To see what differences there are in the white teas, I did a cupping session of 7 of them. Though you will see more listed throughout the site, this was my first set of specifically white teas.
Ranging in shades, from pale yellow straw to a soft amber, there was
- Panda Pearls
- Peony White Needle
- 2 Doves Silver Needle
- Wild White Silver Moonlight
- Organic Silver Swallow
- Organic Pai Mu Tan
- Elephant Tusk Silver Needle
I was surprised at their differences in hue, aroma and body of the liquors. White tea is tea that is dried in the sun and withered naturally. It is not oxidized as black tea is.
The notes that are available from Metropolitan Tea Co. states that
“The western cosmetic industry has recently discovered the benefits of white tea. In addition to its anticancer properties, tea has a calming and detoxifying effect on the skin. White tea is especially potent in that it is has three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green or black tea and has been shown to be 100% more effective in mopping up free radicals that cause skin to sag. Some of the world’s top cosmetic companies are becoming very interested in white tea for skin creams and the result is that high grade white tea is becoming even more rare than before.
Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon tested white teas on selected rates to test for the ability of white teas to inhibit natural mutations in bacteria and to protect the rates from colon cancer. Interestingly, white teas were found to be more effective than green tea in inhibiting the early stages of cancer but researchers were quick to point out that their study was on rats and the effects should not be extrapolated to humans. The researchers also discovered that white tea contains higher levels of caffeine compared to green tea brewed under the same conditions. They suggested that this could occur because white tea oxidizes during withering whereas in green tea the oxidation process is stopped early in the tea making process by steaming or panfiring.”