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Last updated: April 27, 2021
White tea is a lesser-known tea that has a very mild taste but has loads of health benefits. It is referred to as white tea because it is minimally processed. Hence, it has more of the beneficial nutrients than other teas that have been heavily processed. From harvesting in China all the way to your teacup, white tea is minimally processed; hence it is one of the purest and healthiest teas you can find. In this round-up, we shall be considering some of the best white tea in the market right now.
To provide you with this list, we have considered scores of white tea on the market. We have selected 6 products as some of the best you can buy. After our review and tasting, we have crowned Harney & Sons White Tea as our top pick. The taste of white tea is very mild. This tea brews up fairly dark for a white tea, a medium amber color darker than most green teas. This, along with several other factors, makes this tea an excellent option for tea enthusiasts around the globe. Aside from this tea, we also gathered 5 other products that you can choose from.
In choosing these teas, we had to consider several factors. Some of these factors include the origin, ingredients, flavor and aroma, package, and weight. We spent over 10 hours tasting and scouring the internet for reviews about these white teas. Therefore, our in-depth review of these teas is accurate. We have also provided a comparison table and a buying guide that can also assist you. Read on to find out more!
Editor’s Choice: Harney & Sons White Tea
The taste of white tea is very mild. It is made of beautiful little hand-rolled pearls that are gently infused with the floral essences from jasmine flowers. It is also a medium-bodied tea with a floral, jasmine aroma that is lightly caffeinated. ."
Best Value: The Republic Of Tea Emperor's 100% White Tea
This China White features unmatched subtlety, complexity and mellow, sweet notes. This authentic white tea is grown in the meadows and plains of the majestic Chinese mountains in the Fujian Province. The leaves and the buds are rather tender, formed from the very young buds that were hand-picked.."
Budget Pick: VAHDAM Blue Mountains
This is a fine loose leaf white tea sourced from the Southern India. Tea farmers handpick these white tea leaves from selected tea buds which still contain the white hairs on them. It contains a rich grassy taste with floral notes. ."
Best Chinese White Tea: Tealyra - Luxury Jasmine Silver Needle White Loose Tea
This tea is one of the few products that you will find that is verified silver needle: the highest grade of white tea. The young tea leaves and leaf buds are uniquely combined with jasmine essence for a light tea with sophisticated floral notes. ."
Best Indian White Tea: Numi Organic Tea Orange Spice
This organic white tea is blended with real orange peel, dried schizandra berries, and lemongrass, has bright citrus notes and decadent spice. It is great for use in tea infusers, French presses, or tea balls.."
Best Loose White Tea: Teamonk Kimaya Darjeeling White Tea Loose Leaf
This tea helps your body to get rid of toxins, thus boosting your immunity and promoting clear, glowing skin. It is 100% natural, without any oils added aromas, flavors, or artificial essences. It also comes with a very low caffeine level. ."
Top 6 White Teas Review 2021
Harney & Sons White Tea – Editor’s Choice
Origin: Fuan, China
Ingredients: white tea infused with the floral essences from jasmine flowers
Flavor and aroma: floral, jasmine and sweet aromas
Package: 20 sachets
Weight: 5.6 oz
More features: hand-rolled pearls, Kosher
This white tea is made from the young tea bud. It is plucked just before the leaf opens on the stem and is air-dried to lock in its color and flavor. The chlorophyll is not mature in this bud, and that gives its “white” appearance. We add flavors to make delicate and delectable teas. Look for gently sweet notes ranging from honeysuckle to light maple sap, citrus fruit flavors like orange and lemon, and wisps of floral aromas, evoking jasmine and rose. The delicacy of white tea leaves allows wonderfully subtle flavors to flourish in your freshly brewed cup!
This white tea Earl Grey also has the advantage of coming in mesh sachets as well as in loose form, making it a convenient tea to make later in the evening when one might not want to have to wash up an infuser or other brewing accessories when tired.
The taste of white tea is very mild. This tea brews up fairly dark for a white tea, a medium amber color darker than most green teas. The bergamot tastes a little stronger against a white tea than against the usual black teas on the market. The aroma is quite nice, stronger in the brewed tea than in the dry leaves. While the tea doesn’t need sugar, in my opinion, it tastes good with sugar if you do add it. Adding lemon or lime makes the bergamot flavor quite strong. I wouldn’t suggest milk or cream in this one – it would wash the tea flavor right out – unless, of course, you like bergamot-flavored milk! I felt this made a better hot tea than an iced tea – the tea flavor nearly vanishes when iced, unless you add more sugar than usual.
