What is White Tea? A Definition:
White tea is made from the young leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant. Generally more delicate in flavor than bolder black and oolong teas, white tea contains high concentrations of gallic acid, theobromine and catechins and is not oxidized.
White tea grown in the Assam region is rare; it produces a light body and a naturally sweet malty, flavor.
Much pricier than black tea from the same area, this Sri Lankan tea brews to a golden copper with flavors of honey and pine.
The tea leaves used in this brew are unusually fluffy and light; they produce a pale golden liquid with a mellow flavor.
This tea’s leaves are plucked later, giving it a darker color and a stronger flavor, reminiscent of Oolong.
The highest grade of white tea, Silver Needle can be recognized by its fleshy, bright-colored leaves, liberally covered by tiny white hairs. Grown almost exclusively in the Fujian Province of China, it has a mild, soothing, lightly sweet taste.
The next grade down from Silver Needle, White Peony tea utilizes more leaf and fewer buds. It brews darker, and has a fruitier flavor, than Silver Needle.
(Updated: 06/01/11 BH)