Everything You Need To Know About White Tea: Origin, Benefits, Types & Recipe

It always surprises people when they learn about the various tea styles! It gets crazy for a tea lover who visits any café or shop specialising in tea. Whether it is about the best white tea in town, black tea, or the best-iced tea, everything mesmerises the person who is in love with tea. The best thing about any tea lover is their potential and interest in exploring new tea styles!

The one thing that a crazy tea lover can’t compromise on is tea. It doesn’t matter whether they are on a diet or you are traveling! All you need is a good cup of tea that can make you fresh again.

 Apart from black tea, oolong tea, and green tea, there is another style of tea that is widely popular- White Tea. White tea refers to that style of tea leaves that is prepared at a young and tender age from the plant Camelia Sinesis. Since it has been plucked at the initial stages, it is not an oxidised tea. Hence, the flavour of this particular tea is lighter as compared to green tea or black tea. Though more lightweight, the aroma of the freshly brewed tea is sure to put a smile on your face!

What is White Tea?: Introduction

White tea is probably one of the best things you can drink if you're a fan of green tea. Although both products are made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, they are processed differently and result in vastly different results. 

Like green tea, white tea has many health benefits, including improved heart health and reduced risk of diabetes. 

But where green tea is fermented and has its natural sugars changed, white tea leaves are not exposed to heat or fermentation processes that might change their properties. 

This makes white tea more palatable for those who can’t stomach the grassy taste of unfermented teas (like most green teas).

The name ‘white tea’ is derived from the colour of the leaves when they are plucked. Since the leaves are plucked at a tender age, it is covered with white hairs. However, the processing method gives white tea a unique taste, flavour, and aroma.

White tea, among all other teas, are least processed and therefore retains a high amount of antioxidants. Because it undergoes relatively little processing, white tea is regarded as one of the most delicate tea kinds.

This is considered to be one of the reasons why studies have associated white tea with many health benefits such as reducing heart disease, combating skin ageing and weight loss. The White tea itself is not exactly white in colour and instead has an insignificant yellowish and pale complexion.

White tea, as the name suggests, is picked before the leaves of the tea plant fully unfold, while the immature buds are still coated in tiny white hairs.

Handpicked from the youngest growth of the tea plant, these buds and unfolded leaves are rapidly and carefully dried so that they don't oxidise as long as leaves are harvested for green or black tea manufacture. Some of the freshest and most delicate teas are produced due to the little processing and low oxidation.

As researches show, the first white tea was cultivated in China. It was then categorised as a black tea because its composition was lighter than green tea. Further research and studies showed that the composition was much lighter than black tea, so a new category of ‘white tea’ was introduced.

The manufacturing or the cultivation process of the best white tea follows a certain procedure that is not followed by any other tea-

Fresh tea leaves → Withering → Drying (air drying, solar drying, or mechanical drying).

The best white tea has a special quality. It doesn’t require rolling, panning, or even shaking. The cultivator must be careful while plucking the young leaves, and Voila! The best white tea can be prepared right from your kitchen!

What does Oxidisation have to do with White Tea?

All teas, whether black tea, green tea, oolong tea or white tea, are oxidised. They are all the products of the same tea plant- Camellia Sinensis. The major difference is how each tea is harvested and oxidised. The more time the tea leaves are allowed for oxidisation, the darker it will appear and as a result of this, the more caffeine it will contain.

Black teas and green teas are oxidised for a prolonged period. As a result, black teas are high in caffeine percentage than green teas.

During the oxidisation process, the tea leaves go through several other methods. In the case of white teas, the processing is minimal. It is considered to be a non-oxidised tea, which is why they appear to have a light colour. In turn, the caffeine percentage in it is less.

To generate and manage oxidation all through processing, tea masters employ various techniques, such as rolling, moulding, or crushing the leaves to hasten oxidation and steaming, burning, or roasting the leaves to halt it.

Our white tea is the least processed since it isn't rolled or burned, making it oxidation-free. The leaves are simply left to wither and dry in a carefully regulated atmosphere rather than being subjected to artificial heat, producing the most delicate, just-picked-from-the-garden taste tea.

White tea undergoes very little processing. Therefore, oxidation is greatly reduced. The buds are allowed to wither and air dry in the sun or a properly regulated outdoor or indoor environment as soon as they are harvested.

To facilitate them to dry more rapidly and prevent oxidation, certain buds may be steam-dried or subjected to mild heat. White tea has a much softer, more delicate depth of flavor than its green or black tea siblings due to the minimum amount of oxidation that happens as the buds naturally dry out.

Origin of White Tea

Between 600 and 1300, during the early Chinese imperial dynasties, when tea drinking and culture were thriving throughout the whole of the country, a tea tradition emerged. It was customary for residents to provide unique and expensive teas as an annual tribute to the Emperors of the period, similar to a tea tax. The best tea bushes' youngest, newest, and most delicate buds were often used to create this imperial tea homage.

In order to grow these precious, honoured teas, imperial tea estates were established, often in secrecy. These unique teas were described as "white like the clouds, green like a dream, pure like snow, and as aromatic as an orchid." by poets.

