What is White Tea?
White Tea is plucked from the same plant as Green Tea and Black Tea, the Camellia Sinensis. However, the leaves used for 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 oxidization 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.
Benefits of White Tea?
White Tea holds the highest amount of nutrients and antioxidants, of any tea made from the Camellia Sinensis, whilst also having the lowest amount of caffeine. White Tea is the least processed out of all the teas made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The less oxidation the leaves go through, the higher the nutrients and the lower the caffeine.
Does White Tea have caffeine?
As a general rule, White Teas are low in caffeine and nutrient rich 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°C, which you can achieve by monitoring the temperature of your kettle or adding a splash of cold water followed by 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! To learn how to Cold Brew, find our beginners guide.
What's your favourite White Tea blend? Let us know on our socials @birdandblendtea or comment below.