White tea comes from leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The leaves are harvested young while the buds are still covered in very fine, white hairs. The best quality white tea is harvested first and the leaves gently dried, as a result of careful handling, white tea buds still have the same high concentration of antioxidants as fresh tea leaves.
The finest qualities of white tea, often known as ‘Silver Needle’ consist exclusively of undamaged and unopened buds of tea leaves, which are hand picked during Spring, usually between March and April. By this point, the buds have reached the perfect balance between youth and maturity which gives the best-tasting tea. Other qualities of white tea may incorporate young leaves that are no longer buds.
The leaves and buds are withered over a few hours and air dried. The temperature and air moisture are taken into consideration during the production process, as the art is to get a perfect balance between solar and indoor withering. The extremely gentle and quick processing means the buds and leaves are left very much like their natural state, allowing the antioxidants in the leaves to survive intact, making white tea a great option for the health-conscious.