Whether it is green or black or oolong or white tea all are coming from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Two leaves and a bud we take from the plant and prepare and cure it in different way to get all these four teas.

Tea is the most widely drunk beverage in the world after water. The way you prepare tea is important for its taste and they are

• For green tea - 80 to 85 degrees C (176 to 185 degrees F)
• For black tea - boiling water 99 degrees C (210 degrees F)
• For oolong tea 90 to 100 degrees C (194 to 212 degrees F)
• For whire tea 66 to 71 degrees C (150 to 160 degrees F)

During preparation green tea has minimum oxidation and this is the reason why it has more antioxidants. The polyphenols, catechins and epigallocatechingallate are powerful antioxidants. Green tea contain certain carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamin C, many important minerals such as chromium, manganese, selenium and zinc and several other phytochemicals which are good for our health. Green tea also has caffeine, theophylline and theobromine and these belong to the methylxanthine. Methylxanthine stimulates the nervous system, relaxes smooth muscles in the airways to the lungs, stimulates the heart and acts as a diuretic (more urine). Even today thyophylline is the best medicine for asthma.

The amount of caffeine depends the amount of tea you take and the time you have taken to prepare irrespective of green or black teas. I has, anyhow, less caffeine than coffee. One cup of tea contains about 50 mg caffeine as compared to coffee, which contains 65 to 175 mg.

Black tea is also made from the two leaves and a bud but is dried during preparation and so more oxidation happens. This drying process of black tea is called fermentation and has nothing to do with normal fermentation. This reduces the amount of the antioxidants. Black tea contains the polyphenols like catechins, anthocyanins, theaflavin, thearubigens, phenolic acids and tannin, trace elements and vitamines. Black tea has also the methyxanthine chemicals.

Green tea is richer in antioxidants, has less caffeine and doen not stain the teeth, but black tea tastes more with its fuller flavour. So my advice is drink both the teas, pure drinking water and leave all the other soft beverages except freshly pressed fruit juices. This is very healthy. The recent research says not only epigallocatechin gallate found itn green tea but also the theaflavins and thearubigens found in black tea are responsible for the health effects.

There are many studies about the good effect of tea on heart, kidneys and its anti-cancer qualities. You must have your lifestyle in such a way that there are only little risk factors. If you live unhealthy and rape your body even the best green or black teas can’t help you