White tea is perhaps the rarest of teas due to the limited “picking time” available to pluck these beauty leaves while they’re still young.
This tea is harvested before the leaves have fully opened and are typically covered in fine white “hairs”.
Thus the name white. Some white teas are picked from the very end two buds of the tea bush branch and are obviously then, more hard to come by and usually more pricey. It is the least- processed of teas and therefore very high in antioxidants. Because of its pale silvery color, this teas “liquor” is a pale amber in color as well.
New tea fairers may love white tea, due to its mild, sweet taste and smoothness and its less “grassy’ taste compared to green tea. It is arguably the healthiest tea to drink as it is simply withered and steamed and doesn’t undergo much oxidation.
White teas are primarily produced in China, specifically the Fujian province.
Popular names are Silver Needle (the kingdaddy of white tea) which is only picked in a two day growth period and only uses the unopened buds, White Peony which is similar to Silver Needle but incorporates two leaves into the equation. and Tribute Eyebrow, the third in succession to the white teas in popularity. By far, these aren’t the only white teas around. White teas also hail from India (Darjeeling) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
I recently purchased a Earl Grey White from Teavana in my area.
Mine was a little greener than what you’d expect to see in a White, but it could be due to the flavor enhancement of the Bergamot used to make it Earl Grey.
This tea was very mild in comparison to it’s strong Bergamot scent and so far, I’ve enjoyed it.
Steeping: One thing to note when drinking white tea. It needs to be steeped at a lower temperature than Black teas and the water should not be boiled, but should be used at 180º for best flavor. Use 1.5 teaspoons per 8 oz. cup of water and steep for 3 minutes.
Now I’m off to go enjoy my lovely cup of Earl Grey White. Happy Tea Tasting and…
Happy Friday Everyone!