White tea health benefits are numerous but because of a limited number of white tea producers (only a few select growers in China and India), the relatively small popularity of white tea has yet to bring to light the results of studies on these health benefits.
Some common types of white tea include:
- Pai Mu Tan or White Peony or Pai Mu Tan
- Silver Needle
- White Darjeeling
To find out more about these white teas, click on the pictures below:
What is White Tea?
White tea is not steamed or pan-fired, so it is the least processed of all teas. White tea is only made from the best leaves and buds from the tea plant at harvest time. White tea has the lowest content of fluoride and highest content of the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) when compared to the other types of tea.
Some research suggests that 2 to 4 cups of white tea per day are beneficial to our health.
A laboratory study was conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute on the effects of green tea on animals. The growth of cancer cells was inhibited and the number and size of tumors were reduced. According to Santana-Rios et al in their research entitled Potent antimutagenic activity of white tea in comparison with green tea in the Salmonella assay Mutation Research, 495 61-74 (2001), white tea could be even more effective.
Way to boost white tea health benefits!
White Tea Health Benefits – Beware
Before you get all excited about white tea health benefits and go shopping for bottled white tea and powdered "ready to mix with water" tea that has appeared on the shelves of the major supermarkets, you need to keep reading. While these teas sound appealing in principle, you should be aware that most of these are made from concentrate and/or are packed with preservatives and sugar.
They do not offer the same extent of white tea health benefits that you would gain from brewing your own cup of tea. If you prefer iced tea, you can also brew your own iced white tea at home.
Simply use twice the amount of tea while steeping, then add the equivalent amount of water as ice. Bottle it yourself and take it to work!
White Tea Health Benefits – How to Make It
When making white tea, do not bring the water to the boiling point. Rather, heat it up to 80C (180F). Using boiling water can decrease the benefits and flavor of the delicate white tea leaves. You should use 5 ml of tea leaves (1 teaspoon) per 250 ml (1 cup) of water. For iced tea, this would be 2 teaspoons of tea for 1 cup of water and 1 cup of ice. Let it steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
Tips to Maximize White Tea Health Benefits
- Keep your kettle, teapot and cups clean. If you notice a brownish residue in your teapot, it’s time to wash it off. You can use baking soda or a mild detergent to help wash it off along with a brush or sponge. Make sure to thoroughly rinse it before making your next teapot!
- Use cool filtered water. Depending on where you live, you may be lucky enough to have access to clean and good-tasting tap water. If not, get Brita filters or buy bottled water. It will make a huge difference but please remember to recycle your empty water bottles! If you can use tap water, let the cold water run for a few seconds before filling up the kettle.
- Preheat your teapot. Pour warm water in your teapot as you boil the water. Just before the boiling water is ready, you can empty the teapot.
- Bring the water to the right temperature, as indicated by your tea supplier. Black teas can normally withstand boiling water 100C (212F) but green and white teas need slightly cooler water.
- Use of the correct quantity of tea. Always use high quality tea and follow the supplier’s instructions. If you don’t have any, then 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of loose tea per 250 ml (1 cup) of water is generally correct. You don’t have to add one for the pot!
You can use a teapot with a built-in strainer or get a wire-mesh teaball. If you use a teaball, make sure that there is enough room for the leaves to expand and give the full flavour to your tea.
- Brew tea for the right length of time. For tea bags, 1 to 3 minutes for green teas and 3 to 5 minutes for black teas. Read the supplier’s instructions. If you let it steep too long, it will be bitter. Too short a steep time and it will simply be too weak…
- Take out the leaves/tea bag and stir. You can also add milk, sugar, lemon or whatever else you please at this point.
- Enjoy. The white tea health benefits are in action.