"White tea" does not refer to black tea with milk, but rather to a specific form of tea in which the leaves and buds are simply steamed and dried. In this sense, white tea represents the least processed form of tea, since green, oolong and black teas undergo withering before various degrees of oxidation. White tea also contains a higher proportion of buds, which are covered with fine 'silvery' hairs that impart a light white/grey color to the tea. White tea brews to a pale yellow/light red color, and has a slightly sweet flavor with no 'grassy' undertones sometimes associated with green tea.
White tea is harvested from the tea blossoms during the three day blossoming season of the plant. White tea is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened. This makes it a rare form of tea. Oh, how delicious and refreshing, even without sugar. And the rarest form of white tea is Silver Needles, the crème de la crème of white teas. It is made entirely from downy buds picked within a two day period in early Spring. All white teas or silver needles are actually from the green tea plant, but less bitter in taste. These teas are available in organic form also. I personally don’t like the taste of green tea, but love drinking white tea without any sweetener!
Organic Tea – Island Teas takes great pride in bringing you these prized teas. Each is Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), an independent service organization developed specifically for the purpose of certifying the authenticity of produce which is organically grown. Cultivated with a zealous adherence to organic regulations, these teas and herbs are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides, using only sustainable agricultural methods.
Every purchase of these Certified Organic teas helps support the meticulous ecological balance practiced in these remarkable gardens, resulting in these pristine, natural teas. Working in harmony with nature provides us with the highest quality Certified Organic teas and herbs in the world. These fine teas and herbs represent a commitment to a way of life that takes care of the Earth and its resources and uses them in a socially responsible way.
There is nothing more refreshing than a cup of fresh loose leaf organic tea!
Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute tested four types of white tea for their ability to inhibit mutations in bacteria, and subsequently examined the protective properties in a rat colon cancer model. In the former studies using bacteria, white teas were generally more effective than green tea in inhibiting mutagenicity (mutagenicity is a result of unrepaired/misrepaired DNA damage and an early step in the process leading to cancer). White teas contained many of the expected polyphenols, some of which were present at higher concentrations than in green tea brewed under the same conditions. Other constituents, such as caffeine, also were present at higher levels in white tea.
Rats were given white tea (tea was brewed for 5 min, using 2g/100ml hot water) in the drinking water for up to 8 weeks. A second group was given the equivalent amount of caffeine alone. In weeks 3 and 4, animals were given a carcinogen from cooked meat ("PhIP"). After 2 weeks of treatment, and prior to PhIP dosing, enzyme changes were detected in the liver, white tea being slightly more effective in this regard than caffeine alone. Overall, the altered enzyme profiles, and profiles of metabolites excreted in the urine, suggested that the carcinogen was more rapidly metabolized and detoxified. At the end of the study, rats given white tea had significantly fewer PhIP-induced pre-cancerous lesions in the colon (called aberrant crypt foci, or ACF). However, rats given caffeine alone also had fewer ACF.
These data are highly preliminary, and cannot be extrapolated to human cancer prevention or treatment. They indicate that white tea, like other forms of tea, can block the DNA damage caused by some compounds using a test tube assay with bacteria as indicator organisms. The animal studies scored pre-cancerous changes in the colon, not actual tumors, and raised the possibility that any potential extra 'benefit' from white tea (versus other teas) might simply be related to higher caffeine levels. Finally, animal studies in which inhibition of colon tumor formation has been demonstrated cannot be simply extrapolated to protection in people. LPI researchers are now planning further studies with white tea in animal models (rats, mice, trout), and in a pilot human trial.
White tea is used by major cosmetic companies today, like Estee Lauder, in their skin care products. Why? Because not only does drinking white tea help to prevent cancer, but applying tea to the skin helps prevent it too.
If you are a green tea lover and haven’t tried white of silver needle tea, you must give it a try.
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