Herbal tea, black tea, green tea, masala chai, and the list goes on. There are endless tea varieties across the globe – experts estimate the number to be in the thousands.
Everything You Need to Know About White Tea
There are dozens of popular tea varieties in the world. At the helm of them all is white tea, which is prized for its rich flavor and distinct appearance.
Despite being in a world of their own, most varieties of white tea are derived from Camellia sinensis – the same plant responsible for green, black, and oolong tea. White tea flavor deserves special mention because it carries lighter notes of honey with a rich and grassy taste.
Varieties of White Tea
There are at least a dozen varieties of white tea around the world; we will discuss 4 of the more popular varieties here.
i. Silver Needle
Silver is known for its characteristic unopened, juicy buds with their short, downy hair. When brewed properly, it is said to burst with unique flavors.
ii. Darjeeling White
Darjeeling white, as the name suggests, comes from the Darjeeling region of India. It is characteristically different from the Chinese version of white tea due to its fluffy and light leaves. Its liquor produces a mellow flavor that carries notes of sweetness.
iii. African White
Many African tea growers farm white tea because of its popularity and untold health benefits. Locals call their version of white tea as "Malawi white tea". It is made up almost entirely of stems that produce a sweet and smooth taste composed of honey and lyches. The resulting liquor has a distinct grassy flavor.
iv. Himalayan White Tea
Tea growers farm Himalayan white tea in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. The delicate leaves are producing a sweet and crispy white tea with a lovely floral aroma. Owing to its rarity, Himalayan white tea may not be easy to acquire by most tea connoisseurs although it is a hidden gem of the tea world.
White Tea vs. Green tea
Both white tea and green tea come from the same plant. Tea growers pluck white tea earlier than green tea leaves. This is a delicate process that requires precision and knowledge to prevent damaging the fragile leaves. As a result, white tea is slightly more expensive than green tea. The harvest period for white tea has a short window span of a few days during early spring and must be handled with care.
Benefits of White Tea
People have been drinking white tea for centuries, and the benefits of doing so have been well documented. Research is still emerging about the numerous benefits of white tea.
i. Fights Free Radicals
White tea is rich catechins, a type of polyphenols. These antioxidants help fight free radicals that are responsible for a variety of harmful diseases.
ii. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Studies have shown that the polyphenols found in white tea reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways. The first of these is preventing bad LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized, which is responsible for heart disease.
iii. Helps Lose Weight
Although green tea is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of weight loss, white tea can prove to be just as effective when it comes to weight management. Both have high levels of catechins and caffeine that are responsible for weight loss.
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