White tea (Chinese: 白茶; Japanese: 白茶) is a kind of tea that has only been lightly oxidised and is often cultivated and harvested in China, most specifically in the province of Fujian. In more recent years, it has begun to be cultivated in Northern Thailand in addition to Taiwan.
White tea originates from the buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to China. Before going through any additional processing, the tea leaves and buds are left to wither in the sunshine under natural conditions. This is done to avoid the tea from oxidising or being too processed. The distinctive taste of the white tea is maintained in this manner.
The term “white tea” comes from the thin, silvery-white hairs that are found on the unopened buds of the tea plant. These hairs give the plant a whitish look. White tea is made from the buds of the tea plant. The actual beverage has a light yellow tint, despite the fact that the name may give the impression that it is colourless or white.
Although it is generally agreed that China is where white tea was first developed, the exact origins of white tea are murky and convoluted. When talking about China’s teas in general, it might be difficult to find appropriate citations since the body of knowledge is often passed down by oral tradition. When the initial manufacture of white tea (in the sense that it is recognised in China today) started is a question that is not universally agreed upon by academics and tea business owners.
It’s possible that the beverage we know today as white tea didn’t exist until sometime in the previous two centuries. It is possible that white tea had its first appearance in an English magazine in the year 1876. In those publications, white tea was classified as a black tea due to the fact that, unlike green tea, it was not immediately roasted in order to inactivate internal enzymes and exterior microorganisms. Black and green tea were the only two forms of tea known to Hanson at the time. This is an important fact to keep in mind.
There is now a greater availability of white tea, which is often marketed and sold using a variant of its traditional term known as Silvery Tip Pekoe. Additionally, white tea may now be identified by the more straightforward names China White and Fujian White.
Because white tea is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, it contains polyphenols, a phytonutrient that is thought to be responsible for the tea’s health benefits.
White tea contains high levels of catechins, a type of compound that is responsible for lessening the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, reducing carcinogens, reducing the severity of stroke, heart failure, cancer (including tumor formation), diabetes, and for the protection of skin from damage caused by UV light.
The manufacturing of white tea is simple compared to the manufacturing of other teas. The base process for manufacturing white tea is as follows:
Fresh tea leaf → Withering → Drying (air drying, solar drying, or mechanical drying) → White tea
White tea belongs to the group of tea that does not require panning, rolling, or shaking. Therefore, its manufacture saves time and labor. However, the selection of raw material in white tea manufacture is extremely stringent; only the plucking of young tea leaves with much fine hair can produce good-quality white tea with lots of pekoe.
Like black and green tea, white tea is also derived from Camellia sinensis. Thus, white tea shares many of the same chemical properties and health effects of tea. The particular amount and ratio of the polyphenol compounds found in tea vary widely from one type of white tea to another, frequently overlapping with chemical compositions found in green tea. This is due both to the variation between the strain of Camellia sinensis, as well as the preparation process itself. These compounds have been shown to protect against certain types of cancer both in vitro and in vivo.
Improved cardiovascular function
Catechins, a group of polyphenol antioxidants found in white tea, have been found to reduce cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and improve the function of blood vessels, thereby decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Antibacterial and antiviral
White tea has been shown to protect animals from certain pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella Typhimurium. The antioxidants found in white tea may also help bolster the immune system, particularly in immunocompromised humans and animals.