The price it comes at is fair for the quality. In a nutshell, I love this tea, and you will likely enjoy it as well.
What are our favorite features?
It is an excellent medium-graded floral essence tea
Made of high-quality from the US
What could be better?
The synthetic polyester sachet which limits and restricts the opening of the Jasmine blossoms in the sachet.
Sachets are not bio-degradable
The Republic Of Tea Emperor's 100% White Tea – Best Value
Origin: Fujian, China
Ingredients: 100% white tea
Flavor and aroma: delicate and faintly sweet, complex tea with a light grassy flavor
Package: 50 sachets
Weight: 5.6 oz
More features: produced of unopened buds of the Camellia sinensis , buds are hand-plucked only a two days of the year right before the leaf opens
The Republic of Tea company encourages a sip by sip lifestyle, rather than drinking all at once so that you can truly enjoy the nice flavour. Due to the high quality of their products, the company has won several awards, and it is delightful that this particular offering has contributed to their success.
This white tea is a good, bagged white tea option. The tea leaves are grown only in China’s Fujian province, and it offers a nice sweet flavor. If you don’t enjoy steeping loose leaf teas this product from the Republic of Tea gives you the convenience of a bagged product with fine quality white tea leaves.
The Republic of Tea has made one of the best teas in the world. It is hand-plucked only two days out of the year, with the white leaf buds pulled just before the leaf opens for a nice, complex, and sweet flavour. It is one of the least processed options on the market, rich in antioxidants, and boasts of several health benefits. From one pack, you can get up to 50 servings which also make it one of the most economical options. It is very high in quality and value.
What are our favorite features?
Hand-plucked leaf buds
High in antioxidants
Economical with 50 servings per container
What could be better?
VAHDAM Blue Mountains – Budget Pick
Origin: Niligris, Southern India
Ingredients: 100% certified pure white tea
Flavor and aroma: unique floral taste with an exquisite aroma & mellow aftertaste
Package: loose, enough for 25 cups
Weight: 1.76 oz
More features: highest amount of anti-oxidants, fair-trade product, 100% moneyback guarantee
This tea is from a highly reputable company, just as most of the options on this list. Harvested on the foothills of the Himalayas, this loose leaf white tea is one of the finest to ever emerge from India. The tea leaves are grown in little quantities, no wonder then that drinking it feels like a luxury. Most of the white teas on the market have their origins from the Fujian province of China where white tea is traditionally harvested. However, the Vahdam Himalayan Imperial White Tea can be grown from anywhere in the world.
This is considered the Champagne of Teas and it’s organic, with a delightfully rich aroma and flavor that hints at dark chocolate and ripe fruit. Harvested from bushes grown at high elevations in the famed Oaks Tea estate, it has a lingering aftertaste and can be enjoyed in the morning or afternoon.
It is a fine loose leaf white tea sourced from the Glendale estate located in the blue mountain region of southern India. Tea farmers handpick these white tea leaves from select tea buds which still contain the white hairs on them. It contains a rich grassy taste with floral notes. It is simply a great white tea choice for any tea connoisseur.
What do we love it for?
Nice, sweet flavor
Offers health benefits
Tastes nice when combined with black tea
What were we disappointed with?
Might be too mild for some
Tealyra - Luxury Jasmine Silver Needle White Loose Tea – Best Chinese White Tea
Origin: Fujian, China
Ingredients: young leaves and buds with a light whisper of pure, delicate and fragrant jasmine blossoms
Flavor and aroma: delicately scented with fragrant jasmine, subtly sweet and highly fragrant, mild taste and aroma
Weight: 4 oz
More features: perfect for people with osteoporosis and arthritis
This product is one of the few teas you will find that is verified Silver Needle, which is the highest grade of white tea, it is infused with jasmine for a deeper flavour, but still has the health benefits and smooth tea properties of a pure white tea. It is organically grown in Fujian China, boosting the level of quality due to authenticity.
This rare loose leaf white tea from China’s Hunan Province is “steeped” in tradition and ancient legend. It is said that this tea gets its name from an old tea-maker who was terrorized by a group of monkeys that would trample upon his farmland. Frustrated, the man travelled to a distant land to get advice from a Shaman, and the Shaman gave this man a new recipe for a special kind of tea. The man then returned home and left 100 pounds of wooden tea in a chest. The next morning, the chest was empty, and the monkeys never returned.
