What is White Tea?

what is white tea

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When our Tea Off creator first mentioned we’d be stocking white loose leaf tea, our first thought was; what’s white tea? Is it simply black tea with A LOT of milk, is it like a chai latte? Or is it something completely different?

Turns out, it’s the latter.

White tea is considered a “true tea” , meaning it is derived from the same plant as black and even green tea – the Camellia Sinensis, or ‘tea plant’. The taste however is completely different to other teas on the market, being closer to some herbal varieties than the flavours you’d find in the classic true teas.

a guide to tea processing

White tea properties

Just like green tea, white tea is thought to have a range of health benefits, mainly due to it containing:

  • Antioxidants: it’s claimed that white tea contains the most antioxidants of all the true tea strains, due to the minimal processing it goes through.
  • Anti-ageing properties: some studies have claimed that white tea can help repair the skin from damage caused by stress, the sun and even a poor diet.

What does white tea taste like?

Generally white tea has a much sweeter, subtle flavour when comparing it to black tea – some would even say it contains honey tones. The subtleness mostly comes from the tea going through a simple production process compared to the other teas.

The taste really differs however depending on where you bought it from – for example, we stock a classic Pai Mu Tan white tea, as well as more flavoursome mango white loose leaf tea.

Does white tea look white?

Good question but no – the tea leaves are actually very similar to black tea, due to it using tea leaves from the same plant. When it’s brewed however, it’s more of a yellow colour rather than the typical brown. Here is an image of the tea leaves:

white loose leaf tea

If you’re really wanting a tea that looks white though, we recommend this delicious chai tea recipe.

Does white tea contain caffeine?

Yes, like most teas white tea does contain caffeine – usually between 25-55 mg per 250ml cup, however this differs dependent on the brand. In fact, some white tea can contain the most caffeine out all the ones available on the market.

There is of course decaffeinated white tea available too, however be aware that even decaffeinated varieties are likely to include a small amount of caffeine.

Does white tea make you sleepy?

Following on from our last point, due to its caffeine content we would avoid drinking this tea in the evenings, or before bed as it typically won’t make you sleepy. We would advise our herbal teas for that instead.

For us, white tea is best consumed in the morning, it’s a light and refreshing pick-me-up, which will have you all prepped for a positive and productive day.

Final question; where can you buy it?

Right here on the Tea Off online store! We hope you love it as much as we do!

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