Everything about white tea is different from the traditional black and green teas including how the tea is prepared for use. Regular teas are steeped in boiled water for a particular length of time designed to make the tea as strong or weak as the personal preference of the tea drinker. This pale tea is not to be made in boiled water and should be steeped for about three to five minutes. Some people will let it set a little longer if they prefer it really strong. It is also best made using loose leaves, not in a tea bag or tea egg, with two teaspoons of leaves being recommended per cup.
This tea originates in China where they have enjoyed it for centuries. Only recently have North Americans become aware of its unique flavor and health benefits. It is made from young leaves and early buds that have been picked early. Due to this early picking the leaves contain more natural healing antioxidants as well as a higher caffeine level. It is believed that because there is less processing done to these younger leaves that this tea, more than any other, is the healthiest you can drink. In short, anyone who is looking to incorporate tea into a holistic approach to diet and exercise will find that white tea is an ideal way to go.
Like black teas the white teas come in several varieties. The best of these has the English name Silver Needle. It is picked in China between the beginning of the third week in March up until the tenth of April. The buds must be bright in appearance and have little white hairs covering them. Only those buds that have remained unopened, and are in perfect condition, may be picked to make this tea. The next tea, of only slightly lesser quality is White Peony. This is made with the buds and leaves.
The leaves are to be incased in something that looks silvery in appearance and feels like down to the touch. Next comes Tribute Eyebrow which is made from the leaves of different smaller tea trees. Lastly is Noble or Long Life Eyebrow tea. This last one has a darker color than the others and made from the tops of the leaves. It has more of a fruity taste than the others. If you are looking to this white tea for its health benefits that drinking a few cups daily is recommended.