If you’re looking for the highest quality white tea picked from the finest young tea leaves in China, this is your blend. This white peony provides a smooth, delicate, soft flavor and is an excellent tea for any time of the day. Also, when you steep this white tea, you will be able to see the buds expand and return to their original state.
Why did it make our list?
Silver Needle rating
Rich in antioxidants
What is not ideal about it?
Weighs just four ounces
Numi Organic Tea Orange Spice – Best Indian White Tea
Origin: Niligris, Southern India
Ingredients: organic white tea blended with real orango peel, dried schizandra berries, and lemongrass
Flavor and aroma: bright citrus notes and decadent spice, slightly sweet, delicate, smooth taste
A blend of organic white tea, orange peel, Schisandra berries, lemongrass and spices, the Numi Organic Tea orange spice white tea is also Non-GMO Project Verified. It is free from any artificial additives and a five to seven minute steep is suggested in freshly boiled water.
This white tea blend is also kosher, halal, gluten free, carbon free and uses sustainable packaging. The manufacturer is a B Corporation social enterprise. This 16 oz resealable pack of white tea blend is a balance of citrus with spice. However, some drinkers consider that the spice flavors, especially cloves and cinnamon, overpower the other flavors of the tea. This blend also contains more cinnamon, orange peel and cloves than white tea.
Numi flavors its white tea with several organic herbs, orange peel, and berries for a smooth blend with notes of citrus and spice. All the ingredients herein are pure, organic, and fair trade. Furthermore, the packaging is recyclable and sustainable. Numi also uses 100% real ingredients; hence you can rest assured that the tea doesn’t have any perfumes or flavorings.
It is also economical as each bag contains one full pound of tea leaves, containing several servings. Despite the generous supply and the high quality, this tea is priced very reasonably, although it still costs more than several others on the market.
What are our favorite features?
100% organic ingredients
What could be better?
Expensive than others
Teamonk Kimaya Darjeeling White Tea Loose Leaf – Best Loose White Tea
Ingredients: 100% certified pure white tea
Flavor and aroma: extremely subtle with clean and crisp floral notes, grassy aroma
This tea is curated exclusively by tea connoisseurs having more than 4 decades of tea experience.
This glow and immunity tea helps your body to get rid of toxins, thereby increasing your immunity and promoting clear glowing skin.
It is 100% pure tea as it contains no oils, no added aromas, no added flavours, no artificial essences, just pure and natural teas. It is completely pure, with only natural ingredients added to it. The bright light liquor is mellow and brimming with vitality.
Additionally, the caffeine level is low. It is totally safe to drink with the following certifications: USDA Organic, UTZ, Demeter, Fairtrade & Rainforest Alliance approved.
What stands out?
Nice sachet design
Very soothing taste
What cons did we manage to find?
Has a grassy taste that isn’t suitable for all
Things to Consider
White tea is one of the purest and healthiest types of tea you can drink. There are so many brands on the market which can make it a tad difficult to choose the right one. In this section, we will consider essential information about this tea as well as features that you should consider before making a buying choice.
White tea history
There is little consensus on a single definition of white tea. In China, white tea is defined by the plant sub-species it is derived from viz. Camellia sinensis var. Khenge Bai Hao and Camellia sinensis var. Fudin Bai Hao. These plant species are only found in Fujian province of China, and traditional methods of tea processing are followed to produce these whites.
In other tea growing regions, white tea is defined by the style of plucking. The ‘imperial pluck’ refers to the bud and first leaf of the plant, and some white tea is made using this pluck withered under the sun. Some tea experts also maintain that these qualify as white because of the presence of fine, silvery-white downy hair on the surface of the unopened buds and young shoots of a tea plant, which, upon drying, are noticeably silvery in appearance.
To make a white tea, the leaves are only withered and lightly rolled. As a result, the beverage is extremely light, pale-colored or blush-toned and characterized by mellow floral-fruity flavors.
How white tea is made
White tea is made in a few different ways, but there are some common points.
For example, the exact leaves or parts of the tea plant vary from region to region. This means that in some places tea leaves are just very young leaves from the tea plant, in others, they’re not even unfurled and are instead picked as buds.
