White Tea vs. Green Tea: The Key Differences

Although white tea and green tea come from the same same plant, Camellia Sinensis, there are some key differences between these two types of tea.

This article will go into detail about why these two teas have different classifications.

White Tea


White tea is one of the least processed forms of tea.

It is usually withered outdoors after picking and then air-dried indoors.

White tea is often considered true to the tea plant’s nature, as the flavor is less altered through processing then many other types of tea.

Flavor Profile

There are many different types of white tea, but the flavor profile is typically comprised of honey, wild flowers, hay, and light fruit notes.

It is certainly a more mellow tasting tea.

Verdant Tea Shou Mei White Tea Wafer
Shou Mei White Tea Wafer

Green Tea


Green tea is processed a little further.

Some green teas are withered, but some are not.

Green tea then goes through a process, such as pan-frying or steaming to help prevent further oxidation of the leaf. This is the key processing difference between the two types of tea. It is also the reason why green tea retains such a brilliant green color.

Flavor Profile

The flavor profile of green tea is usually grassy, nutty, floral, sweet and is a bit more bold than white tea.

Of course, there is some variation, such as some Japanese teas having an oceanic component to the flavor profile, but the grass and nut notes is what most people would recognize as unique about green tea.

Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea
Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea
Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson is the founder and chief editor of the Professional Tea Taster.

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