antioxidant content that limits the damage caused by free radicals
  • Lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Improves gut health
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Lowers the risk of stroke 
  • Reduces the risk of developing heart conditions 
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Acts as an anticancer agent

Popular benefits of green tea include:

  • Improves brain function
  • Increases fat burning
  • Acts as an anti-cancer agent against certain types of cancer
  • Protects the brain from aging
  • Reduces bad breath
  • Prevents type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Detoxifies the body

A common property of black and green tea is the presence of polyphenols that contain strong antioxidant effects and are also believed to reduce the risk of heart diseases. 

The caffeine content found in black and green tea can also help with increasing alertness and focus, whereas their L-theanine content reduces stress and relaxes the body.

Which is healthier: black tea vs green tea

Green tea is a clear winner over black tea when it comes to which is healthier and is widely consumed for its health benefits. Also with reduced caffeine, content than black tea raises, green tea raises the health bar further.

Even if you consider the other benefits discussed above, green tea is the one to take if you’re looking to gain a greater impact on your health.

Green tea has an edge on health properties over black tea, because it is less processed, and therefore has stronger natural properties than black tea. Black tea also suffers from a higher caffeine content.

But remember that adding sugar or any other sweeteners to green tea may reduce these beneficial effects. Although there is the option of adding certain types of honey.

Black tea or green tea for weight loss benefits

For this, I would defer to recent studies conducted into weight loss when comparing black tea vs green tea. The study tracked progress in mice who were given a combination of high and low fat, and high and low sugar diets. Along with the addition of green or black tea.

Studies showed that smaller green tea polyphenol molecules are absorbed more easily, reaching the liver and enhance energy metabolism. Black tea molecules are larger, they remain in the intestine and boost growth in friendly gut bacteria, forming metabolites that help control liver energy metabolism.

There is also no cholesterol in green or black tea, and no saturated fat. Providing it’s consumed as is and without added sweetening But then honey in green tea can be an acceptable option if you need to sweeten it.

I have to say that although black tea is also great at helping to keep weight down. From my years of extensive experience, I have found that drinking green tea does indeed provide an edge when it comes to weight loss, as well as helping to keep weight down over an extended period of continued use.

How much green or black tea to drink for weight loss

In general, how much tea to drink per day can vary depending on the tea concerned, but when it comes to weight loss for black tea or green tea there is a slight distinction.

Not least because you should really look to drink less green tea per day than black tea.

Here’s a quick summary of how much green tea to drink…

Drinking between 2 and 3 cups, and no more than 4 cups per day of green tea should be sufficient for supplementing weight loss. The exact amount will vary from person to person, depending on how much caffeine they consume and their natural metabolism

1 cup of green tea burns how many calories

According to research, a cup of green tea burns 2.45 calories, this is per cup, and you should only really be looking to consume 3 – 4 cups per day. So calorie intake is super low provided you take without sweetening.

But zero cholesterol and no saturated fats, plus other benefits also come into play concerning weight loss. And when to drink green tea should also be taken into account as mentioned above.

1 cup of black tea burns how many calories

At only 2 calories per cup, and supported by the other benefits of black tea, you can consume up to 5 cups per day which is considered a healthy amount. There is no cholesterol and no saturated fat.

Black tea only has approximately 2 calories per cup. It also has zero percent cholesterol and saturated fat. If a cup of black tea is found to have more than 2 calories, it is usually linked to other products added to it such as milk, honey, or sugar

Here’s a table to outline this. For the most part, the calorie intake is negligible between the two drinks when you consider how much of each to drink.

Green teaBlack tea
Calories per cup2.452.0
calories in green tea vs black tea

Diuretic effects

Caffeine is a natural diuretic and so, the more the caffeine in your tea, the greater the diuretic effects. Read more on the effects of Iced tea being a diuretic.

And as mentioned earlier, black tea has more caffeine than green tea, thereby naturally making black tea more diuretic than green tea.

Green tea has mild diuretic effects when compared to black tea and these may not be apparent or notable when consumed in limited quantities.

However, if you include sweeteners in your green tea or even black tea, their diuretic effects can increase further.

In terms of reducing the effects of bloating, Green tea is also known to decrease bloating, but there are also other teas that reduce bloating too. 

Which is better?

Ideally, I’d always recommend trying both black tea and green tea before making any judgment. If you’re looking to become a tea drinker, then start with my top 5 teas for beginners to try first.

Once you understand the flavor profile of both black and green tea from testing both, Then which to buy depends mainly on your motivation for the purchase.

Generally, if shopping for flavor, then both black and green tea will provide you with that. If you’re looking for greater health benefits, then choose green tea. While black tea is still a healthy option, most studies and tea connoisseurs would agree that green tea is healthier than black tea.

More tea help

I hope this has provided a good overview of black tea vs green tea.

If you’re interested in learning more about tea, then you will love my tea course. It’s a tea beginners’ way of fast-tracking your tea skills to become the go-to tea connoisseur within your family and circle of friends.

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