White tea is a loose leaf tea and is one of the most delicate teas in the world to process. It’s soft and light, with a subtle fragrance and slightly sweet floral flavor.
White tea was introduced in the Fujian province of China, it is said to have originated somewhere between 600 and 1300 A.D. At this time, tea drinking was exceedingly popular throughout the country.
During this time, citizens were forced to bring rare and fine white tea to the emperors each year to pay their tributes. It was a type of tea tax. Imperial tea gardens were then developed in secret to cultivate this leaf tea in early spring.
Although white teas are generally overlooked due to it’s lack of popularity, it still has many health benefits accompanied by it’s delicious aroma.
Due to the subtle sweetness of chinese white tea, it’s best if you drink it on an empty stomach. The strong aroma and taste of many foods would clash with the light flavor and likely overpower it, ruining the experience.
To get the most benefits out of your white tea, drink it between meals or everytime you’re fasting.
Camellia Sinensis is one of the most popular types of tea plants. It’s the only source for producing white tea, along with green tea, black tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea.
Out of all the herbal loose leaf teas white tea is prepared with the most minimal processing, while also having a fascinating production history. Less processing means that white tea retains many of it’s natural plant properties and nutritional benefits such as, flavanoids and flavanols, antioxidants, polyphenols, and catechins.
White tea is produced only using new, young tea buds and leaves of the camellia sinensis tea plant. These young leaves are gathered and allowed to wither and dry in direct sunlight or a controlled climate for 72 hours.
This drying process is used to prevent oxidation and increase it’s shelf life.
The resulting product of this delicate drying process is a high quality loose leaf white tea. Although other tea products have stronger flavors, white tea is much healthier and lighter than black or oolong tea.
The caffeine level in white tea is much lower than what’s found in herbal and black teas. Loose leaf white tea contains 15 to 25 mg of caffeine per cup.
The tea production used in these gardens is much different than the way we grow tea today. White tea can be categorized into 5 different types:
Silver Needle Tea - Bai Hao Yin Zhen
White Peony Tea - Bai Mu Dan
Tribute Eyebrow Tea - Gong Mei
Noble Long Life Eyebrow Tea - Shou Mei
Fujian New Craft Tea - Da Bai Cha or Da Hoa Cha
The silver needle variety is by far the most delicate and expensive version of white tea. It’s produced with the highest quality tea leaves, making it a China’s favorite tea drink.
It’s long in shape with no tea leaves or stems and has silver needle looking tips (hence the name). Comprised of only the freshest tea buds handpicked in early spring. It has a pale ivory color and a sweet fragrance resembling honeysuckle.
Although the quantity of caffeine in white tea is lower than other herbal teas, silver needle white tea has the highest percentage of caffeine at around 6.1% of caffeine. The higher the quality of your loose leaf tea, the higher the caffeine level.
White Peony or Bai Mu Dan is also a popular type of white tea that consists of high quality camellia sinensis leaves and buds. The leaves are young and have silvery colored, unopened tea buds.
White peony tea has the second highest caffeine content at 5.7%. It’s more amber in color and has a nutty-like flavor with a slight fragrence of honey. Most white iced teas are made with white peony.
Tribute Eyebrow tea gets its name from the eyebrow shape of the leaves. This tea is more processed than silver needle and white peony. It’s a lower grade tea and consists of only leaves, no tea buds. The color is darker and much fuller in body as well. The caffeine level for this white tea is 4.8%.
Noble Long Life Eyebrow is more oxidized than the others and is made from leaves and tips picked between April and June. It’s composed of leftover leaves deemed unsuitable for other higher quality teas.
The leaves are large and have a bold flavor. This tea is considered to be the most similar to oolong tea since it’s so oxidized. This white tea contains the least amount of caffeine sitting at 3.8%.
