White Tea Benefits: From Dental Health to Glowing Skin
By The Whistling Kettle January 5th, 2022
Once the exclusive drink of emperors, white tea is now a fountain of youth for us all. White tea is loaded with healthy antioxidants and supports all systems of the body. Each cup supports brain health, heart health, and even your teeth! White tea can also be used topically to potentially help prevent wrinkles and signs of aging. With a delicate flavor and long list of benefits, this tea is a winner for everyone. Drinking white tea regularly is sure to keep you healthy and glowing.
What is White Tea?
White tea is made from the same Camellia sinensis plant as green tea, black tea, oolong and all ‘true’ teas. The difference is in the harvesting and processing. Instead of using fully formed leaves, white tea is made from the delicate, unopened buds of the tea plant. These buds are carefully hand-picked in early spring and minimally processed to preserve the dainty flavor. When you look at loose leaf white tea you will notice the soft, silvery fuzz on each bud.
White tea originated in China during the Song Dynasty and was first reserved for only the emperor. Later when tea production became more efficient, more people were able to enjoy this rare, exquisite tea. White tea is now easily found all over the world and the options range from premium loose leaf varieties to grocery store tea bags. We recommend choosing only high quality, loose leaf tea to taste the finest cup.
What Does White Tea Taste Like?
The flavor of white tea is very subtle and refreshing. Most white teas have light floral notes and may have hints of apple, apricot, or peach. It is best to savor white tea with small sips to enjoy its delicate flavor profile. One of the most popular and high quality white teas available is Silver Needle, which uses only the buds for a very pure flavor. Our King of Silver Needles white tea brews an exceptionally crisp cup with notes of dried apricot and apple.
Does White Tea Have Caffeine?
You may be surprised to learn that white tea does have caffeine. And the exact caffeine content in each cup of white tea can be a complicated matter. White tea is made from the buds or young leaves of the tea plant, which actually have more caffeine than fully matured leaves. This is because caffeine is a natural insecticide that protects the young buds from getting eaten. So does that mean white tea has more caffeine than other teas? Not necessarily.
Although the dry loose leaf tea may have more caffeine, the way white tea is usually brewed limits the caffeine that you actually drink. White tea is typically brewed with lightly simmering water instead of boiling, and only steeped for 1-3 minutes. This lowers the amount of caffeine absorbed into the water. A brewed cup of white tea will generally have about 15-30 mg of caffeine, which is quite low. That’s similar to the amount in green tea and only about half as much as black tea.
Health Benefits of White Tea
Don’t be fooled by the mild flavor of white tea. It has a strong dose of healthy antioxidants and nutrients that contribute to vibrant health. White tea benefits range from boosting brain function to helping prevent cavities in your teeth. The main health benefits of white tea include:
- Heart health
- Brain health
- Lowers blood sugar
- Weight loss
- Dental health
- Skin care
- Stronger bones
White tea packs a punch when it comes to antioxidants. It contains a high level of catechins, a type of polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant in your body. These catechins could potentially protect against disease, damage from environmental toxins, and early signs of aging.
The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of white tea can be beneficial for your heart. Reduced oxidation of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, and improved blood flow from less inflamed arteries are potential positive effects of drinking white tea. By protecting the cardiovascular system, white tea may reduce your risk of heart disease.
L-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) are compounds in white tea that may boost concentration and lower stress. White tea has similar amounts of l-theanine as green tea and more EGCG than any other tea! These compounds may also protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Chronic high blood sugar is associated with insulin resistance and a risk for developing diabetes. White tea naturally helps to lower blood sugar and could potentially protect against these conditions. Studies suggest that white tea may also be helpful for managing symptoms of diabetes.
The combination of polyphenols and mild caffeine in white tea might give your metabolism a boost. While green tea is usually the most popular choice for weight loss, white tea has the same beneficial properties. Research on white tea extract showed that it has potential for stimulating fat burning and reducing fat accumulation.
White tea has the surprising bonus of protecting your teeth. It can be used as a mouthwash to reduce plaque-forming bacteria and protect against the risk of cavities. You can also simply drink more white tea regularly to improve oral hygiene. Since white tea is light in color, the infusion won’t stain your teeth at all (unlike coffee and black tea).
White tea has gained popularity as an ingredient in skin care products. Research has been investigating its potential ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of aging. It may especially help protect against damage from excess sunlight exposure. These benefits are mainly from topical use of white tea.
Drinking white tea may help to strengthen your bones and protect against osteoporosis (a condition of weak and brittle bones). Studies on animals showed that there is a possibility white tea could increase the mineral content of bones. Regular consumption of white tea may prove to be a good choice for keeping bones strong.
Risks and Side Effects
Although white tea is generally healthy, it is important to consult your doctor first before using it for any health conditions. Some people who are very sensitive to caffeine may need to avoid white tea and stick with caffeine-free teas.
How to Make White Tea
White tea is quick and easy to brew once you get the hang of it. Be careful not to over-steep the tea to avoid any bitterness. And don’t use fully boiling water, as this will ruin the delicate flavor profile. All you need is loose leaf white tea, an infuser, a kettle (electric or stovetop), and a mug. Follow our step-by-step instructions to make the perfect cup:
White Tea Brewing Instructions:
- Heat 8 oz. water to a light simmer (about 170-180 degrees F.)
- Put 1-2 tsp of loose leaf white tea in an infuser.
- Put the infuser in a mug and fill with the water.
- Steep for 1-3 minutes.
- Take a sip and savor the light flavor.
White Tea for Health
Any white tea will be an excellent choice for your health. You can start with either pure white tea or flavored blends. White tea is very subtle and pairs well with delicate flowers and fruits, such as in our Peach White and Mango Pear teas. If you prefer something stronger, our Lemon Ginger tea blends white tea with energizing spices and metabolism-boosting Pu-erh tea. Whatever type of white tea you choose, you can’t go wrong. Enjoy the many health benefits of white tea in each crisp, refreshing cup.