Known also as the “Emperor’s Tea”, white tea is rare, precious and and rich in properties beneficial to health. As the real connoisseurs know, ever since ancient times, in Asia it was reserved for prominent personalities and special occasions. Considered the most precious of teas, white tea has beneficial properties which help protect the heart and bones and help against aging. Let’s get to know it better!
What is white tea?
White tea is obtained from the Camelia Sinensis, the same plant from which other varieties of tea are also obtained. The difference comes from the part of the plant picked and dried: indeed, in order to produce white tea, only the unopened shoots are used, which are covered in fine white and silver hairs.
Some unusual characteristics of white tea include the area in which, historically, it was produced and the technique used: the region it was originally produced in is the the Chinese province of Fujian; only later, and in recent times, the cultivation and production of this tea has also extended to Japan, India and Sri Lanka. From a technical point of view, though, the buds are always picked by hand, wilted with steam and slowly dried. Although white tea is actually available all year round, it is only picked once in spring and once in the fall.
One other factor which distinguishes white tea from other types is the fact that the white variety does not undergo any transformations and thus maintains all the characteristics of the plant intact, which are then transferred to the tea. The decidedly delicate flavor and aroma are also quite unusual features.
The varieties of white tea
There are actually four different varieties of white tea to try. Let’s take a closer look:
● Pai Hao Yin Zhen: a blend made of just the youngest and most tender shoots, a characteristic that makes it the most valuable variety;
● Pai Mu Tan: the most well-known variety, where we find both the shoots and the young tip leaves;
● Shou Mei: the blend obtained from more mature leaves;
● Gong Mei: obtained from plants treated in a slightly different way so as to give the tea a fruitier flavor.
White tea: all the properties
Thus white tea can be said to be highly beneficial thanks to various choices made during the production process, and also to the inherent characteristics of the plant itself. It has some very important substances in common with green tea such as: proteins, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, vitamin C and B group vitamins.
It is also interesting that white tea contains more antioxidants than any other type of tea: these substances are precious allies for our bodies against cell aging. Among the antioxidants, there are the flavonoids, which have been demonstrated to provide protection against the development of tumors.
White tea is also mineralizing. Drinking it helps to reinforce bone density, contributing to the prevention of forms of arthritis and osteoporosis. It also has a protective effect on teeth and gums, thanks to the presence of fluoride.
It is considered an anti-aging drink, and not just because it contains antioxidants. It actually helps to maintain skin young and healthy and has a toning effect on concentration and mental activities. Furthermore, some studies suggest that it stimulates the metabolism of carbohydrates: this is why it is suitable for those wishing to lose weight and follow a low-calorie diet.
White tea, ally of the heart
Finally it is important to highlight the cardio-protective qualities of this drink.
Indeed, white tea would appear to be an excellent ally for the wellbeing of our overall cardiovascular system, because it contributes to the prevention of hypertension and arteriosclerosis. In particular, it helps regulate cholesterol levels in the blood, due to the presence of catechins and stabilizes blood pressure thanks to both flavonoids and its diuretic effect.
Did you know about white tea and all its beneficial properties?