White Teas

White tea is the most subtle of all the varieties of tea, using only the newest tea leaves from each bush with a minimal amount of processing. Considered by some connoisseurs to be the height of gourmet tea, white tea is just beginning to make an impact on Western culture.

White tea production is actually quite simple. The freshly plucked leaves are spread out and allowed to wither until they're completely dry. If the weather isn't cooperating on the day of harvest, sometimes a dryer set at a very, very low temperature is used to help the leaves wither faster. That's pretty much it; there's no twisting, rolling, steaming, etc. Most green teas have a distinctive 'grassy' or 'vegetal' taste to them, but white tea typically does not. The flavor is described as light, sweet, and delicately floral.

One serving of white tea can be brewed several times, with each steeping revealing another element of flavor. Experiment with these methods to find the perfect cup of white tea to fit your tastes.