Thursday, March 8, 2018

White Tea, Anyone?

by Karen Rose Smith



I’ve been drinking tea all my life. My mom served me tea with lemon when I was sick. When I was older, my dad might add a shot of whiskey! My tea drinking days followed me through life as green tea and anti-oxidant information became more available.  But when I began writing my Daisy’s Tea Garden series, I researched and tasted many more types of tea. Now my favorite by far is “white” tea also known as “silver needle white tea.” 


I’m a fan of “white” tea because it has a lighter flavor than black or green tea. 
White tea is not rolled or oxidized. When brewed, it is pale yellow. The term “white” tea comes from silver-white hairs on the still-closed tea buds. It’s collected mainly from China, India, Southern Sri Lanka and Northern Thailand. 

According to IHerb.com “White tea comes from the same plant as green and black teas, Camellia sinensis. However, white tea is made from the closed leaf buds, rather than open, and is normally less processed than other teas. Studies have indicated that white tea can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, and research is ongoing regarding the large variety of possible medicinal uses for this tea.”

Just a note... On the Iherb.com website tea lovers can buy 100 organic white tea bags for less than $6.00. In comparison, you can also buy 20 herbal white tea bags from Total Tea on Amazon for $8.88, naturally caffeinated.  If a tea is “naturally caffeinated” with no additives, then your caffeine dose is lighter. Prices vary on white tea, both loose tea and tea bags, from reasonable to beyond expensive. That’s why it’s best to sample tea before buying.  When Teavana was a store in a nearby mall, the staff would brew several teas and have them on display for a tasting experience.  That is a practical way to buy tea if you can find a shop that does it. Another practical practice is to purchase samplers.


 White Tea Guides are available on the internet. Here is a link to one of them: WHITE TEA GUIDE
According to this guide, health benefits from anti-oxidants to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol are possible. But I wonder how many cups of “white” tea you would need to drink for those benefits.  Processing or lack of it is what gives each type of tea—black, green, oolong and white—distinctive flavor. 

I brew loose white tea leaves and also use the tea bags. My favorites are Adagio’s White Symphony and Snowbud. Another favorite that has a beautiful scent is White Imperial from Vahdam, 100% pure Indian tea. I brew my white teas about three minutes. But your brewing time might be different. 





If you’re a tea lover, either of hot tea or iced tea, try “white” tea sometime. I think you’ll like it! 

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