White tea technology is one of the oldest tea processing techniques on earth when tea was considered a medicine. White tea is prepared according to a special technology of natural withering and drying, while maintaining its rich internal content with substances such as active enzymes, polyphenols, etc. Due to the special cultivars, climate, quality of the tea leaves, and low level of oxidation, this type of tea provides maximum vitamins and microelements. The highest quality white teas are made from spring young buds and leaves, traditionally dried under the sun.
The most common production process: harvesting – withering – drying.
This type of tea has a light, fresh infusion with floral and fruity notes.
The classification of white tea is relatively simple. It is determined by the varieties or cultivars of tea trees and the type of raw material. Speaking about China, if individual buds are harvested, such tea is called Bai Hao Yin Zhen ‘Silver Needle with White Pile’. If buds with one or two leaves are harvested, the resulting product is called Bai Mu Dan ‘White Peony’. Finally, buds with two leaves harvested after the higher grades or from wild trees result in Shou Mei ‘Longevity Eyebrows’ and Gong Mei ‘Tribute Eyebrows’, which are characterised by a higher degree of oxidation and a darker appearance of the finished product. Most white teas worldwide are processed according to Chinese methods.
Chinese traditional medicine claims that white tea has a cooling nature, dissipating heat and reducing fire. White tea strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, prevents the development of cancer cells, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is considered that after 7 years of ageing, white tea acquires healing properties and could be used as a medicine. The taste develops and becomes richer and deeper.
Learn more about BIOCHEMISTRY OF A TEA LEAF