What is White Tea?
Very simply, white tea is the first two leaves and the bud that emerge from the tea plant, camellia sinensis, during the plant’s first bloom in the spring. It is called white tea because if you look closely at the back of the tea leaf you can see the white down that is still there. Once the down is gone, the leaf can no longer be used for white tea.
Once picked, the tea leaf is minimally processed. It is withered and then dried, either in the sun, air-dried, or by a mechanical process. Since the leaf is so young and tender, the liquor it brews is very light and delicate in both color and flavor and tends to be slightly floral. White teas are best savored; if you’re gulping it down just for caffeine’s sake you’ll miss all the flavor nuances.
Health Benefits of White Tea
Since it is a true tea, that is it’s harvested from camellia sinensis, white tea has all the same health benefits of the other true teas: green, black, and oolong. There are other true teas, like dark tea, puer tea, and yellow tea, but for now we’re focusing on those that are more mainstream. There is some scientific evidence that all the beneficial phytonutrients, antioxidants, and polyphenols are more concentrated in this young leaf. The same seems to hold true for caffeine, but for more of an explanation of tea and caffeine, please see this article.
Our White Teas
- Snow Buds – This is our plain white tea, with the two leaves and a bud picking clearly visible. The lovely white down on the back of the leaves helps give this tea its delicate flavor. Cool and crisp, this tea is the perfect introduction to white teas.
- Romantic Rose – One of my most favorite teas, she will forever hold a special place in my heart as this was the first tea I tried when starting my tea journey. The flavor is delicate, but by no means a pushover. It is so pretty in its dried form, but the beauty doesn’t end when its brewed. Between her aroma and comfort-giving qualities, this is the perfect tea for when you need a touch of beauty in your life.
- Peach Blossom – With the succulent flavor of fresh peaches infused into every cup, this is a perennial favorite among all of our teas. Equally refreshing hot or iced, she’s a crowd-pleaser.
- Raspberry – As soft in your mouth as a fresh raspberry, with a hint of lemon to bring everything together and make it sing. Also heady and intoxicating without being heavy, this is one of my favorite creations.
Now that I’ve answered the question of, “What is white tea?” I do hope you give one or more of them a try if you haven’t already. Set aside some time to really savor the flavor. You won’t be sorry.