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White tea is the "premium tea" of the world. It is the rarest of the teas. And white tea also undergoes the least amount of processing...usually none at all, in fact, beyond simple withering and sun drying. White tea is named due to the white hairs that are on the unopened buds.
White tea is generally harvested in the early spring. Environmental conditions greatly play a role in exactly how and when the leaves themselves are picked, withered and dried.
The flavor of white teas tend to be subtle but will have markedly different tastes among the various types. Additionally, just like with other teas...infusions of various things can be added to white tea...providing a completely different and unique flavor.
Listed below is information about some of the types of white tea that are available.
White Teas from China
White Pu-erh Tea : This is the rarest, and in some ways, the oddest of the white teas. This tea is only grown high in the mountains. The processing of the tea is very labor intensive...one reason for its rarity and very premium price. The flavor of this tea is noted for it's near lack of bitterness and for being slightly sweet.
Gong Mei : This is considered an inferior grade of white tea in comparison to White Silver Needles and White Peony.
Shou Mei : This is considered the "lowest quality" of chinese white tea. The tea itself tends to have a stronger flavor than other chinese white teas
White Teas from India
Assam White : While rather rare, white tea is indeed grown in the area of India that is far better known for its high quality black teas. White teas from the Assam region tend to have a slightly sweet taste to them in comparison to other white teas.
White Teas from Sri Lanka
Ceylon White : This tea is highly prized and very expensive. The tea is notable for its coppery infusion and tastes of pine and honey.
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