You’ll be surprised to know that white tea comes from the same plant as Green and Black teas, Camellia Sinensi. Least processed of all the teas so far, white tea is produced in the Fujian province in China. Known for both its delicate flavour profiles as well as health benefits, white tea is harvested once a year and usually in spring. The finest and youngest leaves and buds are painstakingly plucked, before being gently dried in the sun. As a result, tea has pale, golden liquor like colour with a fresh and delicate flavour. Exhibiting the most refreshing fruity taste, white tea can be drunk throughout the day.
Difference between white tea and green tea
White teas tend to be harvested earlier in the year and they tend to be sweeter and more delicate in flavour than green teas. While green tea is steamed or fired after picking to prevent oxidation, the young leaves and buds of a white tea are left to dry naturally. White tea is made from immature or unopened tea leaves of the tea plant. The buds chosen are generally white and fuzzy. Green and black teas are made from tea leaves that are mature.
White tea caffeine content
White tea is naturally low in caffeine but people refer white as caffeinated. The term ‘caffeinated’ used is incorrect as it actually means that caffeine was added. No caffeine is added to white tea because it occurs naturally.
Why is white tea more expensive?
Since only the youngest buds and/or leaves go into its making, harvesting is time consuming and production is limited, and so white tea prices are higher compared to other teas.
After harvesting, these buds have to be treated with great care to preserve the fine white hairs present on the leaves, making the process costlier. Being the first harvest of the year, there is always a strong demand for the first harvest tea leaves.
Benefits of white tea:
White tea is beneficial as they have certain qualities which improve overall health.
- Anti-ageing: White teas help reverse skin damage caused by stress, diet and sun and can even help the skin to rebuild resistance to stress.
- A good dose of antioxidants: Containing most of the antioxidants (like catechins) and polyphenols, white tea is minimally processed and helps protect the body from free radicals and keeps your immune system healthy.
- Low in caffeine: Caffeine occurs naturally in white tea but in lesser amounts so it is not a caffeinated drink.
- Helps lower risk of cardiovascular diseases: Polyphenols helps relax blood vessels, boost immunity and prevent bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized, hence lowering the risk of heart disease.
Types of white teas
There are two most popular types of white tea- White Peony/ Bai mu dan and Silver Needle. Silver Needle is the most expensive of all the white teas that is made only from the single tips of the tea stem, which when dried, look like silver needles. Darjeeling white tea from India and Ceylon white tea from Sri Lanka are some of the other types.
Over to you
White tea is a great addition to your diet and its subtle taste can be enjoyed both as hot and cold brew. Try white tea to know how it is better from black and green tea and give us a review!