What is White Tea?

What is White Tea?

True teas all come from a single plant, camellia sinensis.  The leaves of this plant, depending upon how they are processed, can become black, oolong, green, or white tea.  Black teas are oxidized, like autumn leaves, before being dried.  Green teas are steamed, to keep them fresh, before drying.  Oolongs are somewhere in between, as they are allowed to partially oxidize.  White teas are the least processed of all teas.  They are plucked from the branch, and then dried.  Learn more about the kinds of tea here 

These white teas are fragile things, usually made from the best leaves of the plant, and should be brewed at a lower temperature than any other- while the 185 degrees that green tea likes should be fine, I frequently brew them at temperatures as low as 150, to avoid burning the leaves.  While they are typically associated with early spring, nothing says that you can’t enjoy a bit of springtime, whenever.   

White teas are known for having a more delicate flavor than other teas.  Rather than brewing white, the tea yields a pale yellow infusion.  Alone, white tea has a subtle flavor, without the vegetative  taste of green, or the bitter astringency of black tea.  It is an excellent tea to give as a gift to someone who may not like tea, simply because it is so unoffensive.  Because plain white tea can be a little boring tasting, it is usually flavored. 

white peach loose tea white teaWhite Peach is my personal favorite.  It tastes a little sweet, though not overly so, and the peach flavor comes through much more strongly than in black peach teas, simply because white tea’s flavor is so much more mild.  White Peach is a sip of a warm, lazy August day, that can be brewed any time of year.


white tangerine white tea loose teawhite tropics white tea loose tea
The close siblings of White Peach are White Tropics and White Tangerine.  White Tangerine is much like White Peach, but slightly more citrus.  White Tropics runs with the sweetness, while sacrificing a little of the simplicity, by adding heavy overtones of pineapple, and highlights of citrus.  

White Blueberry is lesser-known, but delicious.  The leaves are mixed with whole dehydrated blueberries, giving this tea a gentle berry flavor like a picnic on a summer afternoon.  It is a dignified, elegant flavor, but without being as stark as a black tea.  If tisanes are too sweet, and you can’t tolerate drinking something with a name like Bingo Blueberry, but you still crave something more unique in your tea, it may be the tea for you.  

>>>> See our complete selection of White Teas  <<<<

white tea loose tea cucumberIf you’d prefer something less fruity, I suggest White Cucumber.  This is a more savory tea, with a unique and oddly Mediterranean flavor.  Rather than coming across as a weak cucumber water, it has a strong, almost pickle-like flavor.  Pair it with a bold salad for an unforgettable lunch.  

silver needles white tea loose tea

If you enjoy the pure simplicity of white teas, we might recommend the best tea we have in the shop.  Silver Needles is the first pluck of the season, and still has the pale down to prove it.  This tea is traditionally consumed as the weather begins to warm again, and the tea plants begin to grow new leaves, but I’m already impatient for spring.

Because it is the first harvest of immature tea buds, the Chinese believe that Silver Needles has all the best qualities of tea in terms of healthy anti-oxidants etc.  This belief comes from the fact that the tea plant was dormant all winter and in the spring with the warmer weather and sunshine, the plant awakens and works hard to produce leaves.  These fresh first buds are the prized ones.

>>>> See our complete selection of White Teas  <<<<

Try a sip of springtime rejuvination in this dreary November chill.  It will certainly brighten your day with its infused springtime energy.  Tell us in the comment section below what your favorite White Tea is.


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