What is White Tea? | Brewing FundamentalsKeen to learn about the most popular drink in the world (after water) We have got your covered.
Lets first walk you through on what White Tea is
White tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant used to produce green, black, and oolong teas. So what makes white tea so special? Well, white tea is the least processed tea and contains the most antioxidants. It is made from unopened buds and young leaves. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no rolling or altering of the leaf cells so there is nothing else done to the leave. In essence, that means that the white tea leave is not oxidised, which gives the white tea leave a slightly sweet taste. The ideal leaves to use are the top few, or even just the shoots, usually hand plucked in the first harvests of the year. It is said that white tea was first discovered in China in the Fujian province during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). White tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. It is often used as an alternative to all the other teas because it contains less caffeine.
Two types of White Tea
White tea is mainly produced in the Far East, most famouly in the Chinese province of Fujian but also in Taiwan and Sri Lanka. White teas are light in colour, sometimes downy to the touch and often still 'leafy' in appearance.
There are two basic types of white tea. Silver Needle is made from lustrous, silvery buds (unopened leaf shoots) that are covered in white downy fuzz. It has a subtle, mildy sweet flavour. The second type is the White Peony/ Pai Mu Tan or as we love to call it our White Pony. White Peony uses the bud along with the next two youngest leaves, which contribute a sweet, mildly grassy flavour and a slight briskness. White Peony is made with a nonuniform mix of buds and lower grade leaves. This white tea sometimes goes through a light rolling and a intentional light oxidation phase to deepen the flavour, resulting in a floral, fruity taste.
What does White Tea taste like?
White tea is a lightly oxidized tea made from immature buds and leaves. White tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant content. Several varieties of white tea are available on the market, including silver needles. Silver needles are made from the youngest buds and have a light floral flavor, sweet, delicate flavor with a hint of grassiness.
White peony or Pai Mu Tan is made from slightly older buds and has a richer flavor. Pai mu tan is made from leaves and has a nutty flavor. The taste tends to be more robust than the Zilver Needle. this makes it perfect to blend it with other ingredients. When we add delicious ingredients like red fruit or Lavender they don’t overpower the original flavour profile of the tea but rather complement it. Once you take a sip, you’ll understand exactly what we mean.
Interesting Facts about White Tea
White tea is a popular drink that has many potential health benefits. Here are some interesting facts about white tea:
High in Antioxidants
White tea is the least processed tea and is said to have the most antioxidants of any tea. .
Improve Brain Function
- With its hydrating properties, it’s also the perfect drink to sip when you’re feeling totally dried up.
White tea has many potential health benefits, including aiding in weight loss, reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, and fighting cancer
How is white tea made
Harvesting (of the bud and the two leaves beneath it) occurs just as the bud begins to open. White teas consist of leaves that are left in their natural state, undergoing only the following two processes.
1. Whitering: Traditionally, whitering occurred in the open air; the grower's expertise is needed to anticipate climatic conditions and to time the harvest accordingly. To better control these conditions, whitering is increasingly carried out in temperature controlled rooms (between 86 0C and 90 0C and 32 0C) with sophisticated ventilation systems. During this step, oxidation begins, but since the leaf is not manipulated in any way, the process is extremely slow.
2. Drying: After withering in the heated chamber, the leaves lose all but 5 to 7 percent of their moisture. However, the prevailing humidity in Fujian at this time of year raises this precentage to 15 percent in just seconds. Therefore, the leaves must be subjected to a more intensive drying process, spread on shelves or trays in a hot air dryer.
The leaves are then sorted by hand and packaged.
How much caffeine is in White Tea?
In essence, all tea contain caffeine but If you are looking for a lighter delicious refreshing way to get that caffeine boost you are craving, green tea is the the one for you.
Why? well green tea contains between 15-45 mg of caffeine per 250ml cup, which is about half the amount found in black tea.
Compared to coffee, green tea contains a lot less caffeine than an average cup of coffee. Because coffee holds on average 140 mg of caffeine per cup. If you want to lower your daily dose of caffeine, try Hojicha instead of your morning coffee. Hojicha has a nice toasty flavour and helps you increase energy levels and alertness.
How to brew perfect green tea - temperature & steeping time
Brewing white tea is an art form that takes some time to perfect, but the result is well worth it. In order to make a perfect cup of white tea, you'll need fresh water, high-quality white tea leaves, and a teapot or teacup.
What we don't know is that white tea leaves (like green tea leaves) are sensitive. If you put the white tea leaves in water with temparature above 70 degrees leaves will burn. This releases an excess of tannins, which is what causes that bitter taste. Steep white tea too long, and the same thing will happen. No worries, we will explain what you can do to prevent your white tea from turning bitter.
1. Water Temparature
Using the right water temperature is the first tip in making your perfect brew.. Depending on the tea, this means water between 70ºC and 80ºC. What if you don’t have a thermometer by hand? No worries, boil your water like normal and let it cool down for 5 minutes. This should be enough time for the water to cool down to the right temp. Alternatively, if you’re boiling water in a pot, a good visual cue is when the water starts to form small crab eye sized bubbles.
2. Steeping Time
Tip number 2 for the perfect white tea brew is the time you take to steep the white leaves. We love to steep it not to long in order to keep the sweet flavour. Steep your white leaves between 1 to 3 minutes, and you’ll immediately notice a difference in taste. Your white tea will be light yet flavourful, you will taste the subtle notes instead of the bitterness.
Follow these simple steps, and we promise you, you’ll will steep like a pro.
Steeping it real teabrewista style
Step 1. Measure your tea
Choose your favourite loose leaf tea you are in the mood for and add a good spoon full to your teamaker. Just scoop 1 spoon (approx. 2.5 teaspoons) of your loose leaf tea into the 450ml teamaker.
Step 2. Pour in hot water
You are one step closer to your perfect cup of tea. FiIll your teamaker (or pot) with 450 ml of hot water from a kettle. Now this is the part where it becomes all pro! and you will steep it like a pro. Water temperature is one of the most important things in brewing tea. Brew it too hot, and you risk burning the leaves. Brew it too cold, and you’ll be left with a mild tasting tea. So how hot should your water be? To make sure you get the best results, follow this simple how to brew guid
Step 3. Let it steep
This is what it is all about. We would recommend to use a timer to give your tea the time it needs to release all of its wonderful flavours and aromas. Once you become a real pro you will can brew your tea on look and feel. How long should you brew? Best is to brew your tea for 3 minutes. However, if you like your tea a bit stronger you can brew it a bit longer. If you like your tea a bit milder you can brew it a bit shorter.
Step 4. Releas tea into mug
Place the teamaker right on top of your 450ml cup or jar and watch how the infused tea pours out like magic through the easy-release valve. The fine mesh nylon filter will strain your tea directly into your cup while keeping the tea leaves in the infuser. And when you’re done, lift the teamaker and the valve closes automatically.