Enjoy this beverage anytime of day... loose teas, popular for centuries in China, has become increasingly popular in other countries, including the United States.
Camellia Sinensis, a small bushy plant, is responsible for all of the tea that we drink, including black, green, oolong, and white. The different varieties, even though they originate from the same plant, vary in color, chemical composition, taste, and nutritional benefits.
The differences are not only a result of ripeness of the leaves, but also degree of oxidation. Tea leaves are harvested, and immediately begin to dry out and oxidize. During this process, chemical changes begin to occur in the leaves. The longer they are left to dry on their own, the darker their color becomes. The oxidation of some tea is quickened by rolling the leaves to release their juices. The oxidation is then halted by heating or steaming the leaves.
The result of this processing is a delicate, mildly sweet tea, which lacks some of the “green“ or “grassy“ flavors often present in green tea.
For the tea drinker concerned with the health benefits, the minimal processing means something else. White tea normally contains more polyphenols (cancer-fighting anti-oxidants) than other tea varieties. Recent studies have also concluded that white tea can help your body’s immune system fight off viruses and other bacteria. Some of the same studies also concluded that drinking white tea helps to inhibit the growth of dental plaque.