Green Tea and Black Tea are Made from Different Plants
© Depositphotos.com/Hannamariah

Green tea and black tea are made from different plants.

Don’t Believe That!

It seems obvious that green tea and black tea have different plant sources – after all, they look different, they taste different and they have different names. But, green, black, white, oolong and all other teas are made from the exact same plant.

The camellia sinensis is a tree-like shrub that probably originated in China. Tea was first brewed from the leaves of the camellia sinensis as a medicinal elixir and eventually became popular as a recreational drink, spreading to other Asian countries. Portuguese merchants introduced tea to the West in the 16th century. Today, it is the most popular beverage in the world after water.

Different varieties of tea are created by different processing methods. Green tea is created by heating or steaming the leaves right after they are picked. Black tea is created by crushing the leaves and allowing them to dry out and oxidize (thus turning from green to black). Oolong tea is created is a similar way to black tea but is not allowed to oxidize for as long. White tea is made from leaves that are harvested while still in “bud” form (not opened fully).

Bonus Fact: Though a number of drinks are called “tea,” (such as herbal teas), if not brewed from the camellia sinensis, they are technically not tea.

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