White tea is made from the buds and immature leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. While white tea is produced from the same plant as black, green, oolong, pu-erh, and purple teas, it is usually much lighter and mellower than other types of tea. White tea gets its distinct, delicate flavor from the age of the leaves and the particular preparation methods use to produce this unique tea.
White Tea History
Pleasant and subtle, brewed white tea actually has a pale yellow color. While not much is known about white tea’s origins, it has been enjoyed in China for hundreds of years. White tea was particularly prized in imperial China, and was prized by poets, court officials, and even emperors!
Because white tea is made from only the youngest buds and leaves of the tea plant, it is often more difficult to obtain and therefore highly sought-after. As the western world continues to learn more about tea, more and more tea shops carry white tea in addition to more common varieties like black tea and green tea. Tea connoisseurs consider white teas to be some of the of the rarest and most delicate teas available today.
How White Tea is Made
The leaves used to make white tea are harvested before they have a chance to fully open and dry in the sun. White tea derives its name from the fine white downy hairs that are found on these leaves and buds. White tea is typically made from much younger leaves than other types of tea.
After harvesting, the leaves are dried and shaped. Unlike other types of tea, white tea usually undergoes little to no further processing. White teas receive very little oxidation, which contributes to their light, delicate flavor. As a result, white tea tends to be the lightest-tasting and lowest-caffeinated tea. White tea also has the highest concentration of the immune bolstering antioxidants known as catechins.
White Tea Preparation
White teas are delicate, and optimal preparation involves steeping the tea in water that is steaming but not yet boiling. To prepare white tea, heat water to approximately 180 degrees. We recommend using one teaspoon of tea leaves for every six ounces of water. Steep the tea for two to three minutes, then remove the leaves and enjoy. White teas can be infused multiple times in order to enjoy successive cups of tea using the same leaves.
White Tea Health Benefits
Like other types of tea, white tea is very high in antioxidants, which help to reduce free radicals in the body and ward off degenerative disease. In addition, white tea also contains l-theanine, a beneficial compound known for its calming and meditative properties. White tea is low in caffeine, making it a great choice for those looking to limit their caffeine intake. Because white tea undergoes minimal processing,
Our White Teas
At ArtfulTea we carry a wide range of white teas, from delicate high-end silver needle teas to fruit forward, full-leafed teas suitable for everyday drinking.
Bashan Silver Tip is from the Chongqing Province of China, and represents the top grade of white tea available. It has a delicate, clean taste faintly reminiscent of fresh apples, with a refreshing lingering flavor.
The first leaves of the spring season are hand plucked in the foothills of Nepal to produce this refreshing organic white tea. The delicate leaves infuse to become a pale straw color that reveals aromas of sweet grass, asparagus and stone fruit. The sublime taste is smooth and buttery, with no hint of bitterness.
Consisting of both buds and leaves that are simply air dried after picking, White Peony is also sometimes known as Pai Mu Dan. This tea has a floral aroma and smooth velvety taste, and is a superior quality tea from the Fujian Province of China.
Organic Bai Hao Silver Needle tea leaves are scented with fresh jasmine blossoms to create a well-balanced tea with the tantalizing floral taste of jasmine. This superb quality tea offers one of the most sublime tea drinking experiences available.
Delicate White Peony tea, also known as Pai Mu Dan, blends into a delicious and beautiful tea with the addition of organic mango cubes, apples and pear. Mango Pear also makes an exceptional iced tea!