White tea is the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, that are picked when the leaf buds are immature. White teas are the least processed category of tea which makes a graceful, fresh cup. These teas do not have the loud flavors of black or oolong teas, nor do they contain the deeply vegetal notes of green tea. White tea is reputed to be richer in antioxidants than green, oolong, and black teas. White teas are subtle, but don’t let that fool you—they can be quite complex in their quiet flavors. They are perfect to sip slowly, in order to focus on the mild flavors.
Brewing White Teas
- 1-2 tbsp. tea leaves per 8 oz water (large leaf white tea might require two tablespoons to reach the proper amount.
- Steep in water that is around 175°-180° (not boiling) for 3-5 minutes.
- Add milk, sugar, or lemon as desired.
Though tea balls and strainers are often used for tea that isn't pre-bagged, ideal methods of infusing loose leaf teas employ strainers that allow for the tea leaves to completely unfurl and release their flavor.
To ensure your white tea stays as fresh as possible as long as possible, take care to store it in a cool, dark place, away from light, oxygen, moisture and fragrant pantry companions like coffee or spices.
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