My Internet research, led me to Wikipedia a site that is becoming the premier place to garner information. It was exciting to discover that white tea is tea manufactured by a process that uses relatively low heat and no rolling. The formative stage is an extended period of withering, during which enzymatic reactions progress under the right temperature, humidity and airflow. The key is to get the fresh leaves to mature properly with minimal oxidation. White tea usually contains buds and young tea leaves, which have been found to contain lower levels of caffeine than older leaves. I found this particular information quiet useful as it is important to me to maintain low levels of caffeine ingestion.
White tea is a specialty of the Chinese province Fujian. The leaves come from a number of varieties of tea cultivars. The most popular are Da Bai (Large White), Xiao Bai (Small White), Narcissus and Chaicha bushes. According to the different standards of picking and selection, white teas can be classified into a number of grades. Over the next few days, I will continue my research to determine what those grades actually are and under what category my yummy Winter White Earl Grey falls.
Until then…happy tea drinking!
White tea. (2008, February 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:46, April 2, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=White_tea&oldid=194705669