The Basics of White Tea

It seems that “White Tea” is more common these days. There was a time when Char and I were travelling in China, and we would enjoy white tea regularly but couldn’t find it anywhere when we finally journeyed home! Today, though, there seems to be a surge in its popularity, and now it is easily accessible around the world.

There are many who believe white tea is the world’s earliest tea. Because the process mostly involves natural drying, it makes sense this could be the case. By drying the buds and small leaves, they could be stored for future use. There are even written documents about white tea from as early as the 1100’s, during the great Song Dynasty!

As with all true tea, white tea is from the Camellia Sinensis bush. So, what makes it white tea, as opposed to green, black or oolong?

White Tea

It begins with the plucking. Only the buds or the buds and the youngest tea leaves are used for white tea. In fact, one of the reasons it is called “white” tea is due to the silvery hairs that are found on the buds that turn white during the drying process. These tender buds and leaves are slowly dried using low temperature hot air ventilation. The result found in your tea cup is a pale yellow, very delicate, mildly sweet, refreshing brew.

While Char loved to indulge in a single estate white tea with nothing added, Kat really enjoys a variety of white tea blends. Whether a white tea blend with apricot or a blend with jasmine or rose, it seems Kat sips on a white tea when she’s feeling inspired and has a new idea ‘brewing.’

What white tea would you like to try?

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