White tea leaves includes those fresh , tiny, leaves and buds which are plucked when they remain young from the Camellia Sinensis tea plant. After that they are dried in the sun.
It is seen that white tea consists of some pale yellow structure with a typical fruity flavor. So in this process, the catechins which is a form of antioxidant gets stored in this process
The catechins (a type of antioxidants) are retained by this process and they are found to be in large extent in this kind of tea.
When we hook into the history of white tea, we find that the first trace of white tea dates back to the Tang Dynasty in China where it was made into compressed cakes and prepared in clay pots. Stories confirm that during the Song Dynasty the white tea gained popularity and was only for the Emperor and other Rulers from his court. They traced that the youngest buds of the tea plant produced a mild flavored tea with yellowish-green drink, which was finer than the black tea.
Similar like the traditional preparation of Matcha in the Japanese tea ceremony, the white tea in ancient China was previously used as a powder which was whipped in porcelain bowls. Later it was replaced by loose leaf white tea, which then became mandatory to be served as a tribute to the Emperor, thus bringing change in the white tea processing.
Now when we try to find out what makes White tea so expensive, we come to know some important points like the ‘White tea’ gets its name from the fine white “pekoe” hairs that envelopes the greenish grey tea leaves, apart from its pale yellow-green colored tea drink.
Since only the youngest buds , leaves goes into the preparation of White tea, so harvesting is time consuming and production remains limited, as such white tea prices keeps on increasing when compared to other teas.
Most popular white teas’ includes Silver Needle and White Peony. said Stories elucidate that during the Qing Dynasty, White Peony was fabricated from the young buds of the tea plants that grew in and around the Fujian region.
But in the mid 18th century, a new variety of tea tree was discovered in the region called the Fuding, which had larger buds with strong scent. These were then used in the making of Silver Needle white tea. Since the tea buds were dried in the sun, maximum flavor of the tea could be retained.
Silver Needle white tea is packed with antioxidants with low caffeine. It is expensive because it has a limited production, time consuming to yield and soothing for the taste- buds. Mostly made from the first flush (yield) of the year, and the demand for the first yielding tea leaves is quite huge .