There are four teas that come from the Camellia sinensis plant. They are black tea, green tea, oolong, and white tea. White tea has an exotic past. It comes from China and historically was only available to the royal court of the emperor, not the masses. There was one emperor who nearly lost his empire over white tea.
The difference between the four teas mentioned above is that black tea is oxidized, oolong tea is less oxidized, green tea leaves are withered, and white tea leaves uncured and unfermented. The tea leaves for white tea are the very young leaves and buds. They are harvested at a much earlier stage in growth than the leaves for the other teas. The leaves have very fine silver hairs on them giving rise to the variety of white tea variety called Silver Needle.
Because white tea is the least processed, it has the highest levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that are generated as a result of cell metabolism. Free radicals can damage DNA and speed up the ageing process. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals.
White tea ranges from pale yellow to almost clear in the cup. The tea has a very delicate taste. People who have compromised taste buds will probably think it is water. Adding lemon to white tea causes more antioxidants to be released. The action of the antioxidants help to slow down ageing and help to prevent diseases like cancer, and heart disease. White tea appears to be good for one’s skin and for oral health. People use it for weight loss.
White tea can be found blended with other things like green tea, rooibos tea, and fruits like raspberry, pomegranate, mango and pear. White tea is becoming more and more popular and so is more and more available. For people who are watching their caffeine intake white tea has less caffeine than black or green tea and a lot less than coffee. The caffeine content can also vary depending on how long it steeps and how hot the water is.
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