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About White Tea

White Tea (bai cha):

White tea is traditionally made from the hand-picked buds of the Camellia sinensis bush before they unfurl into leaves. In the last century or so, however, the top two baby leaves that flank the bud have also been added and the foundation of the style has widened. The name 'White Tea' reflects the fine silvery hairs that surround each bud.

One quality that will always define the style is that white teas are never subject to forced oxidation, though some white teas will naturally oxidize over time as they are never heated to prevent it. The lightly processed buds and leaves yield a luxurious, pale yellow liquor that is sweet and delicate with herbaceous, floral, and/or fruity flavors.

Because of its minimal processing, white tea buds are high in theanine content which not only reduces mental and physical stress, but it also improves cognitive performance. It’s loaded with antioxidants (like all tea) and some studies even boast of the anticancer properties that white teas contain, though we cannot definitively claim this as truth. And of course, white tea still yields the universally desired buzz of caffeine!

White teas are produced mainly in the Fujian Province of China, though there are other countries (India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Nepal) that also have been known to produce the style.

During China's Song Dynasty, the high quality standards for white tea and the extravagant flavors it produced made it the number one choice of the royal court. Hui Zong, one Song Dynasty Emperor, almost lost his entire empire, while in pursuit of the flavors of the perfect white tea, which is understandable.