Many people have always thought that white tea is regular black tea with added milk or cream. As true as this technically is, there really is a kind of tea processed and sold under that name. It is known to come from the stem buds of the Camellia Sinensi plant which is also the mother of oolong, black and green tea. The reason why it is known as white tea is because it is the least processed of all the tea varieties and this means that it contains one of the highest nutrient and antioxidant levels than the rest.
The general process of producing white tea is to pick the stem buds manually and then fried or steamed almost immediately and this will stop the oxidation process from getting underway. The original country of production is Sri Lanka with the Ceylon White Tea but other tea growing nations like China, Kenya and Russia are looking to tap into the white tea industry. Its taste is light and sweet and the color is just as light but the benefits are well worth it. There are varieties of this tea like the Long Needle or Bai Hao Yinzhen, the Tribute Eyebrow or Gong Mei, the White Peony or Bai Mu Dan and the Noble, Long Life Eyebrow or the Shou Mei. These varieties are grown in the Chinese province of Fujian. You can also find white tea in Darjeeling, one of the black tea capitals.
When it comes to health benefits, white tea has been studied and shown that it kills tumors in the guts of mice and this means that it just may have the same positive effect on humans. Out of all the tea varieties, the white version is known to kill the most bacteria and this means that it has a better shot of boosting one’s immune system and general body health. It is said that if you want to drink tea for health purposes then this is the option to go for. This is because it contains less caffeine than the rest and way more active anti-oxidants. This tea also helps with oral hygiene as well as digestion.
The best way to prepare white tea is through infusion and its low tannin levels means that it can be done directly in a pot or cup. You must use hot but not boiling water and infuse for up to 10 minutes for the best results.