What is white tea?
White tea, meaning “white” or “silver” in Chinese, is a very lightly oxidized tea grown and harvested exclusively in China. The name refers to the downy white hair on the unopened buds of the tea plant Camellia sinensis, which are covered with a silver sheen. Silver needle is an example of a white tea.
The Harvesting of white tea is done entirely by hand and requires great care and expertise. The leaves and buds are picked just before the tea plant’s leaves open fully (known as the “first flush”), generally between late March and early April. Once picked, the young leaves and buds are immediately raked into baskets for transport to the processing facility.
At the processing facility, fresh white tea leaves are laid out on racks or mats in a warm room to wither. During this time, water evaporates from the leaf cells while enzymes convert natural carbohydrates into simple sugars, giving white tea its characteristic sweetness. After withered, they are then rolled gently by hand to release their essential oils before being dried in an oven or mechanized dehydrator at low temperatures until they reach a moisture content of 3-5%.
The history of white tea
White tea is the least processed of all the teas. It is picked before the leaves open fully, when the buds are still covered with fine white hairs. It is then quickly dried to prevent oxidation. Because of this gentle processing, white tea retains more of its antioxidant properties than other teas.
The history of white tea is interesting and somewhat mysterious. It is said to have originated in Fujian Province in China, where it was known as “moonlight silver needle tea”. It was first mentioned in a Chinese poem from the 8th century. White tea was once a rare and expensive treat, reserved for Chinese royalty. It was not widely available until the late 20th century.
Nowadays, white tea is more popular than ever, and can be found in many different varieties. The most common type is Silver Needle, which is made up of only young buds. Other popular varieties include White Peony and Long Life Eyebrow.
Whether you’re a tea lover or just curious about this fascinating beverage, we hope you enjoy learning more about white tea!
The benefits of white tea
White tea is made from the young leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is the least processed of all teas, resulting in a delicate flavor and fewer caffeine than other teas.
There are many different types of white tea, each with its own distinct flavor profile. The most common types of white tea are Silver Needle, White Peony, and Dragonwell.
White tea is packed with antioxidants and has been shown to boost metabolism, lower cholesterol, and improve oral health. It is also thought to promote skin health and anti-aging.
How to make white tea
Brewing white tea is a simple process, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a perfect cup. The key is to use fresh, filtered water and not to over-steep.
- Bring water to a simmer (around 185 degrees Fahrenheit) and let it cool for about 2 minutes.
- Use about 2 grams of tea per 8 ounces of water.
- Steep for 1-2 minutes. Be sure not to over-steep, as the tea will become bitter.
- Once the desired flavor is achieved, remove the leaves and enjoy.
How to store white tea
To keep your white tea fresh, store it in an airtight container away from heat and light. Once opened, it’s best to finish it within a few weeks. You may notice the tea starts to lose its flavor and aroma after that time.