Monday, September 22, 2008

Tea Basics - White Tea

About a thousand years ago in China, white tea was one of several highly prized tribute teas. Emperor Huizong is said to have written poems about this style of tea. Fortunately, most tea shops carry a few good ones these days! White tea is made up of carefully selected leaf buds that have yet to mature and develop chlorophyll. The window for plucking this delicate raw material is usually short and occurs in the early Spring. These buds are often not oxidized at all, they are simply dried though some white tea production does involves oxidation.

White tea produces a very smooth and thirst quenching cup of tea. The subtle and complex flavors of a good white tea will seem to dance on your tongue! White tea is quickly gaining popularity in the West. This is due to all the recent research showing a direct link between teas antioxidant properties and a healthy body. For a lovely cup of white tea, a few names to look out for are: White Peony (白牡丹), Yinzhen (silver needles) (銀針), and Drum Mountain White Cloud (鼓山白雲).


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