What is White Tea ?
White tea and green tea are both made from the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference between the two teas is in the way they are processed. White tea is minimally processed, while green tea is more processed. This difference in processing results in different flavor profiles.
White tea is the least processed type of tea. It is made from the youngest leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, which are picked in the springtime before they have fully opened. By minimally processed, we means that it is not oxidised or fermented. This results in a tea that is light in color and flavor.
Originated in China, where it has been enjoyed for centuries, white tea was mentioned for the first time in the 3rd century AD. It was originally reserved for the Chinese emperor and his court, but it eventually became available to the general public.
Today, white tea is grown in China, Japan, and South Korea. It is a popular tea worldwide, and is known for its delicate flavor and health benefits.
Health Benefits of White Tea
- Rich in antioxidants: White tea is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. (R 1, 2)
- May reduce the risk of heart disease: polyphenols have been shown to improve heart health by reducing cholesterol levels, preventing blood clots, and relaxing blood vessels. (R 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Could help you lose weight: the caffeine and catechins have been shown to boost metabolism and help with weight loss. (R 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Help protect your teeth from bacteria: white tea is a great source of fluoride and tannins, which can help fight bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay. (R 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Has compounds that may fight cancer: the research findings revealed that the extract from white tea inhibited the growth and spread of colon cancer cells. Additionally, the antioxidants provided protection to healthy cells against harm caused by detrimental molecules. (R 1, 2)
- May lower the risk of insulin resistance: polyphenols have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help prevent insulin resistance. (R 1, 2, 3)
- May protect against osteoporosis: catechins have been shown to promote bone growth and suppress bone breakdown. (R 1, 2, 3)
- May help combat skin aging: the compounds have been shown to protect skin from damage caused by free radicals and UV rays. (R 1, 2, 3)
- May improve brain function: the polyphenol EGCG, may lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. (R 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
How to prepare your tea :
- Start with fresh, clean water: Use filtered or spring water for the best flavor.
- Heat the water: Bring the water to a temperature around 175°F (80°C).
- Use approximately 1 tsp for a small cup, 1 tbsp for a mug.
- Let the tea steep for about 5-8 minutes. You can adjust the steeping time based on your desired strength.
Remember, white tea is delicate, so avoid oversteeping or using water that is too hot to preserve its delicate flavor profile.