What is white tea? How is white tea made? The health benefits of white tea are extensive, not to mention the delicious delicate flavor of this minimally processed tea variety. What kinds of white tea are available?
Until quite recently white teas were only available in China, but as more and more westerners loved the teas and wanted to take them home, demand for overseas shipping dramatically increased.
What is white tea?
White Teas are the least processed of all tea leaves. White tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant, the same plant that produces black tea and green tea.
How is white tea processed?
Most white tea is picked in early spring in the morning after the dew is dry, and when it is not raining. White tea production is greatly dependent on the weather conditions when the tea is made.
Adjustments to the withering stage and the method of bake drying (or air drying) will be determined by the tea masters as they interpret the effect the weather will have on the withering process.
Temperature and humidity of the environment will dictate the techniques and timing of the withering and drying process. White tea that is withered in conditions that are too hot will become reddish, while leaves that are withered in conditions that are too cold will become blackish.
What are the health benefits of drinking white tea?
There are many health benefits of drinking white tea.
Because of the lack of processing, white teas are the highest in antioxidants. They are great for your skin and can reduce fine line and wrinkles, so you see white tea extracts in cosmetics.
They are also very anti-bacterial and anti-viral so it is not uncommon to see their extracts in tooth paste.
They may also be helpful in preventing strep and staph infections. It has been reported that white tea can contain 10 times the antioxidant power of a capsule of Vitamin E.
Recent studies at Pace University have shown that there are major health benefits from white tea – it is reported that it can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body with more success than other tea types.
Famous white teas
Some famous white teas that you may have heard of are listed below. If you haven’t tried these, you should!
- Organic Silver Needle (made from the unopened buds)
- Organic White Peony
- Tribute Eyebrow
- White Darjeeling
Where to buy the best white teas online
The best white tea is organic, since it is free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that may be used while the tea is growing. White tea is especially good served cold. Chilled white tea has a more pronounced flavor profile than warm or hot white tea.
The Path of Tea sells loose leaf white tea online. We only carry organic white tea (not conventionally grown teas), along with organic loose leaf teas of all varieties. Try one of these delicious white teas today:
- Organic Chrysanthemum Silver Needle
- Organic Acai Berry
- Organic Pai Mu Tan
- Organic Peach Lemon Bumble Tea
- Organic Rose Mint
- Organic White Ginger
- Organic White Peach
- Organic Wild Rose White
This content has been adapted from the book Your Path of Tea for Health of Body, Mind and Spirit by the late Thia McKann, Tea Master and Owner of The Path of Tea.