There Can Be Only 4 – Four True Teas That Is…You may be thinking, “What does that title mean?”, “I just steeped and enjoyed a wonderful Earl Grey!”. Well, the title is telling you that all true tea comes from the very same evergreen shrub and there are really only four true teas produced by it. This evergreen shrub is named Camellia sinensis and it produces white tea, green tea, oolong tea (another one of my favorites) and black tea. The main difference between these four teas is the level of oxidation/fermentation the leaves have gone through with black tea being the most oxidized. What is meant by “true tea” is the leaf is the only part of the plant utilized.
If you have ever relaxed by sipping a great cup of Earl Grey, peppermint or chamomile tea, then you have experienced the sublime world of herbal tea. Herbal teas are made up of leaves, roots, fruits or flowers from divergent plants that are unlike the conventional tea plant. This is great information to know, because each tea has its own individual and distinct flavors, health benefits and nutritional attributes. And like I have pointed out in previous posts, no tea is better than the other as far as how it is categorized.
Let’s Compare Green Tea vs White Tea
We have previously talked about green teas in fairly good detail and it is only befitting to talk about white teas too. What we will do here is discussed green tea versus white tea. Both white and green teas are considered unoxidized. Likewise, both teas usually yield a very light and delicate tea that in my opinion do not require much sweetening if any. The tea colors that both produce range from very light to yellow-green.
Likewise, there are many similarities between white and green teas. For example, a white tea health benefit likened to green tea is antioxidants. However, white tea has a higher level of antioxidants than green tea because it is the least processed of the two. It has been noted that white tea has properties that positively affect the brain, the reproductive system as well as properties that lower cholesterol and help to burn fat.
Best White Tea Brand
Well, I’m going to preface with: it is up to your individual palate to determine the best white tea brand. My goal here is to share with you what is out there, what’s available for you to choose from and what it should look like. So lets begin… There are about four major types of white tea and they are:
- Silver Needle aka Baihao Yinzhen
- White Peony aka Bai Mudan
- Long Life Eyebrow aka Shou Mei
- Tribute Eyebrow aka Gong Mei
Here is a quick visual of the tea leaves to give you an idea of what to look for:
Move Over Green Matcha!
I know, I know… I love to drink green matcha tea. Howeverrrrr, white matcha tea is just as delicious as its counterpart. The taste of white matcha is quite interesting and depends on where you are. Here in the US (where we like sweet drinks), white matcha tea is usually served slightly sweetened and accompanied by steamed milk. The real deal is if you think about it, matcha comes from the youngest and most fresh leaves of the Camellia sinensis (tea plant). That being said, white matcha tea in all actuality tastes more like fresh grass with a hint of bitterness and seaweed flavor. There should be a botanical flavor profile that is very fresh. If you ever smell a matcha that is stale or old with a chalkiness scent to it, then throw it away!
Likened to its counterpart, white tea matcha is a great compliment and ingredient in many recipes. For instance, it can be added to smoothies, healthy energy drinks, cookies and cakes.
To sum it up, if you like to drink green tea matcha it is very likely you may enjoy drinking white tea matcha. It is important to keep in mind that green tea leaves are processed more than white tea leaves (not by a great margin though). More importantly, have fun, try something new! Even if you are a seasoned tea drinker, there is always a new flavor that can be infused with a tea you are quite familiar with. Please comment below and let us know about YOUR tea-sperience!