Least processed and therefore most natural of all true teas. Traditionally grown in the Fujian Province in China where it still continues to produce the best quality if not one of the best quality white teas in the world. Today many regions and countries have moved into white tea production. Getting the best and purest comes from harvesting of the top buds only, commonly known as silver needle white tea. Upon the leaves and buds there are white hairs which it derived its name from. These hairs can also be found floating around the tea. White peony tea is the second well known sub type. Differentiating the two types is quite easy due to white peony tea being buds and top two leaves where silver needle white tea is buds only. Making it visually easy two spot the differences.
Harvesting White Tea
Harvesting comes around at spring where the plant offers the best quality. Typically, harvesting is only once a year for high quality production. Buds and/or leaves are then carefully plucked and stored so no damage is done. Its important care is taken for the tea is delicate. Once harvested withering takes place where the tea is placed out in the sun to dry.
Timings and environmental conditions have to be right before harvesting can be carried out. When it’s raining, frost covered, snowing etc. harvesting cannot be done without having a negative effect on the tea’s flavor. Sunny conditions make it ideal.
Essential Health Benefits of White Tea
For centuries, this tea was largely used in Asia. In fact, china has enjoyed the benefits of white tea since the onset of the Ming Dynasty. However, this is no longer the case as the world is fast realizing and embracing the health benefits of white tea. The benefits are immense and go a long way in ensuring that people lead healthy lifestyles. White tea has enjoyed immense popularity because of its health benefits and what people from all walks of life stand to benefit from drinking it.
It has flavonoids, a type of phytochemicals that belongs to a class called polyphenols. Flavonoids work by turning off the body part that can produce tumor cells. It inhibits the growth of cancer-causing cells and helps in the prevention of the development of new ones. This can help in preventing several types of cancer, including skin, prostate, stomach and colon cancer. There are certain cases when this kind of tea is used as an alternative for prescription medicines, with added benefits, such as the exclusion of any side effects.
Lowers Blood Pressure
It can help in improving the quality of your blood and in effect, it also helps in improving the function of the arteries. With healthy blood vessels, you are guarded against stroke. With the continued intake of white tea, you can keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
As previously mentioned, white tea is a good source of of antioxidants, known as catechins. Catechins work by reducing the body’s cholesterol levels. The cholesterol in the body is divided into two categories – good and bad. Catechins reduce the bad type and in the process, increase the levels of good cholesterol. As a result, the blood flows with ease and it prevents the hardening of the arteries.
Protects the Heart
With your blood pressure at a healthy level and your bad cholesterol reduced, you will have a healthier heart. According to research, those who drink two or more cups of white tea each day benefit the most from its essential nutrients. It makes your blood thinner, which does not only benefit your heart, but your entire circulatory system.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Free radicals cause premature aging of the skin. There are many ways for you to acquire these damaging elements, which include unhealthy diet, too much exposure to the sun, anxiety, and stress. The antioxidants in the tea reverse the effects of these free radicals and in the process, make your skin healthier and more radiant.
Helps Strengthen Bones
Drinking this beverage on a regular basis will boost your bone density, which will make it stronger. This is recommended for people who are suffering from bone problems, which include osteoporosis and arthritis.
Promotes Healthy Teeth and Gums
This contains certain nutrients, which include a little amount of fluoride that can keep the teeth strong. It also helps in improving your oral hygiene by killing the bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque and tooth decay.
Helps Fight Bacteria and Viruses
Its antioxidants help in protecting the body’s entire immune system. This keeps you protected from diseases that are caused by bacteria and viruses, such as flu and common colds. This also helps in relieving a person’s symptoms of HIV.
Reduces Blood Sugar
White tea can help improve the condition of someone who is suffering from diabetes. By helping your body maintain a healthy level of blood sugar, you will feel more energized and less stressed out.
Speeds Up Your Metabolism & Aids in Weight Loss
By drinking this type of tea on a regular basis, your body will be able to burn more fat. Make this a habit and team it up with proper diet and exercise to maximize the health benefits that you can get in. Although small amounts of caffeine are found, caffeine helps in boosting metabolism and aids in weight loss.
Does White Tea have Caffeine?
In short yes, but so do most teas. When tea is taken from the Camellia Sinensis plant your tea is likely to contain caffeine as this plant produces it. However white tea caffeine is known to have the least amount compared to other teas. Great for low caffeine intake. Roughly one cup of coffee has up to 8 times the amount of caffeine found in white tea.
Making the Best Cup of White Tea
First attempts at making white tea usually don’t get the best out of them, before brewing there are a few things you need to know. I must iterate here that this type of tea is very delicate and requires more attention to get the best or you may end up with some unwanted flavors.
When you make yourself a cup of this tea the flavors that you can get are light floral taste, fruity, lightly sweet, hints of nutty and green vegatable notes. Now there are many different varieties so you will get many with different hints of aromas. Taste comes from all the many factors including the weather, time it was harvested, how it was processed, care and attention recieved before reaching your cup, how its brewed etc. So you won’t always get a precise taste. Tasting a strong nut or smokiness flavor either means the tea is not of high quality, is an older harvest instead of young leaves and buds that give the best quality or, has not been brewed with proper care and attention required.
What you require?
- Teapot or cups
- Clock or Timer- to get the right timings but also helps in experimenting if you want to increase or decrease the next brew time.
Use the following steps as a rough guide in making the best cup of white tea. Please note you should experiment with quantites and timings to get the best to your liking.
Step 1 – Boil the kettle. Once boiled start your timer to around 5 minutes so the water cools down. If you do not let the water cool down the tea can taste of an overcooked sort of taste and destroy some of the aromas. The ideal temperature of the water should be – 175-185 Fahrenheit or 80-85 Celsius.
Step 2 – Add the loose leaf tea to the cups/teapot. The quantity roughly is 1.5 grams per 8 ounces or 220ml. Increase the quantity to get stronger flavored tea.
Step 3 – Once the water is at the right temperature pour it in a circle motion to spread the temperature around the leaves evenly.
Step 4 – Brew the tea for at least 3 minutes, further duration will make a stronger and darker colored tea.
Step 5 – Strain the tea to get light silk finish and taste.
Side note: Many do not know that you can in fact reuse the tea, multiple times. Do this by leaving some of the tea in the teapot with the used leaves and simply add more water. Brewing time will be roughly 1 to 2 minutes longer but should still output a great cup of white tea.
What is white tea?
Pale, sweet and silky smooth tasting drink presenting health benefits when consumed. Low processing leads to an abundance of health benefits and this type of tea is the closest to its natural state of any tea. For that reason it is sometimes referenced as the healthiest tea.
Does white tea have caffeine?
Yes, the least of all true tea types. On average caffeine in white tea is estimated at 30 to 50 milligrams.
Difference between Silver Needle White Tea & White Peony Tea?
As the name suggests silver needle white tea is long and thin, this is because it only contains buds of the plant. Whereas white peony tea will have both buds and baby leaves.
Can you lose weight with white tea?
Put simply you can incur a slight increase in metabolism and be aided in burning off some calories. Do not solely believe you can lose weight by drinking tea, exercise and a well diet that includes tea will help you lose weight. White tea weight loss is not as significant as some articles and claims may state.
Are there any white tea benefits?
Plenty health benefits can be associated with drinking a cup or two every day. Scroll above for a list of white tea benefits.