Although they aren't the white tea we are familiar with today, these royal tea tributes are said to be the origin of white tea. Young tea buds would be harvested in the spring during the Song Dynasty (960–1297), boiled to remove their outer leaf, painstakingly cleaned with spring water, delicately air dried, and then crushed into a pearly white powder. The only person in China who could afford it was the Emperor, who would whisk this white powder into hot water to make the best tea.

Health Benefits of White Tea

Following are some amazing health benefits of white tea that you did not know.

1. May Protect Against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases:

Compounds like polyphenol EGCG in white teas can help lower the risk of developing diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Test-tube studies have revealed that EGCG can help reduce inflammation and reduce other risk factors.

Numerous studies have shown that EGCG helps stop proteins from inappropriately folding and clumping together, preventing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

An investigation of eight studies with over 5,600 people found that people who drank white tea had a 15% lower chance of suffering from Parkinson’s disease than those who did not.

2. Might help in fighting Cancer

Out of more than 100+ cancer types, some are not preventable.

However, recent studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) propose that the polyphenols present in white teas may decrease the risk of tumour growth.

In particular, white teas reduce the risk of skin, breast, lung, and prostate cancers.

Studies show that white tea extract helped suppress colon cancer growth while protecting the healthy, undamaged cells.

Another test-tube study examined the effects of the polyphenols in tea on cancer cells. It revealed that white, black and green teas might regulate cancer cell growth and initiate new cell development.

Nonetheless, more research on humans is needed to establish a link between cancer and white teas and, therefore, should not be seen as an alternative treatment for cancer.

3. Rich in Antioxidants 

Loaded with a type of polyphenol and catechins, white teas are rich in antioxidants and can protect your body from free radicals.

Drinking white tea can help in decreasing damage in your body, lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

White teas are considered to be one of the best types of teas for fighting free radicles. Studies suggest that white teas have similar antioxidant benefits to green tea.

A test-tube study observed that white tea powders are very effective at reducing inflammation from free radicals in the human skin cells.

Even though test-tube studies are assuring, more human-based research is needed to confirm white tea's antioxidant benefits. 

4. Promotes Oral Health

White teas are a great source of catechins, tannins and fluoride.

Preventing bacterial growth, white teas also suppress cavity-causing bacteria and to avoid plaque in our teeth.

A research funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association indicated that drinking tea reduced plaque formation and restricted bacterial growth by a significant amount 

5. May prevent heart diseases

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death around the globe.

Lifestyle decisions like smoking can cause many heart problems.

Fortunately, polyphenols present in white teas have been strongly linked to reducing the risk of heart disease in several ways.

Other researchers have noticed that polyphenols may prevent “bad” LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized, lowering the risk factor for heart diseases.

Although results suggest white tea may help lower your risk of heart disease, it is vital to make healthy lifestyle decisions.

From eating more greens to exercising regularly and getting plenty of rest, you can always make sure you have a healthy heart.

6. May Lower the Risk of Insulin Resistance

Insulins are an essential hormone as it helps move nutrients from the bloodstream into the cells.

However, as a sequence of several factors like high sugar consumption, some individuals stop producing insulin. This is called insulin resistance.

Luckily, studies have found that polyphenols like the ones in white tea may lower your risk of insulin resistance.

It has been found that EGCG and other polyphenols found in white tea may improve the effects of insulin preventing high blood sugar levels.

In an examination of 17 studies with over 1,100 people, experts found that the molecules inside teas, like polyphenols, significantly reduced blood sugar and insulin levels.

More human-based studies are, however, needed that will concretely help clarify the link between white tea and the risk of insulin resistance. 

7. May Help Combat Skin Ageing

Skin ageing occurs in two main ways — internal & external ageing.

External ageing is a result of environmental factors damaging skin and promote ageing. For instance, the sun’s UV rays can harm the skin over time through inflammation.

Also known as natural ageing, Internal ageing is a result of damage from a variety of factors inside your body.

The composites in white tea may help protect your skin from the effects of both internal and external ageing.

One study found that applying white tea extract to the skin helps protect you against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays.

Studies suggest that polyphenols can help suppress many cellular components that damage the fibre network and help skin stay tight and firm. 

8. May Help You Lose Weight

Geen Teas are often suggested when it comes to losing that extra pound of flesh.

Still, whites tea may be as effective when it comes to burning fat.

White Teas have similar levels of caffeine and catechins like EGCG (a compound in green tea linked to burning fat). Together, these compounds appear to have a synergistic effect. 

A test-tube study saw that white tea extract was able to incite fat breakdown and limit new fat cells from being formed. This was chiefly due to EGCG.

A synopsis of studies further suggests that white tea may help increase your metabolism by 4–5%. 

Possibly because white tea is not very common, there has been no research on the effects of white tea and long-term weight loss. 

9. May Improve Memory

White Tea, as we know, is a good source of antioxidants and possibly even the best for catechins. White teas are also the best food for improving memory and memory retention.

