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The Miraculous White Tea - Keeping You Healthy

Legend has it that tea drinking was invented by accident about 5000 years ago in China. A Chinese emperor had ordered foul water to be boiled and a leaf blew into his cup of hot water. Curiosity then took over and he left the leaf in place. He liked the taste and so the art of tea drinking was born! The details may not be exactly right but it is probably through accident and curiosity that the beverage of tea was discovered.

In China, white tea is well known and has been drunk for centuries. It first came to prominence around 1000 years ago but it is only in recent times that it has become known outside the Far East. During the 19th century, Chinese tea growers began to develop different varieties of white tea and to export on any kind of grand scale.

Good quality white tea is a fine drink indeed. The tea buds and selected leaves are harvested by hand only in the early spring. The highest grade of this tea variety is harvested only during a three week period at the end of March and into April, on dry frost-free days. These leaves and buds are then slowly dried, taking on the characteristic silvery-white hue that gives the tea its name. It is subjected therefore to only very minimal handling and processing which is probably the reason that it retains such a high proportion of the beneficial components.

In common with Green tea, Oolong, Puerh and the other classic Chinese teas, this tea is believed to have significant health benefits as it contains high levels of anti-oxidant chemicals and polyphenols. These are thought to help to protect the human body against cancer.

When selecting a white tea, avoid completely those in tea bags, you might as well just drink ordinary black tea! The levels of processing are high and the tea loses its flavour and health benefits. Choose a loose variety, preferably organic. A good quality variety should have a bright, crisp leaf colour and the buds should be covered in tiny hairs with a white or silvery hue. If the tea is sold as the 'needle' variety, that refers to the proportion of buds to leaves. A needle tea should contain upwards of 95 percent of buds.

So the next time that you take time out from work and nip round to your local tea shop for a cuppa, ask for a white tea and feel the benefit. Or if you are a tea shop owner, be sure to have it on the menu, your customers will appreciate that!

Looking for a healthier life? Then drink loose organic white and green tea from China. To find out more about the health benefits of white and green teas, check out the In Nature teas for life web site.

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