Chances are that you're familiar with the differences between green and black tea, but fewer people have had much experience with white tea. When you consider white tea's mild, smooth flavor and remarkable health benefits, you'll see that it's worthwhile to take a few minutes to get to know this pale cousin of the tea you're used to.
White tea comes from the same plant as green and black tea. It's made from young, unopened buds, and gets its name from the fine, white fibers on those leaves. The tender buds are picked and gently dried, making it the least processed of the types of tea. Because it's made so gently, white tea has a very mild, almost sweet taste and a very pale golden color. It also retains the most antioxidants because it is so minimally processed.
It's easy to brew white tea; simply steep it for 2-3 minutes at 190 degrees. Then you're ready to enjoy its mellow flavor and powerful health benefits. Here are just some ways this remarkable brew is good for you.
Like all forms of true tea, white tea is rich in naturally occurring antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, and tannins. Because of the minimal processing, it retains high levels of these beneficial compounds, especially the polyphenols called catechins.
White tea is rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, which have been associated with burning fat. Research suggests that these compounds together may increase fat burning and make it more difficult to form new fat cells. They've also been shown to increase metabolism by 4 to 5%, which translates into burning an extra 70 to 100 calories per day.
A review of five different scientific studies showed that tea drinkers have a 21% lower risk of heart disease. One explanation for this is because tea seems to relax blood vessels and has been shown to increase immunity. It also helps resist the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease.
Because of its light color, white tea doesn't stain teeth, but its dental benefits don't stop there. White tea has a blend of tannins, catechins, and naturally occurring fluoride that is particularly beneficial to teeth. Fluoride strengthens enamel, while tannins and catechins work together to prevent the growth of the bacteria that cause plaque and decay.
Cancer is a complex and multi-pronged disease, but research shows that tea has promise as a tool in the fight against it. In test tubes, white tea extract was shown to cause cell death in multiple types of lung cancer. It's also been demonstrated to suppress the growth of colon cancer cells and to prevent them from spreading. The plentiful antioxidants in white tea may also help prevent the cell damage that leads to cancer.
When the body's cells become resistant to insulin, blood sugar levels are elevated, which causes the body to release more insulin. Both of the effects trigger damaging processes in the body. The EGCG and other polyphenols in white tea seem to help sensitize cells to the effects of insulin, helping regulate blood sugar so less insulin is needed.
White tea's antioxidants fight aging in two ways. First, they help prevent damage and inflammation caused by UV rays to combat skin aging from the outside. They also support the skin's structure internally to keep it supple and firm.
White tea helps support digestion by encouraging the growth of good bacteria, for a healthy gut biome. It's also been shown to reduce inflammation, which can help soothe intestinal problems.
Although the scientific community is just starting to catch onto all the ways white tea can help people stay healthy, people have known for centuries that it feels good to enjoy this soothing brew. Try one of our white teas, with flavors like tangy pomegranate and juicy tangerine, and see for yourself how wonderful good health can taste.