Here’s What You Should Know About White Tea?
White tea is one of the most delicate varieties of tea found in the world, and hence amongst the most prized possessions of tea sommeliers . Its specialty is that it is produced through minimal processing that is less oxidation. Let’s learn more about this unique tea.
How is White Tea Made?
White tea is made from young buds and leaves of tea plants (Camellia Sinensis) which are unopened or unfurled in the initial days of the first flush. Since these young buds are not yet open fully, they could be seen covered with fine white hairs which appear silvery upon drying, hence named “white tea.”
One would wonder that if all types of teas are plucked from the same tea plant, then what makes them different in their flavours and properties? This is because what differentiates them is the variety of the tea plant, where it is grown, how they are harvested and processed further, main part being the processing. The specialty of white tea is that the tea buds undergo minimal processing as compared to green and black tea.
After the shoots are plucked, they are immediately allowed to wilt for a specific period of time. This process is called withering. Usually, the freshly plucked leaves are allowed to wither for upto 72 hours under controlled conditions. Wilted leaves are then carefully rolled, typically by hand, to extract maximum flavour from the leaves.
Then comes the process of drying in which the withered leaves are allowed to air dry or dried in an oven at 110 degree Celsius. Due to this whole process, the leaves are not allowed to oxidize much giving them a much softer and delicate flavour profile.
What Does White Tea Taste Like?
White tea is known for its delicate flavour. It has a light, slightly sweet taste. This light taste of white tea often goes well with floral and fruity blends.
A common question one would ask while trying out white tea is - “how much caffeine content does it have?”
White tea generally has a lower caffeine content than green or black tea. But some varieties of tea plants cultivated for white tea are not as low in caffeine.
Studies have shown that some white teas may have caffeine content equal to or more than green or black tea, depending on where they are cultivated and how they are processed.
Types of White Tea
There are two main types of white tea which are the most popular:
- Silver Needle White Tea - This type of white tea is made only from large,full buds of the tea plants which are covered in white, thin hair. It is considered to be the most prized and expensive of white teas.
- White Peony - This tea has a stronger flavour and darker liquor than the silver needle since its leaves are partially oxidized. It’s widely produced in Darjeeling, Nilgiris and Nepal.
Are There Any Health Benefits of White Tea?
Just like every other kind of tea, white tea also has a lot of health benefits which qualifies it as a perfect brew for any time of the day!
Some of the health benefits are:
- White tea is rich in antioxidants like Polyphenols which help in protecting cells from any damage
- Drinking white tea regularly reduces risk of developing heart disease as it relaxes blood vessels and boosts immunity
- Not only green tea but white tea also aids in shedding those extra kilos
- White tea also helps protect the teeth from bacteria as it is a rich source of fluoride
After learning all these facts about white tea, we are sure you are more than eager to taste it and experience this exquisite tea yourself!