Perhaps more than any major tea type but pu-erh, white tea is shrouded in mystery and misinformation. There are common misunderstandings about white tea’s origins, its caffeine levels and even its flavor profiles. Below, we’ve listed some of the major myths surrounding white tea, as well as the facts behind this elusive tea type.
White Tea Myth: White tea is only made from the “tips” or “buds” of the tea plant.
White Tea Facts: Some white teas are only made from the tea plant’s “tips” (which are just-formed leaves that have yet to unfurl). White teas made only from the tips of the tea plant include classic Silver Needle and our more unusual White Monkey Picked and Select Tips White. However, others (like Bai Mu Dan / White Peony and several of our white tea blends) contain leaves and buds. These are still considered to be white teas – they just aren’t quite as known in America as Silver Needle white tea.
White Tea Myth: White tea is caffeine-free or very low in caffeine.
White Tea Facts: White tea does contain caffeine. In fact, white teas with a high proportion of buds are high in caffeine for the same reason they are high in antioxidants – the new buds are high in nutrients because they were preparing for sudden growth just before they were plucked.
However, the way in which white tea is brewed can translate to a much lower caffeine level than you’d find in most black teas. The lower water temperature used to brew white tea slows the rate at which the caffeine is released can result in a lower caffeine level.
White Tea Myth: White tea is the healthiest type of tea.
White Tea Facts: It appears that white teas are often higher in antioxidants than other tea types and (depending on the brewing) they may be lower in caffeine than other tea types. However, all types of tea have similar health benefits. If you prefer green tea, black tea or any other tea type from the camellia Sinensis plant, then that’s probably the best tea for you to drink regularly.
White Tea Myth: White tea has a very delicate flavor that some people can’t even notice.
White Tea Facts: It’s true that Silver Needle has a very delicate flavor. However, White Peony (which we use as a base for many of our white tea blends) has a much richer, deeper flavor.
If your taste buds aren’t ready for a seriously delicate tea, try a blend like our Blueberry Pomegranate White Tea or White Coconut Crème. Once your palate is accustomed to the flavor of white tea, try our Chrysanthemum Silver Needle or White Peony before moving on to unblended Silver Needle.