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White Tea

A coy relative of its more boisterous black and green cousins, white tea is the least processed form of the camellia sinensis tea plant, resulting in the pale hues that give this tea its name.

Steeped in lore from the beginning, white tea has been attributed many a rejuvenating quality and enjoys a particularly ceremonious harvest. In fact, during the 5th and 6th centuries, virgins were employed to collect the tender leaves with golden scissors, collecting them in golden bowls. This most precious of teas was presented as a tribute to the emperor, whose regal lips were the first to touch this vestal libation.

The harvesting process may look somewhat different these days, but the delicate treatment remains: After being plucked, the leaves and buds are left to wither lightly in the sun before being gently heat-processed to halt oxidation.

The characteristic flavor notes of white teas – light, floral and with hints of fruit or smoke – reflect their subtle pedigree.