In still some other cases the leaves are picked when they’ve just begun to unfurl, and so on.
The common point here is that white tea uses very, very young tea leaves: from buds to barely opened leaves, to only just opened. Then, the processing itself is very straightforward. Once picked, the leaves are simply left to wither and dry in the sun, which will also lighten their color to a pale yellow-grey-green.
Now, some tea masters stop here and consider the white tea to be ready. Others go on to bake or pan fry the leaves for a few seconds, to make sure there is no oxidation happening in time. You’ll find white teas made in any of the ways I just described, and they each have a slightly different flavor.
What you’ll very often find on white tea leaves are those thin, wispy hairs. They’re silver-white and grow naturally on the underside of tea leaves. Once the leaves reach maturity, they fall off. Having those little hairs is a sign the leaves are young, and in some white tea types, they’re actually sought after. They can’t harm you and are not a choking hazard.
What does white tea taste like?
White tea has a very delicate taste. This taste can be found in the products we reviewed above. For example, the VAHDAM Blue Mountains has a rather mellow taste.
But really, if you’ve never had white tea, you might just be underwhelmed at first. It’s not a ‘delicate but definitely sweet or fruity’ kind of tea. It really is something you have to build up to.
If you often drink strong-tasting drinks like coffee or soda or iced tea, then white tea might just fly under the radar for you.
Your best bet would be to first go through black tea, and get used to that. Then, you can go one step further and get used to the delicate green tea, which is going to offer you a mix between light flavor and still actually tasting something clearly.
Once you’re finally accustomed to green tea, and it doesn’t taste too ‘thin’ for you, you can consider white tea.
White tea is usually a bit of a flowery tea, in that it’s not as ‘green’ or grape-like as green tea. It’s going to present you with occasional hints of vanilla or ginger/lemon, but it won’t overwhelm you with anything. Some even have a citrus taste like the Numi Organic Tea Orange Spice.
White tea is more for relaxing and actively looking for the flavor, tasting every sip to see what notes you can find on your own since they won’t come quickly on their own.
It’s a kind of elusive tea when compared to bold black teas, for example.
White Tea health benefits
White tea comes with loads of benefits. Here are some of them.
1. It is rich in anti-oxidants
White tea is rich in a type of polyphenols called catechins. Polyphenols are plant-based molecules that act as antioxidants inside the body. Antioxidants protect the cells from damage by compounds called free radicals. Too much free-radical damage can have harmful effects on the body. It is linked to aging, chronic inflammation, a weakened immune system and a variety of harmful diseases.
Fortunately, white tea seems to be one of the best types of teas for fighting free radicals. In fact, studies suggest white tea has similar antioxidant benefits to green tea, which is known for its health benefits.
2. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is strongly linked to chronic inflammation, which has been associated with a variety of factors. These include diet, exercise and lifestyle habits like smoking.
Polyphenols like those found in white tea may help reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways. Polyphenols like those found in white tea may help relax blood vessels, boost immunity and prevent bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized. These factors may help lower the risk of heart disease.
3. Can help you to lose weight
Green tea is often the first tea that comes to mind when you think of teas for weight loss. However, white tea may be just as effective when it comes to burning fat.
Both teas have similar levels of caffeine and catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound in green tea linked to burning fat.
4. Helps to Protect Your Teeth from Bacteria
White tea is a great source of fluoride, catechins and tannins. This combination of molecules could help strengthen teeth by fighting bacteria and sugar. Fluoride can help prevent dental cavities by making the surface of teeth more resistant to acid attacks by bacteria in combination with sugar. Catechins are plant antioxidants that are abundant in white tea. They’ve been shown to inhibit the growth of plaque bacteria.
White tea is a great source of fluoride, catechins and tannins. Several studies have shown that these compounds can help fight bacteria that cause plaque on teeth.
5. Has Compounds that can Fight Cancer
White tea extract suppressed the growth of colon cancer cells and stopped them from spreading. The antioxidants in white tea extract also protect normal cells from damage by harmful molecules.
How to brew white tea?
If you are uncertain about your ability to prepare white tea correctly, then just follow the instructions in the video and enjoy your cup of tea.
Features to consider while buying the best white tea
Knowing how to brew a cup of white tea still isn’t everything, because when purchasing white tea you should always remember to consider following features in order for your beverage to suite your taste preferences and needs.
There aren’t many white teas out there, and most will be simple white teas.
