The origins white tea can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), when it became the choice of royal courts. For about a century this tea remained unchanged, until specific variations of tea bushes were selected for making specialty white teas, notably Silver Needle, in 1885. Chinese export of these teas began in 1891. In addition to this version, there exist a number of legends about the origins white tea that have passed from generation to generation. According to one of such stories that dates back to 2,700 B.C., tea leaves fell accidentally into Chinese herbalist's pot with hot water. On discovering fine flavors and soothing taste of the new beverage, he instructed his people to consume it instead of water.
Another story related to origins white tea tells about the Indian Monk - Bodhidharma went into a nine-year meditation. In order to avoid sleeping during Zen experience, he cut his eyelids, and the place where they fell, a tea bush began to grow from the earth. Thus, the white tea plant has found home with Buddhists, helping them maintain high levels of concentration in their meditation.
There exist a number of other stories concerning the origins white tea and the way it found itself in a cup of boiling water. However, whether it was an Emperor, a Buddhist monk or a cultivator, white tea is highly appreciated for its ability to nurture the body and the soul. Healing properties and outstanding taste characteristics of white tea make it the most popular beverage after water in the world. Before this tea was introduced to many countries worldwide through trade, it enjoyed great success in China. Among the first countries to get a taste of this unique beverage was the Turkish Empire, while white tea made its way to Europe through the Portuguese outpost in Macau, and to America it came with the early British settlers.
Today white tea is enjoying wide popularity even in the most remote countries of the world, and not without reason: for centuries people were aware of white tea health benefits and widely used its healing properties for preventing and curing many diseases. Thus, recent studies show that white tea has more antioxidants or cancer fighting benefits that green tea. In addition, it is rich in Vitamins B, C, K, P, fluoride, catechins, tannin and polyphenols. Despite the fact that white tea contains a high level of caffeine, its amounts are less than those in coffee, producing softer and more beneficial effect. Great concentrations of polyphenols in white tea help destroy bacteria which cause various diseases. Consuming the tea at least four times a day will definitely have a positive impact on your health.
Some of the most popular white teas include white peony tea and silver tip white tea. The latter is recognized as a top grade tea and is produced at Zhenghe areas of Fujian province. For tea lovers it is associated with the best flavor, aroma and fragrance. White peony tea, known also as Pai Mu Dan is made from leaves and buds remaining after silver tip white tea.
This tea is mild and sweet with darker color and bolder aroma, though extremely full-bodied.