Produced originally only in China, white tea has quickly spread to many countries worldwide through trade and enjoys currently wide popularity even in the most remote parts of the world. This success was achieved due to significant health benefits of white tea widely practiced in medicine. First and foremost, white tea is believed to contain a greater concentration of nutritive components found in green teas, and hence, is much more effective in preventing cancer and decreasing LDL cholesterol.
According to recent university studies, white tea extract is able to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi in the human body. When consumed with honey, white tea is an excellent antimicrobial elixir.
Despite the claims that white tea has more caffeine as compared to black and green teas, white tea caffeine content is in fact much lower. The caffeine can be found in the leaf when the latter is harvested, so a definite mass of tea leaves will have a definite mass of caffeine, irrespective of how long the tea leaves are left to oxidization. The difference is which amount of this caffeine gets from the tea leaf to a cup of tea. White tea caffeine content in brewed tea is much lower than in brewed black, oolong or green tea, mainly because the tea leaves are larger and they undergo less mechanical processing.
The first and the second tea leaves are believed to have the largest caffeine amount at 3.4%. White tea caffeine content also depends on the time of fermentation: the longer tea leaves have fermented, the larger amount of caffeine they contain. In recent years, decaffeinated tea has enjoyed immense success with health conscious tea drinkers. It should be mentioned though that decaffeinated tea is far from being caffeine free, as many people used to think, but still contains some 0.4% by dry weight caffeine content. The only tea variations that are caffeine free are herbal infusions, since they are made from plants not related to Camellia sinensis.
White tea and coffee are both significant sources of caffeine, the amounts of latter in single serving of such beverages may vary essentially. Thus, an average serving of coffee has the largest amount of caffeine, while the same serving of tea contains only 1/2 - 1/3 as much. It should be mentioned though, that tea contains more caffeine than coffee when measured in its dry form.
During several past decades, research on caffeine in relation to cancer, birth defects, behavior in children, reproductive function, fibrocystic disease and cardiovascular disease has proven no essential hazard from normal caffeine consumption. The highest concentration of caffeine can be generally found in black tea, followed by oolong and green teas. White tea caffeine content can be compared to that of decaffeinated tea. Some of the most popular white tea variations include White Pearls, Flowery Pekoe White, Mutan White, Silver Needle, White Peony, Tribute Eyebrow and Noble, Long Life Eyebrow.
They are characterized by rich flavor and light color distinguishing them from other teas made from Camellia sinensis tea plant.