White Tea is made from the very young leaves and buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The leaves are picked and harvested before they are fully open, when the buds are still covered by fine white hair.
White Tea can only be picked for a short time each year, usually in early spring, making it rare and unique. The buds and leaves are then steamed and slowly dried. Unlike other Teas, white Tea is not rolled, and only slightly oxidized, making it the least processed Tea. Due to the minimal processing, white Tea contains more nutrients and antioxidant levels and less caffeine than black or green Tea.
There are several varities of white tea but the most famous ones are:
Silver Needle – The crème de la crème of white Tea which consists only of silver buds picked within a two day period in early spring. It is the most famous white Tea, with a delicate, light, and slightly sweet flavour.
White Peony – White Peony consists of one bud for every two leaves. It tends to have a stronger taste and darker colour than Silver Needle.
I also encourage you to try and experiment mixing white Tea with different fruits and flowers such as jasmine, citrus, rosebuds,… and I am sure you will find your own favourite.
The perfect cup of White Tea?
- White tea has a short shelf life, it is very important that it is stored properly to maintain the flavour and aroma for as long as possible. You should store the bag in the refrigerator to maintain freshness
- Don´t use boiling water as this can ruin the delicate flavour. The ideal water temperature for white Tea is between 76º to 85º
- For White Tea you should use glass or porcelain teapots and cups
- White tea leaves are denser than other tea types so you should use more leaves. As a reference you can use 2 teaspoons of white Tea leaves for every cup
- Ideal time for infusion is 3 minutes
The next post will detail the health benefits of white Tea.
Happy Tea Time.