This week's tea is Two Doves Silver Needle White Tea a wonderful tasting and particularly healthy tea!
White tea is the least processed of the teas from the plant Camellia sinensis which includes Black Tea, Green Tea and Oolong. Unlike these others however, white tea does not go through a long process of fermentation but is simply the sun dried early buds of the plant. The young buds have fine silver hairs which is what gives white tea it's name.
As the least processed of the teas it is speculated that the health benefits of Camellia sinensis remain more intact than in other teas. Some studies have shown tea, and particularly white tea, can help prevent cancer, high cholesterol, high iron in the blood, skin damage due to UV rays and severe depression. Studies have also shown that tea helps boost ones immune system and is particularly beneficial for people who have low immune systems. It has also been suggested as a complementary therapy for people suffering from HIV as it has been seen to prevent the infection from binding to cells.
White tea is also lower in tannins than other teas so some of the possible harmful side effects are lower in white tea. Try not to drink too excessively however because tea can also have some negative side effects like dehydration or lowering your iron absorption.
Aside from all these health benefits, white tea tastes great (I've had three cups of it just while writing this blog! A very light tea, white tea lacks the grassy aftertaste of green teas or the bitterness of black teas. You can steep it for longer while maintaining a full flavorful cup. White tea has an almost sweet floral taste due to the fact that it is made out of springs first buds. Come in to the store to have a taste!