Although other teas are often more popular than white tea, there is no denying that white tea is a refreshing and beneficial tea to drink. It is both fragrant and refreshing and it has a sweet, silky taste. White tea used to be treated as one that was only worthy for an emperor. Here, we will talk about more interesting facts about white tea.
What Is White Tea?
White tea is a delicate tea that comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. It is made from the buds of the plant that haven't opened yet, as well as some of its young leaves.
White tea dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD), and became popularized during the Song Dynasty when it became the favorite beverage of the royal court. Its delicate flavor became known as a luxury drink for the Emperor’s. It was sometimes infused with subtle floral flavorings such as jasmine, lotus, and chrysanthemum.
White tea is refreshing and has a light yellow color. It does not taste grassy like green tea tends to taste. This tea has a fuller flavor than green tea without the bitterness. The flavor can be buttery, fruity, sweet or floral.
White tea is available in both loose leaf varieties and tea bags. The organic loose leaf white teas are the best to get because you will be avoiding potential chemicals that can be found in the bags, which then end up in your tea.
How to Make White Tea
White tea has a very short processing process, which is what sets it apart from other teas. Black tea is deeply oxidized and fermented, oolong is partly fermented, and green tea is not fermented at all.
White tea oxidizes only a little bit. To make white tea, the buds are carefully sun-dried as soon as they're harvested. Because it does not go through manual oxidation, the flavor profile of white tea is softer and more delicate than other teas.
What Is White Tea Good For?
Due to its biologically active components and the minimal amount of processing that it goes through, white tea has the highest concentration of antioxidant flavonoids, such as polyphenols and catechins. White tea may also be able to protect the body from diseases due to its antimicrobial qualities. White tea can benefit your health by:
- Eliminating free radicals. The polyphenols in white tea are antioxidants that can neutralize disease-causing elements in your body.
- Can protect against premature aging. White tea helps prevent enzymes from breaking down elastin and collagen, which leads to wrinkles.
- Maintains skin health. Applying white tea to your skin may help reduce your risk of UV damage, which can lead to premature aging.
- Helps promote heart health. White tea's flavonoids can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Helps manage diabetes. One study found that drinking white tea can reduce symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst, while also improving glucose tolerance and decreasing blood glucose levels.
Caffeine Content in White Tea
White tea does contain caffeine. However, it contains the least amount of caffeine among all the varieties of teas made from this plant. White tea has an average of 15 to 20 mgs of caffeine per cup. Black tea averages at 50 mgs and coffee lies between 60 and 150 mgs. Because of this, drinking white tea is more recommended for people who are sensitive to caffeine.
Side Effects of White Tea
Those who are sensitive to caffeine may experience some side effects from the caffeine in white tea, even though it is a very low amount. This would be especially true if the white tea was ingested in large amounts. Caffeine may lead to headaches, diarrhea, and cardiovascular problems in some people. So if you are sensitive to caffeine, be sure to drink white tea in moderation.
Also, the flavonoids in white tea may bind to the iron that is typically found in dairy foods, iron supplements, and plants, which would inhibit their absorption. When you are drinking tea, do not consume these foods or take iron supplements.
Some varieties of tea might have remnants of lead and fluoride, so when buying white tea, choose teas that are grown in clean environments and haven't been sprayed with toxic chemicals. Having a clean growing environment is critical to ensure that you are drinking high-quality tea.