There are two main types of white tea, Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) and Bai Hao Yinzhen (Silver Needle). We stock the slightly more potent Bai Mu Dan which gets its fuller flavour from the additional mature shoots plucked alongside the young buds. White tea derives its name from the white fibres present in these young buds. Once brewed the tea itself is not white, but a green or golden colour with a peony or slight nutty flavour.
Although white tea come from the same Camella Sinensis plant as other popular teas it is characterised by the unique minimal oxidisation method of production. This process brings out particular compounds responsible for the many purported health benefits of white tea.
Once the leaves and buds are picked they are allowed to wither in the sun for at least 3 days before being very gently piled together for a short time (a matter of hours) to allow for minimal oxidisation to take place. Careful handling of the leaves is required at all times to ensure the cellular structure of the leaves and buds is not damaged. Such damage would bring about accelerated oxidisation. This low level of oxidisation is believed to be responsible for the high presence of anti-oxidants in white tea. It also contains the least caffeine of all the teas.
White tea contains a high level of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant. Indeed of all the tea varieties white tea contains the highest levels of antioxidants.