Why Do We Need to Drink White Tea?
Black tea and green tea are well-known and enjoyed by millions of people every day. Oolong tea, being somewhere between the two, is rapidly gaining popularity. But what exactly is white tea?
To understand what makes white tea special, you first have to understand how other types of teas are made. Black tea, the standard in many homes all around the world, is made by fermenting the mature leaves of the tea plant. Green tea is not fermented at all in the production process. Oolong lies somewhere in the middle, being fermented during production but not as much as black tea.
White tea, on the other hand, is picked before the leaves are mature, and it is not fermented at all. When the leaves are picked, they are not yet fully opened. They are also covered with a very fine white fuzzy hair, which is where it gets its name.
By the time it reaches the consumer, it has been processed very little. As a result of its minimal processing and the age of the leaves, it has a unique and tantalizing taste. The aroma and flavor are sweet and very light. There is none of the bitterness of black tea or the grassy flavor of green tea.
White tea is considerably more expensive than other types of teas, and it's also much more difficult to come by. Most tea drinkers will agree that it is very much worth the extra money. Because of its cost and its rarity, it is often used as part of important celebrations or ceremonies. In fact, it was at one time forbidden for anyone but the Emperor of China to partake in this delicacy.
It is arguably the best choice if you want to drink tea to improve your health. It has been called the healthiest tea beverage in the world. It contains more cancer-fighting antioxidants than any other type of tea. Antioxidants are also said to slow the aging process and keep skin looking youthful and supple.
Like other types of teas, it is also said to help boost the immune system. Drinking this delicate tea regularly may help prevent colds and other viruses from taking hold and wreaking havoc in your body.
It may help in the battle against obesity. Like its cousins green and oolong tea, white tea helps the body metabolize fat more efficiently while staving off hunger. For many people, drinking it feels so indulgent that it keeps them from diving into less healthy treats.
As if you needed yet another reason to try this delicate beverage, white tea may also improve your oral health. It is naturally rich in fluoride and can help arrest the development of dental plaque and reduce the incidence of dental cavities.
If you are eager to sample the enchanting flavor and amazing health benefits of white tea, you're in luck. While just a few years ago it was nearly impossible to find outside of Asia, white tea is now available all over. Unless you live near an upscale tea retailer, buying on the internet is often your best chance to find high-quality white tea.
Your white tea should come with brewing instructions. Because it is so delicate, it has to be handled gently. Learning to brew white tea correctly is part of enjoying this rare treat.
As a general rule, use a light hand when preparing white tea. Use fresh water that is no hotter than 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is any hotter, the leaves will be cooked and many of the beneficial antioxidants will be destroyed.
Another point to keep in mind is that white tea leaves do not take nearly as long to brew as black tea leaves do. Steep for no more than 30 to 40 seconds at first, then brew in very short intervals to achieve the desired flavor.
White tea is certainly one of the finest simple pleasures the ancient Chinese have shared with the modern world. Take your time when drinking this healthy and invigorating tea, and enjoy the taste of what was once the most sought-after beverage in the world.