What is White Tea?
White tea is a little less common than it’s more renowned cousins – green tea and black tea however, white tea deserves your attention. White tea leaves are still from the Cammelia Sinensis plant however, they undergo a very different process that changes the entire make up.
When looking at the loose leaf white tea you’ll still see the leaf inside the bud holding a strong shape. The colour of the leaves are a silvery-white and have a subtle fruit aroma.
White tea is a beautiful tea that holds a special place amongst tea connoisseurs. Pour yourself a cup of your white tea and enjoy reading about its unique qualities. Smooth, a little creamy and with a soft sweetess.
Where is White tea from?
White tea is a speciality tea that originates in the Fujian province in South-East China and dates as far back as the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It was made popular by Chinese royalty who loved the brew and often served it to their guests. One particular Emperor, Hui Zong, loved white tea so much he became obsessed with searching for the very best white tea but, in turn, he lost his kingdom. Hui Zong spent more time drinking tea than tending to his people! Ever since, the loose-leaf white tea has become more and more popular amongst China and the world.
White tea leaves are the most complex to produce amongst the tea varieties. This is due to the leaves being plucked when they’re young tea buds rather than when they’re matured.
White tea production involves plucking the young tea leaf buds and then lightly steaming them. These steps are essential to denature and deactivate oxidative enzymes contained in the leaves, greatly affecting the colour and flavour of the tea leaves. Next, they’re dried. This drying process causes a white coat to form on the leaves (hence the name White tea) as if snowflakes have covered the plant. The leaves are dried in indirect sunlight to hold onto the rich flavour inside.
White tea leaves are a bit more difficult to produce however, it’s definitely worth it for the much-loved delicate and fruity flavour. But, don’t be fooled by the lighter colour – white tea still holds the same amount of caffeine as other teas.
Although all tea is very healthy and good for the body, white tea especially has been known to contain higher levels of polyphenols (i.e. antioxidants). Oolong and Black teas will always have a little less of an antioxidant count due to their production process. Polyphenols are micronutrients that we consume through plants, greatly benefiting the body by:
- Assisting digestion.
- Promoting weight loss.
- Easing symptoms of diabetes.
- Disease prevention.
White tea has a unique flavour compared to traditional English Breakfast. The flavour is subtle, fruity and a little sweet. A cup of white tea is less bitter and offers a smoother and naturally sweeter brew.
Enjoy a brew in the morning and throughout the day. Perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
If you’re a lover of light green teas or even tisanes you’ll be in heaven with white tea. You can find white tea in our White Tea, Acai & Coconut.