Green/White Tea, a healthy “coffee break”

It’s proven that taking short breaks during your working day is good for productivity and your memory. As an excuse for a break, people go and have a coffee. It’s also often at the coffee machine or coffee area that you bump into people, talk about other things or even make decisions. You can still have all that and do something good for your health at the same time. Introducing the “green tea break”…

5 years ago I was drinking coffee with a few colleagues after lunch and we started talking about the negative effects of drinking a lot of coffee. Surprised by all the effects mentioned, I decided there and then to stop and instead switch to what I had heard was a healthy alternative, green tea. The good thing about public commitments is that you are much likely to stick to them, and so I have.

As people are often surprised when I take hot water from the coffee machine or order green tea after lunch, I have had many discussions about coffee vs. green tea, which is better and why. I have therefore done a bit of online research and learnt about all the positive effects of green tea. Here are the most important ones:

  • It helps to build the immune system with its antioxidants
  • It lowers cholesterol and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol
  • It increases metabolism which helps you lose weight
  • It reduces the risk of getting various types of cancer and inhibits the growth of certain cancer cells
  • It reduces the risk of getting Alzheimer’s
  • It slows down the signs of ageing by fighting the free radicals
  • It lowers the risk of high blood pressure
  • It may help prevent tooth decay by killing the bacteria which causes the dental plaque
  • It can protect against seasonal allergies

Hopefully these benefits are convincing enough to persuade you to replace the 5 cups a day “lousy office coffee machine coffee” routine for a better green or white tea alternative.

But what is the difference between black, green and white tea?

All tea variants are made from the leaves of the same plantĀ Camellia sinensis, the difference is how the leaves are processed.

  • Black tea undergoes complete oxidation which gives it a rich taste and protects the leaves so they can be stored longer.
  • Green tea is only partly oxidized and the tea therefore contains more antioxidants and less caffeine.
  • White tea is made from leaves that are picked before they are fully open and still have fine white “hairs”. It is not oxidized at all and therefore contains even more antioxidants (up to 3 times more) and also less caffeine than black and green tea.