White tea is a tea with a delicate taste and low caffeine. It is made up of buds and new leaves and harvested at the beginning of the season. The white fuzz found on young tea leaves gives it its name. This helps to protect the plant's new growth against insects. White tea is more expensive than other teas because it is only hand-harvested for a limited time each year.
WHAT IS WHITE TEA?Because it is minimally processed, white tea is one of the most Precious varieties of tea. When the buds are still covered in fine white hairs, white tea is harvested before the leaves of the tea plant open fully.
The buds and unfurled tea leaves of the new growth are carefully handpicked. They are then dried quickly and thoroughly not to oxidize as much as the green and black tea leaves. The result is the finest and freshest tea possible.
Different Types Of White Tea
White tea was first produced commercially in China in the 1700s from two white tea plants discovered in China's Fujian Province. These tea plants are known for their large, beautiful tea buds.
These delicate and minimally processed teas, made from young buds, were hard to transport and store without spoiling. White teas were not widely available outside the Fujian tea-growing regions. The process of making white teas grew beyond Fujian province to other parts of the globe that were looking for rare and exceptional teas.
Many countries, including those outside China, are now cultivating their white teas from tea plant varieties. These are some of the most well-known white tea varieties:
Bai Hao Yi Zhen (Silver Needle): This true Silver Needle is from China's Fujian province. It is cultivated using the original varieties of Chinese white tea plants. The tea's silver color comes from its large, full buds, covered with white, fluffy hairs.
Bai Mudan (White Peony): A newer variety in white tea, is grown in China and other parts of the world. You can either grow it from an original Chinese white tea bush or another variety. It often includes buds mixed with young, unopened or partially opened tea leaves.
Monkey-Picked White Tea: Rumored to have been harvested once by Buddhist-trained monkeys from the highest wild tea tree branches in mountainous areas of China. "Monkey-picked," a term used to describe a high-quality Chinese tea made with young tea leaves and buds, is now a common term.
Darjeeling White tea: This variety was not made from the genuine Chinese white tea variety but tea plants native to the Darjeeling region in India. Although the processing process is the same as Fujian white teas, the flavor profile is quite different.
Health Benefits of White Tea
White tea has a long list of health benefits that rival green tea. These benefits are still being studied in scientific studies.
Immune System Boost
Research has shown that white tea can boost your immune system. The tea can kill bacteria and viruses that cause diseases in the body, such as Streptococcus infections or pneumonia.
Colon cancer risk is reduced
White tea could help you fight colon cancer. White tea was given to mice with colon cancer genes in a study. These mice had fewer colon polyps when given white tea than mice who received common prescription drugs.
Lower Cholesterol, Blood Pressure
White tea is the most processed type of tea. This means that lost of the health benefits linked with tea are preserved better. High blood pressure and cholesterol can be reduced by drinking tea with high levels of polyphenols, which are particularly prevalent in white teas.
Making Of White Tea
Ask your tea vendor to provide brewing instructions for the specific tea you have purchased. Different white teas may require different brewing temperatures or steeping times. Here are some white tea brewing tips:
- White teas may be brewed at a higher temperature and for longer periods than green teas. This is generally around 190 degrees for between 3 and 5 minutes. Others are delicate and should not be steeped for more than 3 minutes in 160-180 degree water.
- When it comes to steeping time, white tea is more flexible than green and black teas. You don't want your tea to be over-steeped as it can cause bitterness or astringency.
- After the recommended steeping time, taste your tea and decide if it should be steeped for a longer period. An electric kettle without temperature control is not necessary. At sea level, water boils at 218 degrees.
- For every 100 feet of elevation, the boiling temperature drops by about 1 degree. For white tea, a simmer of just below a boil is ideal.
- Use the instructions for brewing white tea if they have them. For 8 oz., use 2 grams of loose tea leaves. A cup of water is safe.
- When brewing tea, always use cold, fresh, filtered water. The best water to utilize is spring water.
- To keep the heat in your steeping vessel, cover the tea.
- Many high-quality loose leaf white teas are capable of being steeped several times.
- White teas are delicate and subtle. They are best enjoyed plain with no sugar or milk to fully appreciate their true flavor.
How To Drink White Tea
To preserve the freshness of white tea, it is best to brew the tea at a low temperature. Make sure to use fresh, unfiltered water that has not been distilled. White teas can be steeped for up to five minutes, depending on the Category. Some varieties can become bitter and astringent if left too steep for too long or with too hot water.
The tea quantity depends on the type of leaves. If the tea is made up of mainly compact buds, then a teaspoon will be sufficient for an 8-ounce cup. Use less than a teaspoon per cup if the tea is made from lightweight, open leaves. You can taste the tea before you add sugar or other ingredients. It probably won't require it.
White Tea Contains Caffeine
White tea's caffeine content can vary depending upon where it was made. Traditional Fujian teas have low caffeine content. A cup of Fujian tea can have as little as six mg of caffeine if it is brewed at the right temperature and for a short time. This compares to coffee's 80-200 milligrams. The tea is lower in acidity than black tea and coffee due to its lack of oxidization and short brew times.
White tea is being grown in Darjeeling and India, and other tea-growing areas around the globe. White tea can have a different taste than its traditional counterpart. Some white teas from outside China are known to contain higher levels of caffeine. These teas may have as much caffeine as green tea or black tea, up to 75 mg per cup.
Storing and Buying
You can buy white tea in whole tea leaves, Tea bags or bottled iced. There are also blends available. Whole leaf tea is of the best quality. White tea should be stored in an airtight container, away from sunlight, in a cool and dry location.
These conditions will ensure that unflavored tea leaves remain high-quality for at least a year. Flavored teas (white or flavored teas with citrus or vanilla added) will last six to one year. Although the tea will not go bad, it will lose some of its flavors over time.
White Tea Price
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