A study led in Portugal concluded that regular consumption of white tea protects the brain from age-related memory decline.

A new study implies that the beverage can enhance our brain's cognitive functions, particularly the working memory. 

10. May Prevent Osteoporosis

A health condition where bones become hollow and porous, Osteoporosisaffects almost a quarter of the total population of earth.

Studies show that free radicals and prolonged inflammation may stimulate osteoporosis. These two circumstances may suppress cells that help bone growth and aid cells that break down bones.

Fortunately, catechins found in white teas are known to fight these risk factors promoting bone growth and suppressing bone breakdown.

How Much Caffeine Does White Tea Have?

To any person, the second question that will pop up in the head is- how much caffeine does white tea have? Tea Swan is ready to serve you with this answer as well!

A normal cup of white tea will contain 35mg to 70mg of caffeine in it. This intake of caffeine will not disturb your sleep. However, to have a sound and perfect sleep, avoid having a cup of white tea before going to bed.

This amount of caffeine is the least that can be found in other tea. Black tea or green tea contains higher caffeine percentage levels than white tea. A cup of white tea between your busy work schedules is the best as it kicks you with fresh energy and zeal and drives away your drowsy mood.

Note- If you feel discomfort in your sleeping schedule because of white tea, we suggest you not have it in the later evening part of the day.

A tea lover is an earnest lover of tea because it has a refreshing, energising and soothing effect on the body and mind. White tea can be a great headache reliever, as this caffeine intake is good for your health.

What is the best White Tea for Weight loss?

Generally, whenever the word “weight loss” is associated with tea, people refer to it as green tea. Nevertheless, to the surprise of many tea lovers and on-diet people, white tea is more effective in weight loss than green tea.

Both green tea and white tea have one thing in common- the level of caffeine present in them. However, with the help of other molecules, white tea serves this purpose best!

If the first question that came to your mind after reading this is, which white tea is best for weight loss, then you are perfectly on the right page! The best white tea for weight loss is, without trouble, Darjeeling Tea! White tea has a very high antioxidant value, which makes it an amazing supply for losing weight. Due to minimal processing of the tea leaves, white tea has more nutritious value than the other tea variants.

A cup of white tea in the morning is more refreshing than a can of sugary energy drinks. A study claimed that since the best white tea is rich in caffeine and antioxidants, it is a great way to burn calories and eliminate the extra fat you always wanted!

Because of the delicious flavour of the white tea, it’s a non-recommendable thing to add milk or sugar to your cup of the very best white tea.

Purchase and Storage Of White tea

Even though tea won't actually "go bad," it can become stale. Purchase your tea from a trustworthy firm that can provide you with information on the tea's processing and packaging, so you can be sure you're getting the freshest tea possible.

The storage of white tea is comparable to that of its exquisite green tea cousin. These less oxidised teas can stay fresh for up to a year if carefully handled. Consider the following suggestions for storage:

 

  • Always keep tea in a chilly, dark location.
  • Never put tea in the refrigerator and keep it away from heat, light, oxygen, and moisture.
  • If you keep tea in an airtight, opaque container, it will last longer.
  • Avoid storing tea in the same pantry as products like coffee and spices since they might impart taste to the tea.

How Can You Make The Best White Tea at Home?

The only thing you need to remember while brewing white tea is to be gentle with it.

Amount of white tea

Two teaspoons of white tea for a teacup.

Brewing temperature

High boiling water (no specified temperature)

Brewing time

4-5 minutes for the best result

 

When it comes to steeping time, white tea is a little more generous than green or black tea. Nevertheless, you should avoid over-steeping your tea as this might cause bitterness and astringency. Over brewing of the white tea leaves causes the tea to taste slightly bitter due to its caffeine. Under brewing of the tea leaves will not help it to develop its true taste. Hence, perfect brewing is required at all costs.

If you'd prefer your tea to steep a bit longer, taste it after the suggested amount of time has passed. 

Often tea lovers come across a question, what is the best time to drink white tea?

The answer is very simple. One cup of white tea every morning is the best way to consume this tea. In addition, it is highly recommendable to drink it after every meal if you are a tea lover.

Note: don’t drink more than 3 cups of white tea daily.

White tea is best consumed plain, without adding anything in it because it ruins the original flavour of the white tea. Also, if you add sugar, it will fail your purpose of losing weight.

Conclusion

Therefore, the answer to the most searched question, “do white tea have caffeine” is right here in this article for you! Easier to make and the best to drink, white tea can fulfill all your ‘tea criteria.’

Appearing pale yellow in colour, it has a beautiful aroma that will make you happy whenever you make it! It has a taste of sweetness and an earthy flavour that makes the white tea stand out among the rest. This tea will win your heart by containing the least amount of caffeine! Tea Swan is here to serve you its variety of white tea and waits for you to enjoy your tea! Without any hassle, go to the website and order your pack of white tea right away. While you are at it, look at the other varieties of tea available in its most amazing collection!

Grab your pack of white tea from the Tea Swan and get a taste of what an original and authentic cup of white tea tastes like!










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