**Fujian New Craft is the newest white tea, having only been in production since the 1960s. It was created to produce overall tea production. The white tea caffeine level in this tea is moderate. It consists of three steps: withering, slight rolling and drying. This tea is a bit deceptive as its appearance resembles black tea. Although it does not have a strong fragrance, its flavor is the most bold of any other Chinese white tea.
Many think that because these 5 teas are produced from the tea plant, that they are herbal teas. This in fact is not true, an herbal tea refers to any tea that is not made from the tea plant. Such types of herbal tea would be ginger or chamomile, for example. Any true tea or herbal tea can be purchased organic.
White Tea Benefits
1. Improves Skin Health
Struggling with acne and blemishes can cause low self esteem and embarrassment. White tea can help you get the clear skin you’ve always wanted. White tea is antioxidant rich and fights against free radicals that make your skin prone to pre-mature aging.
The antioxidants have highly anti-inflammatory properties that give you a clear and even complexion. White tea benefits your skin by reducing redness and inflammation that can cause eczema and scalp problems such as dandruff.
Acne is caused by pollutants in the air and harmful free radicals. Did you know drinking a cup of white tea once or twice a day could greatly reduce your acne? What a delicious and simple way to achieve healthier skin. You can also use white tea as a was or apply a white tea bag directly to your trouble spots of skin. This will greatly speed up the healing process.
Another one of the amazing benefits of white tea is that it contains alot of polyphenols. Polyphenols boost collagen and elastin, giving your skin a renewed, youthful glow and smooth texture.
2. May Help In Fighting Cancer
One of the greatest white tea health benefits is the link to prevent cancer. Cancer is one of the highest causes of death in America. Several studies have shown that drinking a cup of white tea may have some anticancer effects. The white tea caffeine level is much lower than in coffee and other types of black teas. Although the evidence is not conclusive, it seems there are links that show white tea has amazing benefits to help prevent cancer.
The antioxidants and polyphenols in white tea are able to prevent the mutation of cells that cause types of cancer. The quantity of antioxidants in white tea is said to be even higher than any other tea.
3. Aids In Weight Loss
Another one of the highly praised white tea health benefits is weight related. Many people are looking for a way to lose weight. Losing weight could potentially extend your lifespan and and definitely makes your body more healthy. Many think green tea is the way to go for weight loss, but it seems white is just as effective.
If weight loss is a goal of yours, drinking white tea benefits your body by helping you shed those pounds quicker since it speeds up your metabolism. It also can absorb nutrients and burn fat quicker. White tea contains catechins that speed up your digestive process, allowing effective weight loss.
4. Gives You Healthy Hair
Many people experience problems with hair loss or lackluster locks. The antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, is known to promote hair growth and to prevent premature hair loss. EGCG can also treat scalp skin diseases caused by harmful bacteria.
White tea benefits your hair by preventing sun damage in the summer months when hair becomes easily dry and brittle. If you want to restore your hair’s natural shine, you can try using it as a shampoo. Make sure the water temperature isn’t too hot because the hot water dries your hair out. Allow a greater steeping time when using it as a shampoo, but let it cool before use.
5. Supports Strong Teeth
White tea benefits your teeth because it contains ingredients to strengthen them and prevent plaque build up and bacteria. It contains tannins which inhibit the buildup of plaque. The tannins it contains are to a lesser extent than other teas, which helps in not staining your teeth as badly.
6. Gives You Energy And Alertness
White tea has the highest amount of L-theanine of any other tea. L-theanine is very good for improving focus and stimulating healthy brain activity. The stimulation of your brain can produce a calming effect while increasing overall productivity and alertness. White tea caffeine gives you energy with less effects than black teas and oolong tea because the level is much lower.
7. Helps Treat Diabetes
Studies done by scientists show that regular drinking of white tea can greatly treat or prevent diabetes. White tea lowers blood glucose levels and allows the secretion of insulin. It also helps in the severe thirst that is caused by diabetes.
