White tea comes from the youngest leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant and is known for its delicate flavour and light colour. The tea is named ‘white tea’ because the leaves are plucked when the buds of the Camellia sinensis plant are still covered with fine white hair. Once plucked, the leaves are dried in natural sunlight.
If you are interested to know more about white tea, here are some useful insights that you will find interesting:
Check these useful insights:-
- White tea has a long and rich history: It is believed that white tea was first produced during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) in China. It was a luxury item and only the elite class could enjoy its delicate aroma. It was during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) that the tea became widely available. In his famous book “The Book of Tea”, Kakuzō Okakura mentions The Emperor Kiasung who wrote a dissertation on the twenty different kinds of Chinese and Japanese teas, and of all the teas he prized the “white tea” as the rarest and finest.
- Flavour and quality: There are many factors that affect the flavour and quality of white tea; some of them include- altitude, soil conditions, method of production and weather.
- Varieties: White tea is available in different varieties, each with its own unique flavour profile. Some of the most popular varieties include:
- Silver Needle: Only buds are plucked when they are still covered with fine white hair. This variety is considered to be the highest grade of white tea and has a delicate and sweet flavour.
- White Peony: It is made from a combination of buds and young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. This variety has a slightly stronger flavour than Silver Needle and has an aroma like the peony flower, which is why the name.
- White tea and skin health: It has been found that topical application of green and white tea extracts has protective effects against the detrimental effects of UV rays.
- White tea and oral health: White tea may promote better oral health. White tea contains fluoride, a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. Additionally, white tea contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that promotes oral health. White tea also has tannins, a group of compounds that may reduce inflammation in the mouth.
- Brewing methods: The delicate flavour of white tea can be easily ruined by over steeping or using water that is too hot. Here’s how to brew white tea, the right way:
- For brewing, do not use water that is too hot as it can burn the leaves and alter the flavour. The ideal water temperature for brewing white tea is between 71-82°C.
- Steep the leaves for 2-3 minutes, as white tea is more delicate than other types of tea and does not require a long steeping time.
- White tea can be re-steeped multiple times, but the flavour will weaken with each steeping.
- Consider using a white tea infuser or a teapot with a strainer to keep the leaves contained while steeping.
- Finally, always use fresh and high-quality leaves for the best flavour.
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