If you’re a lover of tea, you’ve probably noticed that the grocery store has an overwhelming number of various kinds of tea, all of which compete for your attention.
Even though we are spoiled with a wide variety of choices when it comes to drinking tea in this day and age, it is easy to fall into the trap of sticking with what you are used to. But every once in a while it’s exciting to test out something different, like white tea.
The question is, what exactly is white tea, and how does it taste? Because the buds are selected early and air-dried to prevent the leaves from oxidising, white tea has a flavour that is more delicate and nuanced than green or black tea. It also tastes much fresher and grassier than green or black tea. White tea is often consumed devoid of any other flavours since they tend to overpower the delicate and fragrant taste characteristic of white tea.
If you’re curious about white tea and want to learn more about it, you’ve come to the perfect place because we’ve got all you need to know right here! You’re going to receive an in-depth description of the flavour of white tea, including how it’s made and where the flavour comes from, as well as information on how to prepare, serve, and appreciate this premium tea mix.
How Do You Make White Tea?
If you ordered a “white coffee,” you would be given a cup of coffee that had milk added to it. Is it accurate to say that white tea is just black tea with milk added to it? Never in a million years!
Tea leaves that have been subjected to a particular processing procedure in order to facilitate an early harvest and prolonged storage are referred to as white tea.
The Camellia Sinensis plant is used to make all varieties of tea; what differentiates one form of tea from another is the method by which it is processed. This indicates that white tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and Pu’erh tea are all derived from the same plant.
The Camelia Sinensis leaves are typically picked when they are fully ripe and then dried out for the majority of the processing techniques for tea. The oxidation process is responsible for the darkening of the leaves as they get drier over time.
The tea leaves that are used to make white tea are picked while they are still young buds and are coated in fine, white hairs. This is how the tea got its name.
It does not go through much processing, and the way of drying it is modified so that there is as little oxidation as possible.
When it comes to the processing of tea, this method is often considered to be the industry standard since the resulting beverage has a taste that is so light and clean.
How does one make white tea?
In a typical process, the tea leaves are picked when they have reached their full maturity and are then allowed to oxidise before being dried. As a result of the oxidation process, the leaves of the plant become dark brown in colour, which contributes to the full-bodied and robust taste of black tea.
The technique of making green tea is quite similar to that of making black tea; however, after collecting the leaves, they are roasted and then dried to stop the leaves from entirely oxidising.
In order to produce white tea, the tea leaves must be kept from undergoing any kind of oxidation at any point in the process.
When the leaves are still extremely young and immature, before they have had a chance to completely unfold, they are collected. These light green leaves are more fragile and are coated with fine hairs of white colour.
After that, the leaves need to be dried in a way that allows for the least amount of oxidation possible.
To do this, the newly plucked buds are let to air dry in the sun or in a dryer that has been specifically constructed for the purpose.
In order to avoid the buds from becoming darker throughout the drying process, modest heat may be used; nevertheless, this element of the process has to be properly regulated.
How would you describe the flavour of white tea?
The taste of white tea is particularly distinct from that of other types of tea because of the way it is chosen and processed. It has a flavour that is light and crisp, giving the impression that the tea leaves were just plucked from the garden.
White tea is said to have an extremely nuanced flavour, with experts claiming to be able to pick out notes of honey, melon, peach, apricot, vanilla, chocolate, and other herbs in the beverage. It is also claimed to contain a tinge of grassiness, in addition to floral notes, citrus undertones, and citrus notes.
White tea has a flavour that is extremely subtle, and it also has a lovely scent. This is something that you will notice right away, regardless of what other sensations your taste buds are able to detect.
The vast majority of white teas are still harvested and processed by hand, preserving the immaculate quality of the leaves throughout the whole process. This also explains why white tea comes with a higher price tag, but those who are knowledgeable about tea will tell you that the investment is well worth it!
How powerful is a cup of white tea?
White tea is not a tea with a robust taste, and drinking it will not provide you with the same brisk, powerful impact of tannins that drinking black or even green tea would.
On the other hand, white tea has a flavour that is very nuanced, and one may pick up on a broad variety of different nuances of flavour.
White tea has a more delicate taste than either black or green tea, which contributes to the fact that white tea is more refreshing.
