White tea is one of the most valuable teas in the world. Because the production of one kilogram of tea requires up to 30, 000 young buds of the tea plant. White tea originally comes from the Fujian province of China and has a long tradition there. Even then, white tea was promised healing and health promoting powers.
White tea is made from the same plant as green and black tea too. However, the white tea is distinguished by its gentle processing of the other two teas. In addition to caffeine, white tea contains many other ingredients that are not found in such a concentration in other teas. These include the polyphenols such as antioxidants, which bind free radicals in the body's cells and thus strengthen the immune system.
What is white tea?
White tea is extracted from the camellia plant Camellia sinensis. Black and green tea are also made from this plant. The three teas differ in their processing, the fermentation, and by the ingredients used in the tea plant. White tea is fermented at only two percent in a natural process.
To his name, white tea did not come because of its color. Rather, the type of tea is so called because the closed buds, from which the tea is made, are covered with white fluff. The raw material for the tea appears white.
The best-known varieties of white tea are white peony (Bai Mu Dan) and silver needle (Yin Zhen). Depending on the growing area and harvest time, white tea may contain a slightly smoky, fine-sour or floral note. In the finish, white tea is always tender and slightly sweetish.
Useful ingredients for health
White tea contains many vitamins and minerals. Minerals include:
Especially fluoride and potassium outweigh the supply of minerals in white tea.
Vitamin B1 takes the largest share of the contained vitamins in white tea. It is very important to our nervous system and affects our mood. A lack of vitamin B1 can cause headaches, depression, anemia and increased risk of infection.
In addition, white tea contains three times as many catechins as its relative, the green tea. Catechins are natural tannins with antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects.
Another ingredient is methylxanthine, including caffeine and theophylline. Methyloxanthines stimulate the central nervous system. For example, they dilate bronchi and reduce headaches and migraines. With 6 mg of caffeine per 100 ml, white tea is far behind black tea, which contains at least 25 mg of caffeine per 100 ml.
Other active ingredients in white tea, such as flavonoids, help the skin by firming. The elastin and collagen in the connective tissue of the skin are stimulated by these substances.
Healing power of white tea
The ingredients of white tea have been used for centuries for diseases. Even the Chinese emperors have said that white tea has a rejuvenating and life-prolonging effect. Today, many of the ingredients are found in medicines again.
White tea is especially known for its high antioxidant content in the form of catechins. Catechins bind free radicals, which cause cell damage and consequently trigger serious illnesses. Thus, catechins help with high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. In addition, they should even be supportive in the prevention of heart attacks, high cholesterol and strokes. In addition, catechins are anti-inflammatory and beneficial to the immune system. They also lower the risk of cancer.
The antioxidant effect of white tea helps to prevent the aging of the skin. Therefore, the active ingredients are often used in the cosmetics industry. Already three cups a day regularly applied after a short time to fine-pored and healthy skin. The concentration of caffeine in white tea, however, is so low that white tea has no stimulating effect, but it is very gentle to the stomach.
Lose weight with white tea?
Some active ingredients belonging to the group of polyphenols are contained in large quantities in white tea. These ingredients act directly on human body cells. Especially fat cells are stimulated by these substances to incorporate less fat and give off fat faster. In a diet, this process has a positive effect on the loss of body fat.
Furthermore, white tea should have a laxative effect and stimulate the metabolism. This is also beneficial for people who want to lose weight.
White tea in pregnancy
In pregnancy, a high hydration is very important. But not every liquid can be safely consumed. Since caffeine-containing drinks have a stimulating effect, pregnant women should enjoy them in moderation. With the low caffeine content in white tea, however, up to two cups a day are harmless.
You should make sure that you do not let white tea last too long during pregnancy. This will lessen the strength of the tea. Towards the end of pregnancy you should refrain from using white tea as it may cause inhibition of labor.
The right preparation
When making white tea, make sure the brewing water does not boil. The optimal water temperature is 75 to 80 degrees Celsius. As a result, the tea is not destroyed and the ingredients can still develop their effect. Per cup you should use a heaped teaspoon of white tea. It is best to leave the tea for two to five minutes.
Since white tea does not get bitter, you can make several infusions with white tea leaves. It changes a little the intensity of the tea and new flavor flavors come to light.
Production and origin
The young closed buds of the camellia plant are picked in the first step by hand and then aired for a few hours. In the next step, the buds are wilted for half the day on a whale mat. Thereafter, the tea is dried in two successive processes at over 100 degrees Celsius and then packaged.
White tea is originally from China. There is still its largest production area today. However, white tea is nowadays obtained in all known tea growing areas. These include India, Africa and Sri Lanka.
The elaborate production of white tea has its price. At about three to twenty euros per 100 grams, the tea is slightly more expensive than its relatives. This is one reason why white tea is not drunk as often as green or black tea.