How to Make White Tea –– Brewing the Most Delicate Type of Tea
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world –– only outdone by water. While you're likely familiar with green tea and black tea, perhaps even oolong tea, white tea is not widely known in the west. However, white tea is one of the true teas from the Camellia Sinensis plant, along with green, black, oolong, and the rare, expensive yellow tea (very similar to green tea, with an added step of encasing and steaming the tea).
White tea is the most delicate and least processed of all true teas. Because of this, it has a very mild flavor profile, a soft finish, and, despite its name, brews to a pale-yellow color. Typically, white tea features a slightly sweet flavor. There should be no bold, bitter taste –– as long as you brew it correctly.
Much like white and black are opposites, so, too, are white and black teas. Black tea has a long oxidation process –– think of its dark, rich color –– while white teas will wither and dry if left in the sun. Their flavor profiles are opposites as well. The bright, bold flavor you may love in a black tea is in stark contrast to the delicate, light profile of white tea. Grown in China, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and Thailand, white tea is harvested before the tea leaves open.
Why drink white tea? Aside from its delicious, delicate taste, it packs a ton of health benefits. Think rich in antioxidants –– meaning it can help eliminate free radicals, promote healthy skin and hair, and more, increased energy or alertness, may help prevent the growth of bacteria, prevent tooth decay, and so much more. Yep, it's that good.
Now that you have a grasp of what white tea is –– and what it isn't –– let's dive into how to brew up the best mug of white tea.
How Much White Tea Per Cup?
When you're brewing up your favorite mug of white tea, you'll scoop 1.5 teaspoons of tea per 8-ounces of water. If you're brewing up tea to share, you'll want to add more loose leaf tea into the brew, so you get to taste its full flavor and the maximum health benefits (hot tip: white tea has a ton of health benefits!).
The Tiesta Tea Brewmaster is a 16-ounce tea infuser, so it makes it easy to brew up a mug for you and for someone you love. Pour in 3 teaspoons of tea, adding 16 ounces of 175° F water and let it steep for 3-5 minutes. Grab two mugs, let the Brewmaster's gravity straining do the work for you, and say cheers!
How to Make Iced White Tea
When ordering iced tea in a restaurant or pre-made in the store, it's typically black or green tea. That means you've probably never experienced the magic of the naturally sweet, floral flavors of white tea served over ice. And you're in for a real treat. Plus, you guessed it, home-brewed iced white tea made with loose leaf tea tastes so much better than anything store-bought. Bonus –– it's super simple to make.
Step One: Measure Your Tea
Since you'll be diluting the tea with ice, always double the amount of loose leaf you add. For a single-serving glass of iced white tea, you'll scoop in 3 teaspoons of the blend of your choice.
Step Two: Pour in Hot Water
Whatever tea accessory you're using to make your iced tea –– a Brewmaster, Brewbasket, tea filter, or tea ball, make sure you're using 175° F temperature anytime you brew white tea. If you use water that is too hot, you'll scald these delicate white tea leaves. Please be careful with white tea! Brewed properly, there will be no astringent taste –– the leaves and flavors are so light and delightful, so do them justice by brewing 'em up right!
Step Three: Steep Your Blend
When brewing your tea, we recommend setting a timer so you don't forget about the tea. Trust us –– we've all been there. It's so easy to lose track of time. Just set the timer. Remember, if you let tea over steep, you'll have bitter tea, and no one wants that. No matter which blend of white tea you're enjoying, you'll steep the tea in hot water for 3-5 minutes. The longer the steep time, the stronger the brew –– so choose the time and strength that works best for you.
Step Four: Strain, Ice, Enjoy!
As soon as your 3-5 minutes are up, strain your tea immediately. The simplest method is to use a Brewmaster that pours your brew directly over your cup filled with ice, but any accessory will work. Doctor up your tea to your liking –– maybe that means garnishing with a lemon wedge, a dash of sugar, or plain –– it's your tea, we won't tell you how to drink it. What we will say is, cheers to Living Loose!
How to Make White Tea Taste Better?
At Tiesta Tea, we've worked hard to make all tea accessible, so whether you've been a tea drinker for years or you're just starting to dip your toe into drinking white tea, we've got you covered.
Just like with coffee, some people prefer to drink it plain, some soften or sweeten the flavor a bit –– or a lot –– so do what works for you! Take a sip of it plain, and make the decision that suits your tastebuds.
If you do decide to flavor your tea, some ideas include:
- Sugar (or your favorite sugar substitute)
- A squeeze of lemon
- Half and half
- Fresh fruit
The options to make your white tea more of your cup of tea are endless, so feel free to experiment to get that perfect hot tea or iced tea that you're after.
How to Make Cold Brew White Tea
Over the past several years, cold brew has caught on. From coffee to tea, cold brew boasts some perks that the iced variety does not. For starters, cold brew means it has been just that –– cold-brewed.
Tea can become bitter when exposed or overexposed to heat. Cold brewing prevents that bitter, astringent taste, making for a smoother, sweeter, less acidic taste. The cold water used extracts more flavors from the leaves over time, resulting in such a smooth, clean taste.
The beauty of loose leaf tea? You can brew your own cold brew white tea right at home. It's a simple process, too. Honestly, the hardest part is waiting patiently until that delicious cold brew is ready to drink.
Here's how it's done:
- Combine loose leaf tea in your accessory of choice with cold water in a pitcher
- Let the tea infuse the water for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator
- Strain and enjoy your cold brew
- Cold brew white tea will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge –– if you don't drink it all first, that is
Ready to Try Some White Tea?
At Tiesta Tea, we travel around the globe to source the best quality ingredients to produce the best cup of tea. We believe in making loose leaf tea that's accessible and affordable without sacrificing quality. Ready to brew up some white tea? Check out our white tea selection here. Cheers to Living Loose!