Chinese White Tea
Finally! Popular Myths And Misconceptions Busted

White tea is one of the six types of Chinese tea. It is widely spoken of, and yet is often misunderstood.

Here are some popular misconceptions:

  • The least processed form of tea.

  • Being unoxidised, it contains more of the raw antioxidants, which makes it more potent than green tea.

  • Has more buds than leaves, is extremely rare and more pricey than green tea.

  • Contain little or no caffeine.

None of the statements are false, but I think you deserve a more in depth understanding of this amazing tea.

Tea Information - Six Myths Debunked

Why White?

white tea history

It is "white" because of its downy hairs.

These baby hairs give the young tender shoots a silvery-gray appearance, which is often regarded as a sign of quality.

Where Does It Come From?

To understand it, we need to look at its life story.

A simultaneously young and old tea, Chinese white tea is a historical paradox.

Ancient Chinese sun-dried tea before storing for later consumption. It may not sound very sophisticated, but this is basically white tea processing in its primitive form.

The final breakthrough came in 1857 when the Chinese successfully invented the modern Silver Needle.

It has never looked back since.

Tea History - Old Soul Young Body

What's The Secret?

To understand what constitutes a white tea, you have to understand how it is made.

You see, this tea is often regarded in Asia as a "cooling" tea, as it contains the least "fire" of all Chinese teas.

It uses a special process where relatively low heat and no rolling is applied.

During the making process, fresh leaves are left to wither in dormant condition for 1 to 3 days.

Enzymatic reactions progress under the right temperature, humidity and air-flow. The key is to get the fresh leaves to mature with minimal oxidation.

Intrigued? Yes, it is pretty cool!

Myth: White tea is less oxidised than green tea and so contain more health benefits.

This tea is slightly more oxidised than green tea. So the level of oxidation does not explain its apparent higher potency.

Its secret may lie in the processing. Being less "cooked" than other teas may help retain more raw nutrients.

Tea Processing - The Cool Way

Weight Loss?

I am not aware of any weight loss studies conducted directly on this tea.

However, its chemical composition is similar to green tea. So I would expect it to weave similar weight loss magic.

It contains lots of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and caffeine. Both compounds are proven fat burners and weight fighters.

How does it compare to other types of tea? Read out my pros and cons analysis to find out.

Weight Loss Pros and Cons

Health Benefits?

white tea health benefits

There have only been a few studies to date, but already the evidence is impressive.

It has been shown to be more powerful than green tea in preventing cancer and killing germs.

Another study suggests that it may contain enough antioxidants to keep your skin young and beautiful.

Okay, it is still in the early days, but it does look promising.

Tea Health Benefits

Any Caffeine?

Myth: Have you heard somewhere that it contains little caffeine?

It does contain caffeine, and ironically, the higher its quality, the more caffeine it contains.

This may seem strange. I drink it a few times a week. It is so sweet, so calming, that it is hard to associate with caffeine.

Although higher grade white has more caffeine, but it has even more of another compound - theanine - to make it less caffeinated.

Ever heard of theanine decaffeination? It works!

Caffeine - The Complex Truth

Which To Buy?

It is usually classified according to leaf style. Here are the main varieties:

Like green tea, young tea shoots harvested in early spring are reserved exclusively for making the high grade.

For example, the highest grade - Silver Needle - is made entirely of the youngest, fattest buds harvested early spring.

Loose Tea Varieties - By Leaf Style

How To Brew

Myth: Many experts recommend brewing it like delicate green tea at 70 to 80 degrees Celsius.

white tea health benefits

White tea is not that delicate.

White tea plants produce buds and leaves that are fat and thick. It takes higher temperature and longer steeping time to soak out the flavors.

My recommendation? Try brewing it closer to boiling point, from 90 to 100 degree Celsius or 190 to 210 Fahrenheit.

How To Store

Being slightly oxidised, it is vulnerable to quality loss.

I recommend storing it like a green tea, click below.

Green Tea Storage

This wonderful AAA grade Silver Needle tea comes from an organic farm in Fuding and is handcrafted using the traditional withering method.

Silver Needle Tea - Intoxicating Grapelike Aroma

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Wikipedia, The free encyclopedia. White tea.

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Silver Tip Tea (Yinzhen Tea) - Handpicked Unblended AAA Grade

An organically certified March 2009 hand-harvested Silver Tip tea (Baihao Yinzhen) from China's Fujian province.

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