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What is White Tea?

Sri Lanka traditionally produces one of the world’s finest white teas in the form of Silver Tips and Golden Tips, entirely handmade from a special variant of the Camellia Sinensis plant, untouched by machines and prized for their rarity and subtle character. The Chinese also have a tradition of producing fine White Teas.

In the production of white tea the ‘bud’ is selectively plucked and sun dried. Since the Bud remains undamaged the Catechins or the un-oxidised Polyphenols present remain intact. What we refer to as Flavonoids in tea, or the antioxidants in tea, include the un-oxidised Polyphenols or Catechins as in Green Tea and White Tea, as well as the Theaflavins and low molecular Thearubigins in conventional Black Tea. The Catechins (Flavonoids) content in the tea becomes progressively less as we go down from the Bud to the mature leaves in a tea shoot. The bud has the highest catechin content, next the first leaf, followed by the second leaf and so on.

The sun dried buds or White Tea are therefore likely to have a higher Flavonoid or Antioxidant property.

Further, since the bud is sun dried (not subjected to high temperature in a drier) even the vitamin content in the White Tea will remain high and potent. So will be the Caffeine content. It has been already shown that the bad effects of caffeine is nullified in Tea by the presence of the Polyphenols in the tea (unlike in coffee and the colas). Hence the White Tea will have greater nutritive and therapeutic value than the conventional black tea.