*Tea is the name of the bush, Camellia Sinensis, and also the infusion made by steeping its leaves, buds and/or twigs in hot water for several minutes.
*The tea bush is native to Asian countries like China, Japan, India, and Sri Lanka, although it is widely popular as a beverage all over the world. It is the second most widely consumed beverages in the world, only next to water.
*Young tea leaves and buds are harvested (by hand picking or machines), withered to reduce the moisture content and make them more pliable, crushed and rolled to break the cells in the leaves and release the enzymes, allowed to oxidize, fired to stop the oxidation process, and finally graded and packed.
*There are 4 main varieties of tea – white, green, oolong, black – depending on how they are processed.
*White tea is the least processed and unoxidized of all. The young or immature leaves are harvested, allowed to wither, dried in shade and packed.
*Tea prepared with these leaves is translucent in color with pale straw to amber colored hues. It has a delicate, smooth and subtle flavor, with citrus and floral notes.
*This tea is harvested only in the spring and is the more expensive than other varieties.
*The white tea is prepared by rinsing the tea pot with hot water. Then take the required amount of tea leaves in the pot, pour hot water (at about 185 F) on the leaves, and then allow it to infuse for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the tea leaves and serve with or without sweetener.
*Buying and storage: Select good quality white tea, loose or in bags. Store it in an airtight container in a cool dark place. Do not refrigerate.
Is it raw?
Yes, White tea is the least processed variety of all teas and is raw. Make sure you read the label.
1. As white tea is not allowed to oxidize, it has delicate flavor, pale color, relatively high antioxidant and low caffeine content.
2. Tea has almost no calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, or vitamins. The health benefits of tea are due to the presence of a variety of phytonutrients like antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids.
3. Catechins and their derivatives are the most widely studied flavonoids present in tea. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant catechin present in tea, especially white and green teas, has been studied for its anti-cancer and antioxidant effects.
4. EGCG present in tea has antioxidant properties, and just like Vitamin E and C, scavenges the free radicals that damage our cells and reduces the risk of heart diseases, cancer, anti-inflammatory and other degenerative diseases.
5. Regular consumption of 3 or more cups of white or green tea per day reduces the risk of coronary artery diseases and other cardiovascular diseases. Also reduces the risk of death due to all causes.
6. Catechins present in tea reduce the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, and improve the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
7. Catechins help thin the blood and prevent the formation of blood clots, thus reducing the risk of platelet aggregation, stroke or heart attack.
8. Prevents cancer by inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells and arresting their growth, leading to the suicide of cancer cells called apoptosis. Tea is effective against a wide variety of cancers like prostate, breast, ovarian, colorectal, liver, lungs, and bladder cancers.
9. Regular consumption of tea improves the efficacy of cancer drugs and reduces their side effects.
10. Improves the insulin sensitivity in Type II Diabetes.
11. Regular consumption of tea helps in mineralization of bones, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis. It works by increasing the calcium deposition in bones (bone density).
12. Catechins in tea are also effective against the bacteria that cause gum diseases and also destroy the teeth.
13. Inhibits the activity of gastric and pancreatic lipases, thus slowing down the rate at which fats are broken down to triglycerides from food and decreasing the blood triglyceride levels. These triglycerides generally get deposited as visceral fat, leading to obesity. Thus consumption of tea reduces the risk of obesity.
14. Regular consumption of tea reduces the risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. And also improves the cognitive functions in people affected with these degenerative diseases.