The world is just beginning to learn about this new addition to the tea family
It is a known fact that India is one of the largest tea manufacturing countries besides China, Sri Lanka, Japan, Kenya & Argentina. White tea, like other tea types, comes from the Camellia sinensis plant specifically the tea buds and the youngest tea leaves of this plant. It is the least processed of all teas- the tea leaves are simply steamed and then dried.
Silver tips commonly known as White tea are entirely handmade. At the tea plantation a small team of experienced pickers is maintained to handpick just the buds from select bushes of a particular variety.
Unlike other teas, the tea leaves for White tea are harvested before they are fully open. In this state, the buds are covered by white hair which is what gives this tea its name. Only certain leaves are selected, with the ideal being two leaves wrapped around a new shoot.
The major difference between White tea and other types of tea comes from the part of the plant that is used in production. Most White teas come from the leaves and the buds of the tea plant at the branch tips, whereas other teas come from the upper leaves of the plant. In addition, the buds and leaves used in the production of White teas are picked during a limited period every year.
White tea is the purest and least processed of all teas. It has the least amount of caffeine and the highest amount of antioxidants among all the teas. The process of production of White tea maximizes its health benefits and ensures that White tea maintains its freshness.
Studies have shown that White tea has a concentration of antioxidants that is three times higher than in green tea. Essentially, White tea contains the same concentration of antioxidants as the young and fresh tea leaf buds that are still attached to the bush. This makes white tea the tea with the highest antioxidant content, and a more pronounced effect on cancer, stroke prevention, cholesterol control, aging and general wellbeing. In medical sciences the benefits of antioxidants in disease-prevention is well documented and proven.
Studies have indicated that White tea may be helpful in halting the growth of bacteria that cause pneumonia, dental problems and other infections and it is shown to be even more effective than green tea in inactivating viruses.
White tea can stimulate the immune system to fight diseases. It can also prevent diseases from occurring, by halting their progress in the early stages.
Method of brewing the tea
Draw fresh cold water into a kettle and bring to a boil. Allow the freshly boiled water to cool for a minute or two then add a pinch of silver tips, roughly around 16 leaves into the pot. When brewing, take care not to use too much water as this will produce a very light infusion, whilst too little could make the tea too strong. Stir after one minute and allow brewing for a further two or three minutes, straining the leaves and serving. Real White tea has a delicate taste and should be enjoyed without milk, sugar or any additives.
By Valencia Z Fernandes for DialABaker