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Looking to Buy White Tea? White tea is frequently considered the queen of all teas because white tea is one of the few teas which is the least processed.
One thing that should always be remembered though: all teas are made of the same plant – Camellia Sinensis, or, to be more specific – of its two subspecies – Camellia Sinensis Var Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis Var Assamica.
The difference is in the detail of how White Tea is processed. The name “White Tea” is derived from the fine silvery-white hair – pekoe (Chinese – Pak Ho) on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the leaf a whitish appearance.
White tea undergoes minimal manipulations and does not require panfrying, rolling or shaking. The processing of white tea is quite simple – withering, drying and packaging. It is during the drying stage when tea leaves are getting a bit of oxidation.
However, the selection of raw material in white tea manufacture is extremely stringent; only plucking of tea buds and young tea leaves with much fine hair can produce good quality white tea of a high value. There are basically three types of white tea – made of tea buds only (Bai Hao Yin Zhen or Silver Needles), of tea bud and adjacent two leaves – Pai Mu Dan (White Peony), or tea bud and adjacent five leaves – Gong Mei (Tribute Brows).
It is interesting to know that the bud that falls into following 10 criteria shall not be plucked for white tea production:
1) Bud that is excessively grown
2) Bud that is not straight
3) Hollow bud
4) Purple color bud
5) Bud damaged by wind
6) Bud with insect bite
7) Bud damaged by plant disease
8) Skinny bud
9) Bud after the rain
10) Bud with morning dew
Due to very stringent criteria, even an expert can only manage to harvest as much as 0.5kg of bud in a day. In any event, 0.5kg contains about 10,000 pieces of bud.
The liquor of white tea is pale yellow and light to the taste. Due to minimal processing steps the white tea preserves all the nutrition values and health properties of the raw green tea leaf. As a matter of fact the white tea shares similar antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-aging properties with green tea but with one distinctive advantage – due to minor naturally occurring oxidation, the white tea parts from astringent, grassy, herbaceous flavour inherent to green teas.
Due to gentle processing the white tea leaves preserve almost all the polyphenols, amino acids, essential oils, minerals and alkaloids of the raw tea leaf. Therefore white tea is a very strong antioxidant, muscle stimulator and brain relaxant.
The white tea is increasing metabolism rate, helps in atherosclerosis. It has laxative effect that helps to remove toxins from the body. White tea improves blood vessels, makes them flexible and strong, it is very much advised for elderly people. White contains high volumes of fluorine that improves teeth, nails and bones, and it increases blood clotting that helps wounds heal faster.
Another benefit of White Tea is that it Improves the immune system.
Removes fatigue and agitation, gives relaxation and peace of mind.
White tea is also a very good thirst quencher. In regards to the caffeine content there is a common misconception that white tea is low in caffeine. Actually this is not true, since white tea is almost unprocessed tea leaf, it naturally contains all the chemicals including caffeine present in the raw tea leaf.
The good thing is that since it is not rolled or any way deformed, the caffeine does not readily dissolve into the brew. Normally black tea gives into tea infusion more caffeine than white or green teas, but you should remember also that if you steep the white tea long enough, say 10 min in boiling water, then you will get the highest level of caffeine into your cup.