Complete Guide to White Tea: Taste, Type and Benefits
There are dozens of popular varieties of tea in the world. One of the varieties that tops it all is white tea, which is often prized for its rich flavour and unique appearance. Most varieties of white tea are derived from Camellia sinensis. Camellia sinensis is the same plant that is responsible for green, black, and oolong tea. The divine flavour of white tea deserves a special mention because it has lighter notes of honey with a rich and incredible smooth, honey like taste. If you are searching for the best online tea store that sells organic white tea in New Zealand, have our White Peony tea. It is a perfectly balanced white tea, featuring a sweet & fresh aroma with a soft fruity flavour.
What Is White Tea?
White tea is one of the least processed varieties of tea. They are the most delicate tea type, made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. White tea originates from Fuding, in the Fujian Province of South-East China. However, nowadays several other Chinese regions, such as Yunnan or Guangxi, as well as major tea producing countries like India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Africa and even Hawaii have started their own successful white tea productions. It consists of tender buds, which are covered in soft, silver-white hairs. Sometimes young leaves are also included.
The process starts with picking up only good quality white teas very early in spring (commonly known as First Flush) when the dormant tea bushes start sprouting their delicate buds. The tiny buds finally start to come to life after the quiet winter months. Later, they start to wither quickly and are air or oven-dried with minimal oxidation. Unlike green teas, white tea buds and leaves
are dried naturally, so they have a fluffier texture. When brewed, white tea transforms in colour from pale yellow to light orange. One of the most expensive and famous Chinese white teas is called Silver Needle. It consists of only young buds. They are quite fresh, delicate, and covered in downy white hair. The young leaf sprouts are meticulously and carefully hand-picked, as not to damage them, since whole white tea buds are one of the best signs of good quality.
Types of White Tea
- Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle): One of the rarest and famous white teas, Bai Hao Yin Zhen consists of spring buds only and has a sweet taste and floral aroma.
- Bai Mu Dan (White Peony): This tea consists of the tea buds and first two leaves. It was originally produced for export to England and has a stronger flavour. Bai Mu Dan is also less expensive than Silver Needle.
- Gong Mei (Tribute Eyebrow): It consists of larger leaves plucked after Silver Needle and White Peony get harvested. It has an earthy flavour.
- Shou Mai (Long Life Eyebrow): Consisting of much larger leaves plucked after Silver Needle and White Peony get harvested. Shou Mai tea is more oxidized and quite popular in Hong Kong and most dim sum houses.
- Darjeeling White: Grown in India, Darjeeling white tea is less expensive and more widely available than other Fujian white teas.
Taste of White Tea
White tea is perhaps the most refreshing tea type and can be drunk throughout the day. You can expect sweet honey notes and slight vegetal flavours, from Silver Needle to White Peony.
Benefits of White Tea
Here are eight science-backed benefits of drinking white tea:
- Rich in antioxidants
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Help you with weight loss
- May fight against cancer
- Lower the risk of insulin resistance
- May protect against osteoporosis
- Help combat skin aging
- Easy to prepare
Important Factors to Consider Before Consuming White Tea
- If you suffer from anemia, don't consume white tea for at least an hour after a meal, as
- White tea hinders the absorption of iron in your blood.
- Ensure you keep the intake of white tea low if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
- Consult a doctor before consumption, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Noho ora mai | look after yourself
If you feel compelled to buy white tea online in NZ, we recommend checking out our bestselling White teas. Have a look at our range of imported organic range of white tea online here in NZ. We have a strict selection process when it comes our white teas: Silver Needle and White Peony. If you’re looking for something else to match your taste, we also carry a large variety of other teas (Black teas, oolong teas, local New Zealand teas, herbal teas and blended teas), so be sure to browse our tea shop online for our bigger range.