Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea are major types of teas in China. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.
The more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their autoxidizing power is still high.
- Green tea: Unfermented, has the highest concentration of EGCG. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.
- Black tea: Mostly fermented, has the highest caffeine. Studies have shown that black tea may reduce risk of skin cancer. It also may reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Black tea protects stomach, best for people who have stomach issues.
- White tea: Uncured, partially fermented and least processed. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.
- Oolong tea: Half fermented. In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn’t backed the claims.
- Pu-erh tea: Made from fermented and aged leaves. Its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.
We always have a pot of tea of the week in our lobby ready for your enjoyment. To your health!