Sunday, December 2, 2018

White Tea

When it comes to white tea you might hear some white lies.

What is white tea? Does it come from another plant than green or black tea? Tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub, which is found in East Asia, and which has been cultivated at least since the 2nd century in China. Green, white, black or oolong tea, all are made of Camellia sinensis. White tea is the least processed tea.
At the University of Technology in Braunschweig Y. Hilal and U. Engelhardt look at how to characterize and compare white tea. “A differentiation of green and black tea by using the ratio between total phenolics and sum of the major catechins seems to be feasible.” “For white tea there is no general accepted definition. Possible approaches are geographic origin, the botanical variety and the manufacture or the appearance. The differentiation between green and white teas by the ratio mentioned above is not possible.”
And white tea has a pale yellow color in the cup.

If you look at the Chinese text of Wikipedia on white tea, you find: “白茶的名字最早出现在唐朝陆羽的《茶经》七之事中,其记载:“永嘉县东三百里有白茶山。”This means translated: “The term white tea first appeared in the "Tea Classic" by Lu Yü of the Tang Dynasty (in the section seven things), and it was recorded: 300 li [1 li is roughly half a kilometer] east of Yongjia County there is the White Tea Mountain”.

The English text on white tea in Wikipedia explains: “Currently there is no generally accepted definition of white tea and very little international agreement; some sources use the term to refer to tea that is merely dried with no additional processing …”. I have seen white tea leaves that look different than the ones I show in my pictures.

White might have more caffeine than the other teas, but it seems that it doesn’t contain more EGCG [epigallocatechin gallate] than green tea. Some people think that white contain more ellagic acid, but I did not find evidence for this assumption. “The results suggest certain green and white tea types have comparable levels of catechins with potential health promoting qualities.” [Study 20722909in PubMed]

White tea is a good, healthy tea. The hype overrates it, however.

Y. Hilal and U. Engelhardt: Characterisation ofwhite tea –  comparison to green and black tea


No comments:

Post a Comment