Did you know white tea benefits those who enjoy it?
If a tea could be as pure as the driven snow and as dazzling as a tea queen, it would surely be white tea. This gem is the most honest and cleanest of all teas.
Let’s travel to the high elevations of Asia, where the wet mist of passing clouds envelop tea leaves, and the pure air cleanses and embraces this tea plant.
What Is White Tea?
It comes from the Camellia sinensis tea plant. All true teas (black, green, oolong, white, and yellow) are produced from this plant. However, it’s the way the tea is harvested and processed that sets each one apart. This tea is the least processed of all teas.
White Tea Origin
This tea is a Chinese tea mainly produced in the Fujian Province of China. There are a few other countries that produce it; however, taste and quality may differ because of the terroir (climate, region, and soil.)
Is Green Tea Better Than White Tea?
So, is white tea a thing or just a weakened version of green tea? Many of those new to tea drinking ask this question, and rightly so because of the minimal processing. The lesser a tea is processed, the lighter in color it will be. It’s this light color that makes many assume it’s diluted and weak. It is in a class of its own and completely unrelated to green tea.
It’s often perceived that just because tea isn’t black, it’s not robust, and the paler it is in color, the more inferior it is. White tea is at the end of the spectrum when it comes to color, with black tea on the other end. However, when we place these teas on a beneficial spectrum, white is considered the best.
What Does White Tea Taste Like?
In its unadulterated form is said to have a mild, delicate flavor with a subtle hint of sweetness and a sharp, crisp, clean finish. However, when it is infused with herbs, other teas, fruit, or essential oils, the flavor will be different.
How Is White Tea Processed?
Just as the tea plant sprouts tender young leaf buds, pickers are there to pluck the newly birthed buds. These buds have a needle-like appearance. Timing and the manner in which the leaf buds are picked are precise and well-orchestrated.
Pluckers with wicker baskets strapped to their backs maneuver their way through the open rows of tea fields propped on sharp inclines of hills and mountains. Harvesting tea leaves (picking and plucking) is known as a “flush.” Once the plucker’s baskets are full, they carry them back to a processing plant.
Flushes are done at different times in different countries and are usually planned around the climate and seasons. White tea is harvested during the 1st flush.
Flushes vary according to the country and culture. In China, tea flushes follow the lunisolar calendar. Because white tea is generally produced in China, we have outlined the various flushes (harvests) of Chinese teas. However, this tea is a “Ming Quian” (1st flush) tea which is why it’s a rare and premium tea.
The bounty of the harvest is taken back to a building where the buds are carefully steamed to stop oxidation. After getting an exhilarating steam bath, workers gently lay the buds out in the sun, where they naturally dry.
Drying, Packaging, And Shipping
Once dried, the buds continue their journey to be packaged and shipped out to those anxiously awaiting their arrival. Cups of beautiful tea in the most preserved and natural form are lovingly enjoyed.
The beauty of a true tea (green, black, oolong, yellow, or white) is the journey it makes from the moment it sprouts on the tea plant until the moment you brew a cup of it. The behind-the-scenes mechanics of harvesting, processing, packaging, and shipping are things that tea drinkers rarely get to see or experience.
Why not start a tea journey with our monthly tea journey (delivered right to your front door)?
Types Of White Tea
What Is The Best White Tea?
This tea’s ingredients vary with the different types of this tea because of blends and infusions of other teas, herbs, fruits, or spices. As with any tea, loose-leaf tea is the best because it’s made with the finest tea leaves, whereas, tea bags are made from the fannings and dust (particles) from tea leaves.
A Few White Tea Specifics
It is one of the most delicate teas. Loose-leaf tea is the best in quality. Here are a few types of this tea to give you an idea of different blends and infusions.
White Tea Caffeine
A cup of tea can contain as much as 50 mg of caffeine. The recommended daily intake of caffeine (by the FDA) is no more than 400 mg. That comes out to about 4-6 (six-ounce) cups of tea a day.
When Should I Drink White Tea?
When to drink white tea is something that rests on the minds of those who may be concerned about caffeine. For others, being unfamiliar with white tea, the question about how and when it’s ideal to enjoy is raised.
Consuming white tea in the late afternoon or evening may cause difficulty in getting to sleep because of the caffeine content.
What Are The Benefits Of White Tea?
A published article by the International Journal of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics (“White Tea (Camellia sinensis:) Antioxidant Properties and Beneficial Health Effects”) states that white tea has numerous benefits.
Because white tea is the least processed of all true teas, it contains the highest level of phenols. These phenols exert antioxidant activities that help with disease and conditions relating to the heart, diabetes, some cancers, and neurodegeneration. Additionally, white tea also has potent anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits.
White Tea Benefits And Side Effects
The article from the International Journal of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics goes on to report that tea’s bioactive compounds also have properties that act as antidepressants, anti-hypertensive, antimicrobial, and immune boosters. As for side effects, the only thing to watch for with white tea is your caffeine intake.
Caffeine can cause rapid heartbeat, insomnia, anxiety, and the jitters.
Is It Safe To Drink White Tea Every Day?
We are not experts with the necessary professional training to be able to advise you on whether teas or tisanes are safe to consume or not. However, supported data from various studies and reports backed by scientific data we mention or include should help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you feel it’s safe to drink.
There is no evidence-based information stating any dangers in drinking white tea daily. Drinkers should be aware of their caffeine intake.
As with any other tea or tisane, it’s best to consult with your physician to ensure any existing medical conditions or medications you are on do not interact with this tea. Breastfeeding or pregnant women should especially talk to their physician before starting a tea or tisane regimen.
How To Make The Perfect Cup Of White Tea
Loose-leaf tea is the best in quality, especially when purchased through a tea shop. Tea shops source their teas (in small batches to prevent it from going stale) from reputable tea estates.
When making your cup of tea, the water should reach about 185 degrees (F.) White tea is very delicate and tender, and boiling your water will only result in the tea leaves being cooked. Steeping time should be 3-7 minutes or as directed on the tea packaging.
Pure As White Snow!
White tea is the Rolls Royce of all teas. As its name implies, purity is of the utmost characteristic of this lovely tea the earth brings forth for each of us to enjoy!