All tea comes from Camellia sinensis plants. The plants’ leaves are picked, oxidized, and processed according to different customs, with the result that they are transformed into one of the five varieties of tea.
The five kinds of tea are black, green, oolong, pu-erh and, you guessed it, white.
While black and green tea get a lot of airtime, people tend to forget about white tea. This might have something to do with the fact that it is the lightest, and most subtle tasting of the teas.
White tea is made from leaves and unopened buds that are picked when the Camellia sinesis plant is very young. They are then only gently oxidized.
As a result, white tea contains heaps of natural antioxidants but doesn’t share the intense flavors that characterize green and black tea. That said, white tea has a delicious subtle taste and should not be overlooked.
To get the best flavor out of white tea, you must treat its leaves gently. However, you might find that even a perfectly brewed white tea needs a bit of something extra to give it more of a kick.
How to make white tea taste better?
Brew your tea correctly! Bring cold water to a boil and let it sit for five minutes. Pour the hot water over your tea leaves or teabag and allow your tea steep for between one and three minutes. To enhance its flavor, you can add fruit juice, herbs, or flowers into white tea. White tea also makes a delicious iced tea.
How to brew the perfect cup of white tea
Bring cold water to a boil. Water loses oxygen as it boils. If your tea water doesn’t have enough oxygen, this will negatively impact the taste of the tea. For this reason, make sure you fill up a fresh kettle of water and don’t just re-boil the water that is already in the kettle.
Even if you are making tea without a kettle, make sure you start off with fresh, cold water.
Once boiled, allow the water to sit for five minutes. Because white tea leaves are only gently oxidized, they are quite sensitive to temperature. They prefer water that is just a little cooler than boiling.
Next, pour the hot water over your tea leaves or tea bag. Allow your tea to steep for between one and three minutes, depending on how strong you want it to be.
Remove the tea bag or strain out your tea leaves and enjoy!
8 ways to make white tea taste better
While tea purists will tell you not to add anything to your white tea, they don’t know what they’re missing out on!
If straight white tea isn’t doing it for you, there are plenty things you can do to give it an extra kick of flavor.
Be aware that if you are adding extra ingredients into your white tea, you may want to let it steep a few minutes longer. You don’t want the flavor of the white tea to be overpowered by what you add into it!
1. Make iced tea
The subtle sweetness of white tea makes for a delicious, refreshing iced tea.
Because white tea has very little caffeine in it, you can pretty much sip on it all day long.
Add your tea and hot water to a heatproof jug. Depending on the size of your jug, you should use three to four teabags to make the brew.
Alternatively, you can make use of one of the best ways to drink loose leaf tea and fill an infuser with three to four teaspoons of loose-leaf tea.
Because your white tea will be served iced, you will want it to be a little stronger so that it retains its sweet flavor even after some of the ice melts. You should therefore allow your tea to steep for between five and seven minutes, instead of the usual one to three.
Remove the tea bags and add in a sweetener, such as honey or cane sugar, if you like your iced tea on the sweet side.
Place the jug in the fridge to chill.
Wait until it your tea is cold and then serve it in a glass with ice cubes. Garnish your glasses with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.
2. Add a squeeze of lemon to your white tea
White tea has a lightly vegetal flavor that is perfectly complemented by the sweet sourness of lemon.
Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into your white brew to give it a citrus-y tang. Lemon pairs especially well with the silky-smooth flavors of Silver Needle white tea.
Sweeten your cup with a teaspoon of cane sugar or honey to bring out the natural sweetness of the lemon.
3. Enrich your white tea with a spoonful of honey
There is nothing quite like a teaspoon of a rich, high-quality golden honey mixed into a perfectly brewed mug of tea.
White tea, which has notes of honeysuckle, pairs deliciously with honey. It tastes especially good when mixed with a honey that has hints of a nutty, earthy flavor.
3. Infuse your white tea with peppermint
The refreshing taste of peppermint pairs well with almost any tea. It makes a particularly delicious complement to the sweet smoothness of white tea.
Add dry or fresh peppermint leaves to your loose-leaf white tea.
Alternatively, you can look for a peppermint and white tea infusion at your local tea shop.
4. Infuse your white tea with dried orange slices
There is something truly special about the sweet, tangy taste of orange when paired with the subtle, malty notes of white tea.
Throw a few bits of dried orange rind into your infuser, or, alternatively, look for a tea blend that already has orange pieces in it.
You could also visit one of the best places to buy empty tea bags, and then make your own tea bags by filling them with a combination of loose-leaf white tea and dried orange pieces.
5. Infuse your white tea with freeze-dried raspberries
Raspberry white tea makes a delicious and refreshing summer iced tea.
Simply add a few freeze-dried raspberries into a heatproof jug once you have brewed your tea and removed your teabags.
Place your jug in the fridge to cool. When it has cooled, serve it with ice, lemon slices and fresh raspberries. You might even garnish your glass with a sprig of rosemary.
6. Infuse your white tea with dried rose petals
Add dried rose petals into your white tea leaves for a delightful, aromatic, floral infusion.
The delicate flavor and scent of rose tastes fantastic combined with the fruity flavors of a Tribute Eyebrow or Gong Mei white tea.
7. Infuse your white tea with jasmine
The scent of flowering jasmine is one of the most beautiful smells there is.
Jasmine combines especially well with White Peony, a Chinese white tea also known as Bai Mudan, that has notes of cut hay and a malty undertone.
White Peony can be infused for longer than other white teas, because it is difficult to make it too strong. White Peony blends deliciously with the strong, floral taste of Jasmine.
8. Infuse your white tea with dried lavender
There is a reason why lavender essential oils dominate the shelves of aromatherapy shops. Nothing is quite as calming as the smell of lavender.
Adding dried lavender to your white brew is the perfect way to relax!