Just as we were getting used to ditching our masala chais for the healthier green tea, there are now whispers of something known as ‘white tea’ floating around. What is that, you ask? As Tarun Varma, director of food and beverage, Radisson Blu Plaza, explains, “White tea is actually the bud of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. The buds are individually picked and harvested in the early hours of the day. This is because if there is too much sunlight, the bud matures and can’t be used in white tea.”
A hot favourite of tea connoisseurs across the world, this unique tea is brewed for three minutes. “The bud essentially has everything that a leaf has, but in its younger form. Hence, the tea infusion is much lighter than green tea,” Tarun adds.
The tea also gets a ‘green signal’ from nutritionists. “People should begin their day with a cup of clear tea, without sugar or milk, and perhaps a slice of lemon to go with. It’s good for health as it cleanses the body. I would recommend white tea because of its high levels of antioxidants as well as anti-ageing properties,” says Sujatha Stephen, chief nutritionist, Care Hospital, Banjara Hills.
Since it’s new to the Indian market, white tea may not be easily available everywhere. Your next best bet is to order it online, on sites like Zansaar and FabFurnish.
- White tea is the healthiest of all teas, as it is the least processed. It also contains three times as many antioxidants as green tea.
- White tea is predominantly known for its sweet and silky flavour. It doesn't leave a “grassy” aftertaste like green tea.
- Fluoride-rich white tea helps prevent the growth of dental plaque and also builds the body's immune system.
- White tea is said to protect the skin and reverse the damage caused by poor diet, sun exposure and stress.
- White tea gets its name from the silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds, which give it a whitish appearance. Once infused with hot water, the tea is a pale yellow colour.