White tea is a specialty type of diversified tea product that is obtained from the tender shoots of a specific tea variety of Camellia sinensis in Kenya. This tea variety contains a large number of buds that are covered with ‘silvery’ hairs that impart a white complexion to the buds. White teas are generally uncurled in the style of green teas and are similarly very low in caffeine.
The buds, as well as the first few unfurling leaves are not allowed to oxidize whatsoever. What happens is that immediately after picking, the buds are naturally dried in sunlight or inside under low heat in a very well-ventilated structure. Studies have shown that white tea contains the highest amount of polyphenols compared to the processed teas. This eventually translates to high antioxidant activity and pharmacological (health) benefits. Thus tea brewed from white tea is highly refreshing and therapeutic.
The glory of white tea is that besides the very little processing it goes through, when brewed, it produces a light colored, softly sweet drink, reminiscent of honey, slightly nutty, with the sweetness of peaches, and without any of the grassy, pungent flavors often found in green tea.