White tea differs from green tea or black tea in some ways. For one thing, it is generally agreed that white tea leaves is not oxidized, unlike green or black tea. The leaves used for this tea are also much younger and less processed than those used for green or black tea. The buds of the plant are also used, but they must be picked before they fully open. Some leaves and buds used for this tea are merely dried, while some are steamed before drying. Whatever the case, this tea produces a taste that’s lighter than other teas from the same kind of plant.
This kind of tea is also considered to be younger than other kinds of tea, which can be traced back to ancient times. This tea may have come into prominence only in the last couple of centuries or so.
Making Your Tea
White tea is one of the most expensive teas out there, so you need to make sure that you use it to its full potential to get your money’s worth. The best and most popular varieties are silver needle, white peony, silver tip, and jasmine silver tip. You can purchase a set of small amounts of each variety to figure out which one you like the best. One thing you must remember, though, is that you must ensure that the tea leaves you buy are fresh. You can ask the vendor when the leaves were harvested. You also need to make sure that the package the tea comes in is opaque, well-sealed, and preferably resealable. This helps keep the leaves fresh for a longer period. Light and air can oxidize the leaves further, and that’s not something you want to happen.
You might also want to consider buying loose leaf tea instead of tea bags. Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with purchasing tea bags, especially if you’re not a fastidious tea drinker. However, loose leaf tea tends to be of higher quality, and it’s more worth it if you’re going to be shelling out more money for this kind of tea anyway. Loose tea leaves release more aroma, flavor, and nutrients, because bags tend to constrict the expansion of tea leaves.
Brewing this tea needs slightly more tea leaves than most other teas. You will need two tablespoons for every six ounces of water. However, if you’re using buds instead of leaves, you’ll only need two teaspoons for ever six ounces of water. If you’re using a combination of buds and leaves, you can use an amount between two teaspoons to two tablespoons.
Note that this ratio is simply a recommendation. You can tweak this formulation a little to accommodate your tastes and preferences. You can add or subtract a small amount of leaves or buds to get the exact flavor you want. You can experiment with different ratios, but it’s best to start off with the recommended ratio and see where you want to go from there.
Any kind of water can be used to make this tea. You can use spring, filtered, tap, or purified water. You can also use distilled water, though many tea drinkers find that it makes the tea taste flat. Tap water might also have chemicals and impurities that can affect how the tea tastes. You might want to try filtered or purified water for best results. Whichever kind of water you use, just make sure that it is fresh and cold and that it has not been previously boiled.
The recommended temperature of the water is somewhere between 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, though some swear by 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to make sure that the water isn’t too hot, because it might burn the tea and make it taste bad. If, after boiling the water, it’s still too hot, you can let the water sit for a few minutes until it reaches the right temperature. After you’ve been brewing this kind of tea for some time, you’ll be able to instinctively tell when the water is at an optimal temperature. However, if you don’t want to have to keep an eye on your tea kettle, you buy one that has temperature control or a built-in thermometer.
Typically, this kind of tea takes a little longer to brew than other kinds of tea. The recommended steeping time for this tea is one to five minutes, though some varieties can take up to 10 minutes. If you have smaller leaves, they’ll need to steep for a shorter period. Larger leaves take longer to infuse into the water.
For other teas, you can steep the leaves for a longer period to make the tea stronger. However, for white tea, it’s better to just use more leaves or buds than to allow for a longer steeping time. If you steep this tea for too long, it might become too bitter. Remember that the color should range from a pale yellow to a light orange.
Benefits and Risks
Like all other teas, this one offers a lot of health benefits. It has anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties due to the presence of polyphenols which neutralize free radicals in your body. The tea can also make your skin look a lot more youthful and can inhibit the growth of plaque on your teeth. It can also help prevent life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. You can also avoid illnesses caused by bacteria, such as the common cold, with the regular consumption of this tea.
Luckily, there are no considerable side effects associated with this tea. It does, however, contain caffeine, which can cause anxiety, sleeplessness, and an increased heart rate. If you’re trying to avoid these conditions, it’s best to stick to decaffeinated beverages.
All in all, the benefits of consuming this tea far outweigh its risks. If you consume it regularly and in moderation, and if you also prepare it properly to capitalize on all its nutrients, you’re on track to living a healthier life. If you haven’t tried white tea before, buy some today and see how you like it.