White tea, care free!

There’s comes a point when you have to realise, you drink too much coffee. Coffee might keep you awake during your working day, it keeps you warm when the British weather is yet again failing us, but when you’re having seven cups of coffee before midday, you know it’s not going well.

This was very much my train of thought at the beginning of this year, when I made a pact to myself that I was going to start being healthy (as did 90% of the entire population). I realised, after a colleague pointed it out, that my constant rush to the kettle and gulp of coffee in the morning wasn’t good for me. Others in my office shamed me by drinking green tea, peppermint tea, and well, all sorts of tea that are much more healthy than the liquid I seemed to be drinking. In a bid to find the healthy side in me, I researched the benefits of tea online and came across white tea, and was quite impressed.

White tea is a great compliment to the healthy lifestyle I was looking for. It isn’t drunk with milk, which is always a plus, and it is less likely to be sweetened with sugar. Ali Hooper, brand manager at Clipper and tea specialist, told me more about the benefits of white tea for my coffee-detox. “All tea, including black, white and green tea comes from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis,” she explained. “The two main differences between green tea and white tea is in the processing and the types of tea bush varietals selected.  Traditionally white tea comes from the mountainous regions of Fujian province in South China.”

One of the key differences between white tea and green tea is the difference in process steps within the tea manufacture carried out in the producer country. Ali explained the process, and the healthiness behind our afternoon break of tea: “Green tea undergoes a specific process step which can loosely be referred to as “fixation”. The idea is to fix the tea in its fresh green state as much as possible. Unlike green tea, white tea does not undergo a specific fixation process step, however the plucked leaves undergo a more pronounced withering step using either sun drying or temperature controlled rooms to gently remove moisture from the leaf  The more pronounced withering step combined with leaf plucked from selected tea bush varietals helps the white tea to develop its typical flavour and character.”

So, on my lunch break today, white tea with peppermint flavour accompanied me on my desk! “You should wait at least five minutes after the water has boiled and all the bubbles have disappeared before pouring on your tea leaves or tea bag,” Ali said. “To start with leave for up to 3 minutes and drink.” There is caffeine in white tea, so I was able to work away, sip my tea, and not feel guilty about doing so!

Next up on my tea-buying list? Clipper’s white tea with vanilla, and white tea with zesty lemon!


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