What is White Tea?
White Tea is plucked from the same plant as Green Tea and Black Tea, Camellia Sinensis. However, the leaves that make White Tea are the youngest shoots from the top of the tea plant, typically hand-plucked in the first harvests of the year.
The process for white tea is very simple, involving just a light drying stage. The leaves are handled very delicately and allowed to dry naturally in the open air or tumble dried on a very low heat in a drum. There is no oxidisation or rolling stage, unless the leaves are being formed into pearls or flowering tea. This gentle process produces a light, furry leaf or bud and a delicate flavour once the tea is brewed.
What are the benefits of White Tea?
White Tea shares many of the same properties as Green Tea, meaning that it's rich in antioxidants and is believed to boost brain function.
Due to the slow release caffeine content of White Tea, it can also provide energy for several hours! The combination of caffeine and high antioxidant levels means that White Tea activates your good gut bacteria to help with digestion!
Does White Tea have caffeine?
As a general rule, White Teas are nutrient rich and low in caffeine thanks to their shorter processing time. However, this is not always the case: some premium White Teas, such as Silver Needle, have caffeine levels similar to those of Green Tea, due to the young shoots producing caffeine as they grow to repel pests.
How to brew White Tea?
Our expert Tea Mixologists would recommend brewing White Tea at 80°, which you can achieve by stopping the kettle early or adding a splash of water before adding the boiling water. This is to avoid burning the delicate tea leaves which can give the tea a bitter taste. White Tea is also enjoyed without milk, but can be cold brewed on hot days for a refreshing drink!
What's your favourite White Tea blend? Let us know on our socials @birdandblendtea or comment below.