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White Tea

Wikipedia: White_tea | Teaviews: white-tea 
Last Updated: Mar. 16, 2015 

About White Tea

Loose-leaf silver needle white tea, silvery buds covered in downy white hairSilver needle or bai hao yinzhen is a white tea consisting exclusively of tips or leaf buds.
White tea, called baicha(白茶) in Chinese, is a type of tea that is produced by letting the leaves wither and wilt, then drying them. Unlike green tea, white tea is not heated to kill the enzymes that cause oxidation.

Although this means that white tea is less processed than green tea, the lack of heating allows some oxidation to occur, creating a slightly darker color than most green teas, and less of the vibrant green color.

Different definitions of white tea

There is no universally accepted definition of white tea; the classification of teas as either white or green can be subjective, especially for intermediate types of tea such as snow buds (xue ya). Sometimes, white teas are classified as a sub-type of green tea, since most white teas are mostly unoxidized, but we believe that classifying them in different categories is more accurate because their production process is distinct, and because they are often more oxidized than typical green tea.

Some organizations, including some tea companies, and the Tea Association of the U.S.[1], define white tea so as to only include teas including leaf tips or buds, which excludes most of the darkest-colored white teas; we do not use this definition since these teas are still minimally processed like other white teas.

Flavor and aroma

Loose-leaf tea with large olive green and brown leaves, and silver, downy tipsSome white teas, like this large-leaf tea from India, have a darker color, reflecting more oxidation of the leaf.
White tea is often described as having a very subtle and delicate aroma, but this is not always true. White teas are quite diverse, with some styles, like shou mei being rich and dark, often described as similar to oolong.

Lighter white teas have aromatic notes, like melon, that are uncommon in other types of teas. White teas often lack the grassy characteristics of green teas, and they lack both the toasty character of pan-fired or baked green teas, as well as the vegetal characteristics of steamed teas. Darker white teas often have aromas resembling autumn leaves.

The flavor and aromas of white teas are particularly diverse if you look at types outside the historical centers of production in Fujian province.

Origins and production

White tea originated in China, and most of the world's white tea is produced there, a large portion of it in Fujian province, particularly, in the northern parts, including Fuding and Zhenghe. However, in recent years, due to the surging popularity of white tea, white teas have become available from numreous other regions, including India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Kenya, and Malawi.

Some of these teas emulate traditional Chinese styles, especially silver needle, and sometimes white peony. Others, however, are novel, fitting into the broader traditions and production methods of white tea but taking on a character of their own.

Caffeine content of white tea: myths and reality

Many websites claim that white tea contains less caffeine than black or green teas. This is a widespread myth; the caffeine content of white teas, like other teas, varies greatly from one tea to the next. White teas with a large portion of buds, such as silver needle, tend to have more caffeine than those with a larger portion of mature leaves, as the young tips are highest in caffeine. As white teas, particularly those made exclusively of tips, are very mild in flavor, they can also be brewed very strongly, resulting in a very high caffeine content of the brewed cup.

References:

1. About Tea: Glossary of Terms, Tea Association of the United States of America, Retrieved Sep. 26, 2011.

Recent White Tea Reviews — RSS rss icon

54 / 100
Picture of Mouling Estate SFTGFOP Arunachal Pradesh White Tea

An exorbitantly-priced tea that didn't deliver the quality I demand in this price range, and in the end, wasn't that enjoyable to drink. This is the first white tea I have ever tried that was produced in any region of northeast India other than Darjeeling. I remain open minded, but this experience was a let-down. Thin-...

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75 / 100
Picture of Pure White Tea

Pure White Tea from Twinings

Style: White Tea – Region: Fujian, China
Jun. 29th, 2018

Good ole tea, I'd say! Not the best white tea I've had, but still good! If you like White Tea, you may wanna give this a try! It's a nice change, yknow?

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90 / 100
Picture of Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea

I've had this for a few weeks now, but I've put off this review because this is my first pure white tea. The leaves were picked in April of 2016, making the tea a little over two years old as of this review. It has a gentle yet complex aroma of autumn leaves, vanilla, cinnamon, old books, and hints of flowers and spice...

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86 / 100
Picture of Moonlight Dragon Ball White Tea

An amazing and sweet tea! It is not very expensive and is a very high quality tea. The ball is tightly packed and I was able to get several infusions(keep in mind you can't break up the ball easily so I would use a at least 12 oz cup and fuse for 5 minutes). The aroma isn't strong but is very nice and sweet, it smells ...

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74 / 100
Picture of White Symphony

White Symphony from Adagio Teas

Style: White Peony Tea – Region: ?????
Jan. 11th, 2018

This tea is very similar to the white peony, so if you like that I'd give this a try.
The flavor is what you'd expect, somewhat fruity and sweet with this white tea aftertaste that seems consistent in every white I try. I can steep this twice and it doesn't seem like too great of a value.

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Most-Rated White Tea

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White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
13
6 Ratings
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Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fuding, Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
62
5 Ratings
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White Peony (Pai Mu Tan)

Brand:Adagio Teas
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
17
5 Ratings
Picture of White Tea

White Tea

Brand:Ten Ren Tea
Style:White Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
5
4 Ratings
Picture of Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Silver Needle
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
64
4 Ratings

Top-Rated White Tea

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Premium Peony White Tea (100% Organic)

Brand:Prince of Peace
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
68
3 Ratings
Picture of Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake 2013

Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake 2013

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Shou Mei White Tea
Region:Fuding, Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Compressed
64
3 Ratings
Picture of Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:Silver Needle
Region:Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
64
4 Ratings
No image of this tea

Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea

Brand:TeaVivre
Style:White Peony Tea
Region:Fuding, Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
62
5 Ratings
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Shoumei White Tea

Brand:Foojoy
Style:Shou Mei White Tea
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
34
3 Ratings

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of White Tea

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