8. Reduces Inflammation
Drinking a cup of loose leaf white tea can greatly reduce aches and pains of the body including muscle pain and sore joints caused by inflammation. The catechins and polyphenols in white tea have anti-inflammory properties to help aid in relief of these symptoms.
White tea is said to also improve circulation and oxygen being delivered to the brain. You may experience fewer headaches with regular consumption of white tea caffeine. It also can help with sore muscles after a rigorous exercise.
9. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Having a healthy heart is the key to maintaining a full life and living longer. There are many factors that lead to a weak heart, such as diet and smoking. Drinking white tea is very beneficial in building a healthy heart and lifestyle.
It contains more catechins than any other tea and is said to help lower blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease. The antioxidants it contains is also said to lower your cholesterol level.
White Tea Side Effects and Detriments
1. Questionable Caffeine Content
There are very few white tea side effects. The main side effect discussed is due to the level of white tea caffeine. White tea caffeine is significantly less than the other types of true tea, but this does depend on how it is brewed as well as the type. Tea from the Fujian province of China is said to be made from plants that naturally contains lower amounts of caffeine. If you buy white tea from other areas, then the caffeine content could vary greatly. Loose leaf tea is going to have a much lower caffeine content than teabags.
White tea has been marketed in a variety of different ways and can be bought bagged or bottled as mixed blends. Make sure you are getting 100% white tea than is not mixed with anything else. White tea can be purchased organic or in the form of iced tea as well. It is a common debate between tea drinkers if it should be served hot or cold. They both share the same benefits, if the iced tea is unsweetened.
As with any drink containing caffeine, it is recommended to take them in moderation. Too much caffeine can cause dizziness, anxiety and accelerated heart rate. The only type of tea without any caffeine is herbal tea.
Rating and Recommendation
White tea benefits your lifestyle and makes you more healthy. When enjoyed in moderation, white tea caffeine can actually be good for you. It certainly contains less caffeine than the other types of tea and much less than coffee. I definitely recommend that you add the delicious and subtle flavor of white tea to your life.
Here’s the full list of the white tea health benefits:
● Promotes Healthy Skin
● White Tea Health Benefits In Preventing Cancer
● Aids In Losing Weight
● Helps You With Hair Growth And Healthy Locks
● Supports Strong Teeth
● Helps In Treating Diabetes
● Reduces Inflammation
● Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Here’s the full list of the white tea side effects:
● White Tea Caffeine Could Cause Dizziness And Anxiety
After viewing the white tea benefits and side effects, you can see there are not many side effects that come from white tea. This can also be avoided if you make sure to get only Fujian tea. Always check the label for caffeine when you are choosing tea. Pregnant mothers are advised to be careful when consuming caffeine drinks because it could potentially cause a miscarriage. Do not drink more than 200 mg daily while pregnant. If you are pregnant and prefer no caffeine, try an herbal tea.
Whether you like it natural or organic, this tea as a very interesting history and makes for a wonderful choice at tea time. Preparation is very simple, whether you’re preparing iced tea or hot tea.
Pour 2 teaspoons loose leaf white tea into a glass.
Heat 8 ounces or a cup of water to around 170 degrees. The water temperature is very important. You do not want to pour boiling water over your tea leaves as it becomes very bitter and the leaves will be burnt. Pour the warm water over your tea leaves and let it steep for 1-3 minutes. Note that the longer the steeping time, the higher the caffeine level becomes. Experiment with the minutes of the steeping time if you'd like because each blend is different and may need to be altered depending on your preference.
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories 2.4||Calories from Fat 0|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0 g||0 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||0 %|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 2.4 mg||0 %|
|Potassium 21.3 mg||1 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 0.5 g||0 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0 g||0 %|
|Sugars 0 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Vitamin A 1 %||Vitamin C 0 %|
|Vitamin E 0 %||Vitamin K 0 %|
|Calcium ≤ 1 %||Iron 1 %|
Calories per gram:
Fat: 9 | Carbohydrate: 4 | Protein: 4