Whether you are a tea connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of tea, you would have certainly heard of green tea and herbal tea, and you may even use the two terms interchangeably. However, some differences set the two apart in flavour, fragrance, and health benefits. Here is a quick guide for everything you need to know about green tea vs herbal tea.
Here are five differences between green tea and herbal tea.
The Origin of Green Tea and Herbal Tea
There two main differences which set green tea and herbal tea apart, are the source and the chemical composition. Green tea is one of the four main types of “real” teas. Real teas, namely black, white, oolong, and green tea are made from the freshly handpicked leaves of the Camellia Sinensis bush. However, herbal teas on the other hand cannot be called teas since leaves from the Camellia Sinensis are not used. Instead, the correct term for herbal tea is herbal infusion as this brew is made from spices, herb, flowers, and other aromatics. Also, herbal infusions can be made of anything, from chamomile flowers to rooibos leaves, the list is endless!
The Caffeine Level in Green Tea and Herbal Tea
Continually, while the plant used is a significant distinguishing factor between the two “teas”, another difference is their caffeine content. Tea is naturally rich in caffeine, containing approximately 40 - 50mg of caffeine in one cup of tea, although the amount can vary slightly between teas. However, if you are highly sensitive to caffeine it is best to avoid consuming an excessive amount of green tea. Herbal infusions on the other hand are entirely caffeine-free, making it an excellent option for non-caffeine drinkers.
How Green Tea and Herbal Tea is Made
Making tea is an art, and it is how the tea leaves are processed that differentiates the types of teas. It all begins when the tender shoots of the tea bush are handpicked. After that, the tea leaves go through several processes such as withering, rolling, oxidation, firing, and drying. The reason behind green tea’s unique aroma, pale colour, and delicate flavour is the fact that the leaves are left unoxidized.
Herbal infusions are prepared in an entirely different way. The most common way these herbal teas are prepared is by an infusion. Once the herbs are collected, they are then dried after which they are processed and packaged. All you need to do is add boiling water, or near-boiling water, to a tea infuser, let the herbs steep, and enjoy! However, some infusions require slightly more effort. One such infusion is rooibos, also known as red tea is a broom-like bush that is native to South Africa. Rooibos leaves go through an almost identical process as tea leaves, however, unlike tea, this plant does not contain any caffeine. For centuries, it was used as a tea substitute and today you can even get green rooibos, which is the green tea version of this infusion!
The Different Types of Green Tea and Herbal Tea
Any herb (apart from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis) can be used to make herbal tea, as a result there is an endless variety of herbal tea for you to enjoy. From refreshing Pure Peppermint to a sweet Berry Explosion, you will certainly be able to find a herbal infusion to suit your taste. Similarly, there is a wide variety of green tea available. For the best green tea, shop from our range of Single Origin teas like Pure Green Tea, Jasmine Green Tea and Moroccan Mint Green Tea.
The Health Benefits of Green Tea and Herbal Tea
Finally, the different health benefits derived from drinking green tea and herbal infusions vary due to the different chemical compositions.
Green tea is made from the tender shoots of the tea plant which have a significantly higher concentration of plant antioxidants known as flavonoids. These flavonoids can offset the negative effects of Free Radicals and Oxidative Species, which can lead to degenerative diseases and can also boost immunity. Some other health benefits of green tea also include:
- Can boost
- May improve brain function and protect the brain from ageing
- It can help lower bad cholesterol levels
- It may help prevent type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity
The health benefits of herbal infusions vary depending on the herbs used. For instance, drinking chamomile can help reduce menstrual pain, lower blood sugar levels, and can help reduce anxiety. While drinking peppermint tea is believed to aid digestion, soothe an upset stomach, and reduce headaches. You can learn more about the herb specific health benefits here.
Green tea and herbal infusions may have a few differences, but they also have a few similarities. They are both fragrant and flavourful and are loaded with health benefits! Get your box of goodness today.