There are many questions without answers these days. So let me tackle one of them for you. And like many personal questions, you get to choose the solution that resonates with you. I want you to know that if the choice is hard, you can have both! I go through stages where I have green tea daily for a while and then times where I have black tea daily. I always integrate herbal tea into my weekly regimens depending on my needs and symptoms. But when I want a caffeine fix, I turn to green or black tea.
Benefits of Black Tea
With less caffeine than coffee and more than green tea, black tea is one of the most consumed beverages, second only to water.
The benefits range from lowering LDL (also known as “bad”) cholesterol levels to being full of antioxidants, giving black tea a good reputation as a healthy caffeinated beverage. In addition, it is claimed to be good for your heart, to help prevent strokes, improve gut health, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of stroke.
“Researchers discovered that individuals who drank more than three cups of tea (either black or green tea) per day had a 21% decreased risk of stroke, compared to individuals who drank less than one cup of tea per day.” Healthline
I have found that most people drink black tea (over other teas) to increase energy, and black tea will not disappoint. There is an estimate of 47 grams of caffeine per cup of black tea. Compare this to green tea at about half that amount, at 28 grams.
This fantastic tea also contains L-theanine:
“L-theanine increases alpha activity in the brain, resulting in relaxation and better focus. This may be why many individuals report more stable energy after drinking tea, compared to other caffeinated beverages like coffee.” Healthline
Benefits of Green Tea
I am in love with green tea! I’ve never had a green tea I didn’t enjoy. And knowing how healthy it is, makes me love it even more. While most teas contain antioxidants, green tea has the most amount of all!
Antioxidants help prevent cell damage making green tea a good choice for lowering the risk of cancers and many other diseases. Like black tea, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which increases energy and focus.
“L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.” Healthline
Green tea improves brain function, and studies show this could have an after effect during aging. In addition, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease rates are lower among those who consume green tea regularly. For someone who writes for a living, this is enough good news to help me continue my daily cup or two of jasmine tea.
This miracle tea is also great for weight loss, preventing type-2 diabetes, and extending your life. A study of 40,530 aging Japanese participants showed those who consumed 5 cups of green tea per day were 76% less likely to die during the study. Some other great statistics are:
- Death of all causes: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men
- Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men
- Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men
Read 7 Fabulous Reasons to Drink Green Tea for more good news.
Making the perfect cup of Black Tea
While many sources differ in the times they recommend, black tea can handle 3-5 minutes of steeping before straining this flavorful tea into your favorite teacup. By bring the water to a full boil before pouring over black tea leaves—the bigger the cut of tea leaves, the more flavor you will receive. While tea bags may be more convenient, you want to choose a sachet that allows ample room for the tea leaves to expand. Otherwise, I recommend a quality organic brand of loose-leaf black tea. I prefer using a strainer when removing tea leaves instead of using a tea ball. When the leaves can fully expand, you will receive the most amount of flavor.
Making the perfect cup of Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most delicate teas and deserves a timer to make the perfect cup of tea. If you steep this tea for too long, you will end up with a bitter cup of green tea. Some sources recommend steeping for only 1-2 minutes, but I prefer 3-4 minutes for a richer and bolder cup of tea. Experiment with different types of green tea and steeping times to find your preference. Green tea also doesn’t require boiling water, as this can damage the delicate tea leaves. You can either turn off the kettle just before it starts to boil or allow the kettle to sit for a few minutes before pouring over green tea leaves.
Loose-leaf versus tea bags
Some tea bags are made up of dust and fannings of tea, whereas some contain high-quality brands that use whole-leaf tea leaves. All teabags are not the same, so choose wisely for a better cup of tea. Read our past article for more information: Does loose-leaf tea taste better than tea bags?
“Just over 50% of Americans prefer loose-leaf tea. However, I have a feeling if you were to blind taste test Americans with a brewed cup of tea, they would all choose those made from loose-leaf teas. The flavor is bolder, and you will gain more medicinal benefits from using whole or significant cuts of tea leaves.” Walden
I use loose-leaf teas at home and let them fully expand in my Kleen Kanteen mug before using a hand-held strainer to pour tea into my cup. Whether I am drinking green tea, herbal tea, or black tea, loose-leaf teas excite me!
You, Me, and Uni’s Meditative State of Mind is an herbal loose-leaf tea, without caffeine. With or without honey, it has a full-bodied flavor. The flowers and leaves will plump up when submerged in boiling water. You don’t have to worry about removing the tea after a few minutes, like a fine green or black tea. There will be no bitterness from steeping Meditative State of Mind for hours, if you desire or if you get distracted. Lavender, mint, and chamomile are not the only flowers and herbs in this incredible tea; the master herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht, also added moringa.
When traveling, I use tea bags that are big enough to allow the leaves to unfold. Being the tea snob that I am, I can tell the difference. However, if you are new to drinking tea, you may not be able to tell the difference. A few tea bags I prefer are Mighty Leaf and The Tea Spot, as they use whole leaves and allow plenty of room for expansion.
This is a great article describing the differences between loose-leaf and tea bags for more information on this topic.
To find more inspiration on tea, read past articles at You, Me, and Uni. The healing ritual of tea contains information on several herbal teas that are beneficial to your health. All You, Me, and Uni teas: Trust Your Gut, Know Your Gut , and Meditative State of Mind can be purchased through Amazon. For more information on You, Me, and Uni, check out the website created by Master Herbalist Jennifer Vollbrecht. Browse the herbal tea articles on the site for more tips on adding delicious tea to your healthy lifestyle.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor, and the owner of
Walden Writes For Women.