Harvested by hand only a few days each spring, white tea is made from baby tea leaves and is the rarest and least processed of all tea varietals. Because it undergoes virtually no processing and is made from the tender, nutrient-rich bud from the tip of the plant, white tea is considered the healthiest of all teas.
THE HEALTHIEST TEA
White teas were rated one of the hottest products on the US tea market and show no signs of slowing down due to the continued media attention highlighting their anti-cancer potential.
White tea is considered to be the healthiest of all types of tea because it has the highest levels of antioxidants and theanine, a rare amino acid found only in high-quality tea. Antioxidants are believed to maintain health, combat aging and prevent disease. Theanine promotes mental and physical relaxation, improves mood, reduces anxiety, boosts the immune system and increases concentration. White tea also has the lowest caffeine content of all true teas.
Because white tea undergoes very little processing, the tealeaves retain their natural appearance. For instance, White Peony, one of the most popular styles of authentic white tea and the base for our white tea blends, is multi-colored like autumn leaves and covered with a silver-white down that resembles the skin of a ripened peach. Silver Needle, the highest grade of white tea, consists of only silvery-white sprouts.
GENTLE, MELLOW, NECTAR-LIKE FLAVOR
White tea brews a pale, golden color and has a gentle, subtly sweet, mellow, nectar-like flavor with unique floral, wood and honey notes. We often recommend white tea to customers who want lots of health benefits but are hesitant about green tea's strong flavors. With no bitterness and a delicate, smooth flavor that blends wonderfully with other ingredients, white tea is an ideal choice for someone new to the world-of-tea. Its rare quality and amazing complexity also makes white tea attractive to the seasoned connoisseur.
At Octavia Tea, we consider white teas one of our specialties. Our garden-direct relationships enable us to offer exquisite white teas for some of the best prices in the industry.
Silver Needle, the highest grade of white tea, consists of only silvery-white sprouts.
White Peony, a classic white tea used in many of our blends, is multi-colored like autumn leaves and covered with a silver-white down that resembles the skin of a ripened peach.
Green tea is one of the fastest-growing segments inthe US specialty tea market due to continued media attention surrounding its abundant health benefits. Green tea is rich in EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate; one of nature's most potent antioxidants) and is gaining widespread popularity due to its natural ability to promote weight-loss and good health.
As a result of minimal processing, green tea retains its natural appearance and vibrant color as well as high levels of the plant's healthy properties. Green tea varies dramatically in flavor from grassy and sweet, to floral and fresh, to nutty and roasted. Like fine wine, green tea's flavor depends on the plant varietal, season of harvest, soil, elevation, weather, cultivation and origin. Each region has its own distinct flavor and aroma.
VARIES DRAMATICALLY IN FLAVOR
Green tea comes from leaves that are withered until the leaf becomes flaccid and then immediately steamed or fired to halt the active leaf enzymes that would otherwise react with oxygen. In China, this is generally done by roasting or pan-firing the leaves while, in Japan, this is usually accomplished by steaming the leaves at a high temperature. During firing or steaming, the leaf is continuously rolled to and fro, creating the unique shape of the leaf (flat and needle-like, wirey and twisted, or pearl shaped). The Chinese style of processing tends to bring out a smooth, aromatic flavor while the steaming process yields a deep vegetal or herbaceous quality-–a characteristic prized in Japanese teas.
At Octavia Tea, we continually sample hundreds of different green teas and choose only the best selection from the world's top artisan tea gardens. Our green tea blends are hand crafted in small batches and infused with only pure essential oils, natural essences and fresh botanicals.
BREWING GREEN TEA
Green tea tends to be the most difficult category to brew correctly and can easily go bitter. The brewing instructions (listed under the “Brewing Tips” section) will help you achieve the best flavor.