White tea is closely related to green tea, but differs in subtle ways that result in a distinct flavor. In general, white teas have a very mild, smooth, and delicate flavor, with spring-like undertones.
Both green and white teas are a lighter colored tea because they are not allowed to oxidize as long as black tea. Soon after harvesting, the green and white teas are heated and dried to prevent oxidation. Green teas are either steamed or pan fired to deactivate the enzymes inside that result in darkening. The leaves are then allowed to dry for storage.
White teas, in contrast, are baked at a low temperature in a controlled environment, resulting in the least processing. Often, the baking and drying are a one-step process, using a similar concept to a home dehydrator.
White teas are also made from the young tea buds of the tea tree, and still have downy hairs on them. These young leaves have a very distinct, smooth flavor, and actually have a higher caffeine content than more developed leaves.
White tea can come from all over the world, but typically comes from China or India. Chinese white teas tend to more of a honey-dew sweetness, whereas Indian white teas tend to be more astringent.
White Tea Recommendations:
Jing Mai White Needle: A very distinct Jing Mai white tea. Slightly fruity, mildly sweet with a honey-like texture and smooth flavor. Resilient to multiple infusions! This mountain grown tea has a history spanning 800 years.
Pai Mu Tan: The unopened tea bud with the two newest leaves are hand plucked and sun withered to make this organic white tea. The flavor is clean, floral, with a rounded finish. From the Fujian province of China. Also known as White Peony Tea, or Bai Mudan.
Silver Tips White: Biodynamically farmed at the Makaibari Estate in India’s Darjeeling district. A rich and complex organic loose leaf white tea with an amber infusion. Full of antioxidants.
Steep: 1-3 Minutes
Amount: 1 tsp. per 1 cup Water
Water Temp: 185°F