Tea is a hugely popular drink, and depending on who you ask, it is either the second or the third most popular drink in the world. But is black tea more popular than green tea? Is it better for you? And are there more benefits? These are the questions we aim to address, so brew yourself a nice cup of tea, kick back, and take it all in.
How Much Tea is Sold Worldwide?
More than 5 million metric tons of tea are sold every year around the world, around half of which is made in China, with a large proportion of the rest being produced in India. Tea is a hugely popular drink in the United Kingdom, and it’s also growing in popularity in the United States, but Russia imports more of the drink than anyone else, a stat that will no doubt surprise many fans of this beverage.
Is Black Tea More Popular Than Green Tea?
Green tea is increasing in popularity at a greater rate than black tea, but black tea still sells more than green tea worldwide and in most countries. Green tea sells more than oolong/white tea, though, and all of these teas top red tea, which is actually harvested from a different plant. Instant tea and bottled tea are not very popular in big tea-drinking countries, as anyone from the UK will tell you. As much as the UK loves tea, and as much as they have taken to instant coffee, the market for instant tea is weak, most likely because drinkers believe the product to be weak, as well.
Iced tea is also less popular in the UK than you might expect, but it tends to do well in hot countries that don’t drink a lot of tea. It’s huge in the United States, for instance, and it’s also very big in countries like Greece, where it’s a commonly consumed soft drink even though the vast majority of the population don’t drink hot tea and prefer coffee.
As for green tea and white tea, it seems to be at its post popular in China, where it has been consumed for many hundreds of years. In Europe, black tea was the first tea to become popular and it remains the most popular. These days, everyone wants to be a little healthier, and that has created a surge in green tea and even white tea across Europe, but black tea still dominates.
Does Black Tea Have More Caffeine Than Green Tea?
Yes, but it might surprise you to learn just how much caffeine is in green tea. There is roughly twice as much caffeine in black tea as there is in green tea, as opposed to the negligible amount that many drinkers seem to assume is in green tea. If you have a sensitivity to this stimulant, then the 25 to 40mg that you will find in green tea will still be enough to cause side effects, although nowhere near as much as coffee.
The reason the numbers vary so much is because it all depends on the variety of tea that you’re drinking and the amount of time that you steep it. The longer you steep it, the more of the caffeine can leech from the tea leaf into the liquid. If you want less caffeine, then don’t steep it for as long but know that doing so will also result in a weaker cup of tea.
This may be more palatable with green tea, which has a milder flavour, than black tea, which tends to be very strong. This is especially true if you drink black tea with milk and green tea without, as recommended, because a weaker black tea with milk can result in a very bland and insipid drink, whereas a weaker green tea without milk will still be a fragrant and enjoyable drink.
Does Green Tea Stain Teeth?
We know that black tea stains teeth, albeit not as much as coffee, but what about green tea? It doesn’t have the dark colour, it looks cleaner and clearer, but does green tea stain teeth like black tea does? Unfortunately, yes it does, but perhaps not as much as black tea.
Green tea may actually stain your teeth grey, taking away the glorious white and replacing them with a dull grey/green colour. The tannins in tea trigger this reaction (the same tannns that stain your carpet too). But generally, green tea will stain less than black tea, and we’ve also been told that the quality of the tea plays a role as well, with lower quality teas staining more than higher quality ones. The problem is, we’re not entirely sure why this would be the case.
Black Tea versus Green Tea: Which is Healthier?
There is a misconception that only green tea is healthy and that black tea is not. This is simply not true. Black tea will stain your teeth more than green tea, and it is also more commonly drunk with sugar, which reduces the healthiness of the drink. However, it doesn’t need to be consumed with sugar, and if it’s not, then it’s a healthy drink all round. If you can’t drink it without sugar, then try drinking it with a little honey instead or check our tips below.
As far as the healthier option goes, it probably goes to green tea because it doesn’t stain your teeth, doesn’t contain as much caffeine, and has plenty of epigallocatechin (EGCG), which has been linked with a host of health benefits. However, black tea is loaded with theaflavins and thearubigins, which have also been connected to many positive effects. The fact that black tea is fermented has caused some concerns in some studies, as this action can produce carcinogenic properties, but most studies done on actual tea drinkers have been positive, and the fact that it has anti-cancer properties means those benefits could undo whatever risk is associated with fermentation.
Drinking Black Tea Without Sugar
If you have been drinking black tea all your life and you still can’t stomach it without sugar, try steeping it for longer or using a higher quality leaf. The better the tea, the easier it will be to drink without sugar, especially if you already enjoy the taste of tea.
Green tea is usually drunk without as much sugar simply because too much sugar can make it an unpleasant drink. A little honey does make it a more enjoyable drink for some, but there are other ways to sweeten it. Our tip is to add a little bee pollen, improving the health benefits and nutrimental goodness of the drink while adding a slight sweetness.