How To Buy White Tea

2/24/20244 min read

stainless steel bowls filled with ingredients
stainless steel bowls filled with ingredients

How to buy white tea The popularity of white tea is increasing, and more and more tea vendors are stocking white tea of many varieties. This means that the wealth of choice for the consumer can only become greater, which of course is a good thing. White tea is the rarest and most expensive of all teas, and the general feeling is that is must be good for you. It is of course a luxury, but while “luxury” is often understood to mean something that is unnecessary, expensive, and outrageous, white tea is none of those. Subtle and elegant, white tea is also the healthiest tea, with more antioxidants than any other type of tea. There are some things to keep in mind when you shop for white tea. Buy from a solid, reputable vendor. Few specialized loose tea stores exist in the Western world, and few of those stock white tea in many varieties. Therefore, the chances are that you it will be from an online vendor. Most vendors are honest, but there may be a few bad apples. Check out the quality of the website, look for their policies on deliveries and returns, try to find customer ratings, and check the specialized tea bulletin boards to see how white tea lovers talk about that vendor. In general, buying white tea should be a pleasurable experience, with delivery in a few days. We can without much hesitation recommend Adagio Teas, the largest and most reputable of the online vendors, with a vast selection of all teas, not just white.

When you buy, ask questions. It is not the case that white tea is to be had from just any old vendor. The truth is that many vendors do not share your and my enthusiasm for the products they sell. They may even not know who their white teas are. Ask questions to get an impression of the vendor's expertise. His or her answers to your questions on white tea should be evidence of his or her expertise. Questions such as these should not faze the vendor: from what country, what region is the tea, and when was this crop harvested. Whenever possible, see the Internet in the light of day. They way the site looks can make clear to you the seller's level of know-how and enthusiasm. Buy fresh tea, only. Fresh means the tea is from the last crop. In Asia, the white teas are harvested very early in the spring. This means that outstanding white tea worldwide, from the last harvest at the end of April, should be all over. Ask the vendor when the tea was harvested. Then buy all your white tea for the year now, in the spring. This assures full control over how it is stored - assure it will keep its good quality.

Look for white tea in loose leaves when possible. Silver Needle teas are those comprised of very young tea leaves that are rolled up tightly in on themselves. Because they are not cut up, they are less exposed to the air than other teas. Less exposure to the air means less oxidation of the leaves. Silver Needle teas will hence maintain a greater proportion of their beneficial antioxidants longer than teas made from cut up leaves. This is just as true for white teas as for other fine teas. In general, white tea in bags is less expensive. It is also less durable and not as rich in antioxidants as loose leaf white tea. Take your time finding out what is your preferred one. There are many growers of white tea, spread around many different Asian countries. The tea, like fine wines, will have tastes that depend on the climatic and soil of where the tea is grown. Therefore it makes sense to look around, to try different teas and to see which one you prefer. Maybe it will be the tea cultivated in Sri Lanka, or perhaps Chinese varieties will do you. At the same time, perhaps you will find that the price premium on Silver Needle tea does not seem fair. This will be a long and enjoyable process. Just remember that your favorite tea is not necessarily the most expensive one.

Keep the air out. White tea should never come into contact with air, as it will oxidize. Although it is the antioxidants in white tea that make it good for your health, you still want the leaves as pristine as possible. The more pristine and young the tea is, the more antioxidants it will retain, and the better it will taste. Make sure you are purchasing tea that has been stored in an airtight package. Examples are a tight plastic bag, or an airtight tin. Keep it dry, cool, and dark. All types of white tea should be stored in an airtight package in a dark, cool, dry location. A cool (not cold) cellar is ideal. Do not, however, store the tea in the fridge or freezer, as it can dry it out. Make certain you received what you ordered. All white teas are made from the first leaf set of the plant. The best varieties will be covered with the tiny, white hairs from which the tea gets its name. Make sure you got what you ordered. Have fun! Shopping for white tea, like anything else, should be a very pleasant experience. Gather as much information as you can about each tea that you try, and try several. Many vendors offer several varieties in small quantities, and this is perfect for trying each for the first time. Also, be sure to take your time, and sample as many vendors as possible. They – whether online or brick-and-mortar – will be only too pleased to help you discover some new taste favorites.