For example, some of the most famous white teas are:
Bai Mudan, or White Peony. This is a tea that’s made with two freshly unfurled leaves and one bud. This is a formation very often found on Camellia sinensis plants, and if the leaves were left to grow a bit more, it would be the main leaves used for regular green tea. So, White Peony is a middle white tea you can get, since its leaves are already unfurled but are plucked early in the year. This does not make up a very delicate flavor, instead, focuses on a slightly floral note to the white tea. Actually, the floral note resembles peonies, hence the name of the tea.
In general, the younger the leaves, or better yet buds, the more delicate the tea. And Bai Mudan is one of the most common white teas you’ll find on the market. Another white tea, the Baihai Tinzhen is also known as Silver Needle. This is the most delicate tea, and it’s one of the most highly prized white teas.
Its name comes from the shape of the tea buds, leaves that haven’t unfurled yet. This makes the buds look like dried, long, thin sticks which ended up resembling needles. And the silver comes from the fine silver hairs covering the tea buds, which is the main reason this tea is one of the most expensive and sought after. Even at the tea house I usually get my tea from, a white tea is double or triple the price of a good green tea.
Back the flavor of a silver Needle, this is one of the more delicate ones, so it’s going to be even lighter than White Peony and more floral. An example is the Tealyra – Luxury Jasmine Silver Needle White Loose Tea.
There’s also Shoumei, which is a bold white tea, as white teas go. It’s plucked later in the year than White Peony, meaning its flavor will be a bit fruitier, and produce a darker color in the cup, but still a pale sort of yellow. Aside from these 3 main types, there are also blended white teas, which are simply white tea with jasmine flavor, or white tea with lemon and vanilla, and so on.
White tea comes in a wide variety of packages, and it is up to you to choose which you prefer. Some of them come in bio-degradable packages which is great for the environment. The Numi Organic Tea Orange Spice, for example, comes in such a package.
White tea vs. green tea
Both white and green teas come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis. White tea leaves are harvested at a younger age than green tea leaves. White tea is considered rare and is usually more expensive than green, as it can only be handpicked during a few days of early spring and has to be handled with such care.
Green tea involves slightly more processing compared to white tea. White tea is steamed rapidly and then dried. While green tea is partially fermented. First, it’s steamed, fired and then rolled. Black tea, on the other hand, is fully fermented. Because white and green teas are treated gently and not overly processed, they retain most of their beneficial antioxidants. Green tea is considered rich in antioxidants. However, since white tea is less processed, it retains a higher amount of antioxidants, compared to green.
White tea contains the same types of antioxidants as green tea but in greater quantity. These antioxidants are found to have many health-promoting properties, including boosting cardiovascular health, helping to lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of cancer and enhancing weight loss. The caffeine component of green tea has been shown to have a positive effect on green tea’s ability to help with weight loss – so choosing green over white in this instance maybe more beneficial as green tea contains slightly more caffeine. Green tea contains around 20g of caffeine; compared to white that has around 15g. In comparison, black tea contains around 45mg.
White tea also tastes different to green, having a smoother, gentler, almost sweet taste.
Yes. White tea has the lowest caffeine content of all the true teas. In general, a normal-sized cup of white tea contains anywhere from 15 to 20 milligrams of caffeine. Green tea contains slightly more caffeine than white tea and less caffeine than black tea at 35 to 70 milligrams per serving. One thing to note is that matcha tea has higher amounts than other green tea since the tea is made of the entire ground tea leaf.
Tea usually contains caffeine, which many experts claim isn’t ideal for kids. Thankfully, white tea contains a low amount of caffeine. Hence, even children can be introduced to it.
There are different white tea brands on the market today, and it can be a dilemma choosing a particular brand. That is why we have provided you with this review and guide. From our tasting, the Harney & Sons White Tea is our top pick. The taste of white tea is very mild. This tea brews up fairly dark for a white tea, a medium amber color darker than most green teas. It is also a medium-bodied tea with a floral, jasmine aroma that is lightly caffeinated. Next, is The Republic of Tea Emperor’s 100% White Tea. This China White Tea is revered for its unmatched subtlety, complexity and mellow, sweet notes. For people on a budget, VAHDAM Blue Mountains is an excellent choice. It contains a rich grassy taste with floral notes and is simply a great white tea choice for any tea connoisseur. We hope this review and guide will help you to select the best white tea.