If you’re looking for the perfect tea to serve guests in terms of both taste and symbolism, look no further than Mango Pear White. Both the tea and the fruit we’ve flavored it with have been used to honor visitors for thousands of years.
Mangoes, which have been grown throughout the Eastern world since before recorded history, have variously been served at weddings, placed before shrines, even had their leaves woven and hung from doorknobs the way people in the west hang Christmas wreathes. Many of these hospitable customs also extend into the Americas where it is believed mangoes were first planted by early Jesuit missionaries who had spent time in the East.
White tea has a long history of hospitality as well. In fact, the Japanese tea ceremony, one of world’s most intricate, has its roots in a Chinese Song Dynasty ceremony based on an early form of white tea. Unfortunately, the exact details of the early ceremony have largely faded into the tea-steam of history. What is known is that the ceremony was so important that when tea was unavailable, it was conducted with boiling water only. Hosts would serve their guests the boiled water and carry on as though tea were used. The intricate ceremony was brought to Japan by traveling monks and later developed into the highly stylized ceremony of today. (Interestingly, in some parts of China, boiled water is still referred to as Boiled White Water in reference to the tea-less version of the tea ceremony.)
To make a long story short, if you have people coming over, this is the jar to reach for. The flavor is delicate and round with light honey notes, deep hits of mango and pear with a lightly astringent finish.
Ingredients: White tea, apple pieces, freeze dried mango cubes, natural flavoring, marigold blossoms
White tea (Chinese: 白茶; pinyin: báichá), is made from the buds and young leaves of the tea plant. These leaves are withered and dried naturally under semi-controlled conditions. If mechanical drying is required the leaves are baked (not fired) at temperatures less that 40°C. Because of these special growing and harvesting procedures, white tea has higher concentrations of catechins than other types of tea. Catechins are the antioxidants in tea responsible for antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer properties. White tea has also been found to help prevent rheumatoid arthritis and age associated wrinkles.
Compared to other teas, white tea is the heavy hitter of health benefits. A study at Kingston University in 2009 showed that white tea has high anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-collagenase, and anti-elastase properties which could potentially reduce the risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, heart disease and slow the enzymatic break-down of elastin and collagen, traits which accompany aging. The same study evaluated 20 other popular plant and herb extracts and found that white tea considerably outperformed all of them.
A Pace University study has shown that white tea has more effective antiviral and antibacterial properties than green tea. The study revealed that white tea extract may help slow viruses and bacterial growth, thus reducing the incidence of staphylococcus and streptococcus infections, pneumonia, fungus growth, and even dental plaque.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180°F or 90°C. Place 1-2 heaping teaspoons per 6 ounce cup and let the tea steep for 3 minutes. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on - until the tea flavor is exhausted.
Iced tea brewing method: Heat water to 180°F or 90°C. Place 2 heaping teaspoons per 6 ounce cup and let the tea steep for 3 minutes. Remove tea from water after steeping. Add ice.
White tea is excellent for brewing in any one of our fine Yixing teapots.
White tea originated in China; however, the history of white tea is contested and complicated. Finding adequate citation is not easy when discussing China's teas in general because the system of knowledge is often orally transmitted. Scholars and tea merchants generally disagree as to when the first production of white tea (as it is understood in China today) began. What is today known as white tea may have come into creation in the last two centuries. White tea may have first appeared in English publication in 1876, where it is categorized as a black tea because it is not initially cooked like a green tea, to deactivate internal enzymes and external microbes. It is worth noting that at this time Hanson only identified two types of tea, black and green.
When working loosely with sources, claims are made that white tea is the oldest type of tea for various reasons, though it should be noted that among university-appointed tea scholars in China, debate focuses on whether green or black tea (known as "red tea" in China) is the oldest form of tea, and white tea is conspicuously absent from this dialogue. Stories do appear referring to a "white" tea as the preferred tea of Chinese royalty, where it was first produced during the Tang Dynasty (618‒907 A.D.). For some time, only the emperor and his courtiers would drink white tea as it was rare and expensive. However, this "white" tea was produced differently than it is today. At this time leaves were compressed into cakes. By 1200 A.D., around the time of the Song Dynasty, immature silver white leaf-buds were immediately steamed, dried, and ground into a powder. Another story discusses the need for those who pick white tea to be virgins so that their fingers will not crush the buds when they are harvested. It is likely that these stories do not refer to white process tea but rather to the picking of undamaged buds, which can then be used to make any of the six types of tea.
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