Does Decaf White Tea Have Caffeine in It?
Caffeine is present in white tea, just as it is in all other types of real tea. It is manufactured from the same plant that is used to make black and green tea, which contains caffeine that occurs naturally inside the leaves of the plant.
However, it’s possible that certain varieties of white tea are lower in caffeine content than others.
This is due to the fact that white tea is often harvested from a particular kind of Camelia Sinensis: the Fujian white tea plant, which is indigenous to China. This particular type of plant has far less caffeine than the other kinds of the same plant.
Although this is the kind of tea plant that has traditionally been used to make white tea, other varieties of the tea plants are now being developed across the globe specifically for the purpose of making white tea. These often have the same amount of caffeine as tea leaves produced specifically for the production of black or green tea.
The method of brewing white tea may also have an effect on the amount of caffeine that is extracted from the leaves. When steeped for a longer period of time in hot water, tea will release a greater quantity of its caffeine content into the beverage.
What Other Flavors Go Well With White Tea?
Tea enthusiasts will tell you that white tea has a taste that is so light and delicate that it must never, ever be savoured with any additional flavours or ingredients of any kind.
As a result of the low quantities of tannins, this tea is less astringent than either black or green tea; as a result, many individuals like drinking it unsweetened.
On the other hand, if you try it and discover that it does not suit your palate, white tea, like any other kind of tea, maybe flavoured in the same manner. Just keep in mind that you should only add the absolute bare minimum of other ingredients so as not to obliterate the subtle taste of the white tea leaves.
Milk, sugar, or lemon juice are the three most traditional complements to white tea. It is also possible to use non-dairy milk, such as almond or coconut milk, with success; however, you should stay away from creamers since they might make this tea taste excessively heavy.
How Does White Tea Stack Up Against Other Types of Tea?
Because of its delicate and nuanced taste profile, white tea is often regarded as the most regal of all the many types of tea. It is far less astringent than black or green tea, in addition to having a significantly higher level of scent.
The oxidation process, or the absence of it, is responsible for the distinctive taste of the product in question. During the drying process, the leaves of black and green tea are exposed to oxygen, which causes the leaves to darken and results in a more complex taste profile.
White tea, on the other hand, is made to have a flavour that comes as near as possible to that of newly plucked leaves. The perfume of the grass and flowers should be quite reminiscent of leaves that have just been plucked from your garden.
The absence of bitterness in white tea is the other primary distinction between the two.
It is difficult for many individuals to drink black or green tea without adding milk or sugar since the flavour is often described as being rather harsh and unappealing. In contrast, white tea is often consumed on its alone so that one may fully appreciate the layered taste nuances.
The Process of Preparing White Tea
Because white tea is regarded to be a delicacy, it needs to be handled with the utmost care. White tea is considered to be the most regal of all teas, and as such, should be prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail. Preparing white tea in a hurry is not recommended.
White teas are often steeped for a longer period of time and at higher temperatures than green or black teas are during the brewing process. This is because white teas are considered to have a more delicate flavour profile than their darker counterparts.
If your tea came with precise instructions on how it should be brewed, you should follow those directions to the letter. In any other case, you should use around 2 grammes of loose white tea leaves for every 8 ounces (one cup) of water.
The best water to drink is spring water since it is naturally occurring and does not contain any impurities. Before using the water to prepare tea, it is a good idea to run it through a filter first. This is another nice alternative.
White tea should be steeped in boiling water for around three to five minutes at the most for the best flavour.
Since steeping for a longer period of time might result in a flavour that is more bitter and astringent, it is best to err on the side of caution and steep the tea for a shorter period of time if you are unclear about what to do.
When it comes to making the ideal cup of white tea, the temperature of the water is also quite important. If you have an electric kettle that allows you to regulate the temperature, put it on 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have any other way to regulate the temperature of the water, 190 degrees Fahrenheit is the threshold at which it will begin to slowly bubble and steam. After bringing your water to a boil over medium heat, remove it from the burner and immediately pour it over your white tea leaves.
During the time that the tea is steeping, keep the lid on it to keep the water from cooling down too much. After allowing the brew to sit and steep for no more than five minutes, the beverage may then be served.