white tea

An introduction to White Tea

While white teas are perhaps not as commonly known as black teas, or even green teas, their popularity cannot be denied. While white tea drinking dates back a number of years, it has gained a good deal of renewed popularity in recent years. It is becoming an increasingly popular beverage, particularly for those in western cultures, for a wide number of reasons. The flavor and aroma are just the beginning. There are also a variety of health benefits that can be worth keeping in mind.

In terms of the different teas that are available to you, there are some unique components to white tea that are worth keeping in mind. The story of white tea itself can also prove to be fascinating, as well. For example, you may not know this, but white tea is widely considered to be the most delicate of the teas. Beyond the health benefits, there are other factors, including flavor and caffeine content, which can go a long way towards explaining its popularity among tea drinkers.

You will find that virtually all major tea manufacturers offer white tea options. There are also elements to both price and preparation with white tea that serves to further its uniqueness and perhaps very specific popularity among tea enthusiasts.

History

Between 600-1300 of the earliest imperial dynasties of China, both the practice and culture of drinking tea exploded in popularity and reverence. Citizens in this period were asked to provide a tax based around the finest and rarest parts of the tea plant. This would often mean taking and offering only the most delicate and refined of buds. From this, we can find the creation of various, occasionally secretive, imperial gardens. These gardens held the express purpose of cultivating and protecting tea plants that were considered vital for a variety of reasons.

It is in the period mentioned above that we can find the earliest examples of white tea. However, it is also important to keep in mind that this is the same as the types of white tea that are enjoyed in the present. The first examples of such plants were first brought to prominence in the Fujian Province during the 1700s.

In the present, we have four different types of white tea. It is important to understand at least the basics of each type, in terms of what it offers, and where it came from. For example, Silver Needle gets its name from the white hairs of the plant, which give the tea a silverfish color in appearance. There is also the relative newcomer known as White Peony. Some of the tea leaves are so young, the tea leaves haven’t even unfurled. Monkey Picked White Tea gets its name from a legend that involves monkeys trained by Buddhists! It is considered to be a very high-quality example of white tea. Finally, we have Darjeeling White Tea. This white tea differs from the other examples not just in terms of taste, but also in terms of the fact that it comes from the Darjeeling region of India.

Although white tea is certainly easier to come by than in years past, there is still an element of rareness to it. This influence can unquestionably be found in the way white tea is priced in compassion to other varieties. There is a delicacy to both the aroma and flavor, which also go a long way towards explaining its popularity among some tea drinkers.

Ingredients

White tea comes from the plant species known as Camellia sinensis. While it is true that white teas and green teas both come from the very same plant, there is more to the matter than that. White tea is so distinctively different to green tea or black tea because it comes from the leaves and buds that are taken just before their full opening. The qualities of white tea also involve the fact that white tea is the least processed of all the different types. This adherence to the notion of its delicacy is ultimately what makes the tea so compelling to so many.

In terms of its flavor profile, it has been described by many as “fruity.” Some would also add such words as “Floral” and “Grassy.” Some of the fruits its taste has been compared to include apricots, peaches, melons, and various citruses. It is considered to be a very mild flavor. There are a number of white teas on the market that have additional flavors and other ingredients added. It is important of course to research any product you are considering if you want to enjoy the full range of benefits that are associated with white tea.

To that specific end, there are a number of things to consider. Considering white tea still comes from the same plant, it stands to reason that you are going to have some similar benefits. This is true, but there are also benefits of white tea which are entirely unique to that specific type.

Benefits

One of the biggest reasons for the uniqueness of white tea benefits comes down to how it is processed. As we mentioned before, we are talking about the least processed of all the different tea types available to you. Because such minimal processing has occurred, white tea retains a very significant number of its beneficial elements. These are elements that have been linked to lowered blood pressure, losing weight, or even improving the quality of your skin.

The vast presence of antioxidants is one of the first benefits to consider. As you may or may not know, we rely on antioxidants to battle the free radicals that can cause a variety of problems within the human body. When we talk about aging, the presence of chronic inflammation, or a diminished immune system, an abundance of free radicals is more often than not the culprit.

Chronic inflammation can also lead to the presence of heart disease. Studies strongly suggest that drinking white tea, in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can help to boost your immunity. This, in turn, can help to relax your blood cells. There is also evidence that white tea can help to combat bad cholesterol, even going so far as to prevent it from becoming oxidized. That would be another major contributor to heart disease. The antioxidants contained within white tea can also prove to be highly invaluable in the battle against cancer.

Green teas caffeine content, less than black coffee, has long been seen as a weight-loss benefit. White tea does share a similar caffeine profile to green tea, so there are similar studies and beliefs that white tea can help burn fat. This combines nicely with studies that also suggest that white tea can, in fact, be used to help lower resistance to insulin in an individual. This is another aspect to the benefits of white tea that requires more study, but the evidence thus far has been extremely compelling.

Osteoporosis, in addition to the aging of the skin, are two more potential health benefits to drinking white tea.

Outside of these major health benefits, there is also the fact that white tea is often raved about for being a tea that can relax and invigorate at the same time. The mild fruity, earthy flavor can put you at ease, while the small amount of caffeine can give you a boost to help you in your day

Side Effects

There are not any significant side effects of white tea. However, there are a few things about drinking it that you are going to want to keep in mind. This is particularly true of those who have a sensitivity to caffeine.

With green or black tea, the caffeine content can be anywhere from 30 milligrams to 50 milligrams. In general, white tea has caffeine content significantly less than black tea, and just a little less than white tea. The actual amount can vary from one white tea product to the next, so you will want to check the product information for anything you consider. If you have a serious sensitivity to caffeine, then you may want to avoid drinking white tea in any of the four types that we covered earlier.

There is also the potential for very mild diuretic distress. This can include mild cramping and diarrhea. Such side effects are very distinctly tied into how much you drink, as well as whether or not your body is used to green and white teas.

Dosage

White tea can be purchased in tea bag form, but there are other options available. Keep in mind as well that because it is the rarest and most difficult to bring to the market, it tends to be more expensive than other options.

As is the case with other teas, you will want to boil a pot of water, which will then be added to your time. The steeping time can vary, according to taste and strength. Some choose to steep white tea for as long as seven minutes. Most believe it should at least be steeped for three.

Conclusion

With its robust flavor, rareness, and health benefits, white tea clearly has a lot to offer.