White tea is fairly new outside of Asia, but it is growing in its popularity due to its delicate and subtle flavor. Unlike green and black teas, it doesn’t taste like an herb (or like grass, as so many non-tea drinkers accuse green tea of tasting like), but rather is mildly sweet. It also has less caffeine than other teas, and some believe it’s among the healthier teas available.
White tea is not actually white. It is rather a very pale gold. The name comes from the color of the buds used to make the tea. While the camellia sinesis plant can produce all kinds of teas, the flowers, when left mostly unprocessed, as with white tea, are a silvery white. The fact that it’s the least-processed of all the teas is why some attribute greater health benefits to it.
White tea originated in China, perhaps as early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.). It was truly the tea of kings – the Chinese emperors did not permit the common people to drink white tea, but these days – everyone can enjoy a cup of the best white tea.
Here are some of the best white teas for the money:
There are a lot of high-end tea vendors who offer incredible products, and we’ve featured many of them on this site, and some of them on this very page.
We wanted to feature accessible tea that’s a great value, yet still maintains a high standard of quality and a reasonable price, we try to offer a few different ideas, just so that there’s something for everyone.
These aren’t the cheapest white teas out there, but they offer an excellent value, which is important when you’re trying out new things!
Imperial White Tea Leaves from Vahdam Teas
Vahdam Teas have done it again, with another excellent white tea that’s definitely worth the taste (and the price!).
Himalayan Darjeeling by Teabox
These teas come in individual tea bags, but not just any tea bags. These are unique tea bags, sealed at the source, and designed to keep them tasting perfect while they travel to your home.
Tao of Tea White Tea Samplers
This package comes with a few different teas to enjoy, and a very nice presentation. The tins are re-usable,
Here’s the 3 teas that are included:
Imperial White – Some people remark about the subtle flavors of mango and pine, this delicate tea is a great place to start when you’re trying out some new white teas.
White Peony – This is a tea that is made specifically in April to achieve flavorful buds and leaves, and this tea offers a smooth texture.
Silver Needle – This is a full-bodied and sweet-tasting white tea, named for the tender white buds and the unique silver hairs that cover them.
More Information To Consider When You Buy White Tea Online
Several emperors appear to have been captivated with cultivating an ever more delicious white tea. Legends say Emperor Hui Zong was so obsessed with finding the perfect tea that he failed to pay attention to his empire, and lost much of his territory because of it. You don’t have to go to those lenghts, since we’ve already recommended some excellent teas from some top brands that are great options.
White tea undergoes less processing than do other teas, which perhaps accounts for its many health benefits. Tea buds, and sometimes leaves, are gathered and allowed to wither before being dried. Minimal oxidation is allowed for white tea, unlike green and black teas, which are allowed to oxidize more.
Health Benefits of White Tea
White tea has more antioxidants than other teas. Some believe that white tea can improve heart function, improve skin, and can work as an anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
There are studiest that suggest there could be some small benefits when it comes to weight management.
These are only a few of the health benefits of white tea. This tea also contains catechins, which lower cholesterol.
Different Kinds of White Tea
There are several main kinds of white teas. First is Silver Needle white tea, which is made exclusively from the finest tea buds. It is the highest quality white tea available, and has a sweet, delicate taste.
White Peony is tea buds and some leaves. The leaves make the color slightly darker, and the taste not quite so delicate, but still much lighter than a green or black tea’s flavor.
Tribute Eyebrow is made from a different plant entirely – the Xiao Bai tree. It is also processed more than the other two, and is considered the lowest quality of the three, although it is still a fine tea.
Loose Leaf or White Tea Bags?
Loose leaf white tea is generally considered superior to bagged teas. When using loose leaf white tea, brew about two teaspoons of tea in water that is very hot but not quite boiling. Tea should steep for three to five minutes. Now, of course, you’ll probabally want to dial that in a lot more specifically. Whichever tea you end up with will likely offer some suggestions.