White Tea

Types of White Tea: Benefits, Flavors, Prep, and More

Posted by Ashley Davis on

Tea ranks second only to water as the most widely consumed beverage in the world. In terms of the US, you can find tea in 80% of all households.

It’s the only beverage people serve hot or cold, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion.

There are several types of tea, from your herbal tea varieties to your classic black and green teas. But many overlook white tea.

White tea offers a wide range of health benefits. Plus, there are several types to choose from depending on your personal tastes and preferences.

In this article, you’ll learn all about white tea and why you should add it to your tea collection.

The History of White Tea

White tea’s rich historical legacy stretches back centuries. Its roots trace back to ancient China during the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD).


During this time, people loved white tea for its delicate flavor and health benefits, especially among Chinese royalty and scholars.


 A glass cup of clear liquid sits on a polished pink stone slab with metallic gold edges. Dried Club Magic Hour Silver Moon White Tea leaves are scattered on the surface of the slab and the surrounding area. Shadows of the cup and tea leaves fall on the light pink background. 

When the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) came around, white tea became more popular. People even used it as a tribute to the imperial court. Because it was rare and had an exquisite taste, white tea was a symbol of luxury for the elite class.


New varieties of white tea came about in the 20th century. There were also new cultivation and processing methods. This meant new flavors that muttered to different tastes and preferences. This also made it more accessible to more people.


So, what did the white tea production process look like?


Artisans would crush white tea leaves into a fine powder and whisk them with hot water during tea ceremonies. These tea ceremonies were a practice that originated in China and later spread to Japan as part of the tea culture.


This production method brings out the pure and natural flavors of white tea.


Today, things are pretty much the same. This speaks to its enduring legacy and timeless appeal.

Health Benefits of White Tea

White tea offers several health benefits. Health enthusiasts often compare it to its well-known counterpart, green tea.


For example, they both have a high antioxidant content‌ — ‌such as catechins and polyphenols. These antioxidants are great for fighting inflammation and protecting the body against free radicals.


Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and cell damage, which can lead to a range of health issues.


By neutralizing free radicals, white tea can help repair cells and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease.


White tea also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation often leads to health conditions like arthritis and autoimmune diseases.

A glass cup of tea sits on a light pink plate, with hand-rolled white tea leaves scattered nearby. Pink flower petals are placed around the plate, creating a delicate arrangement. The lighting casts soft shadows, adding a warm and inviting ambiance that complements the exquisite taste of Magic Hour White Tea Pearls. 

Here are some other possible health benefits of white tea:


  • Reduces blood sugar: Studies have shown that the compounds in white tea can help reduce blood sugar levels and lower your risk of insulin resistance.
  • Increases metabolism: White tea can improve metabolism and promote fat burning. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, consider adding white tea to your weight loss regimen.
  • Promotes healthy teeth: Did you know that white tea has antibacterial properties? It contains fluoride, catechins, and tannins. Together, these compounds help fight bacteria and sugar. This promotes stronger, healthier teeth by protecting against cavities and gum disease.
  • Protects against osteoporosis: The flavonoids in white tea can help promote bone health by promoting new bone tissue growth. This may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Types of White Tea

Below we talk about some of the most popular types of white tea.

Chinese White Teas


Chinese white tea comes in many varieties. They all differ in taste, history, preparation, and caffeine content.

Silver Needles

Silver Needles white tea is also known as Bai Hao Yin Zhen. It’s one of China’s most prized white teas. Artisans craft only the buds of the tea plant, which they cover in white hairs, which look like silver needles.


History: Silver Needles white tea dates back to the Tang Dynasty. During this time, royalty and nobility enjoyed this tea due to its rarity and superior quality.

Preparation: Pour hot water over the tea leaves and let them steep for a few minutes. Due to the delicate buds, be gentle when handling the tea. Overhandling can cause a bitter taste.


Caffeine content: Silver Needs contains a moderate amount of caffeine due to its young buds.

White Peony

Bai Mudan White Tea-Luxe Pouch (Up tp 60 Cups!)-Magic Hour 

White Peony tea also goes by the name Bai Mudan. Artisans craft this variety from both the young buds and the leaves of the tea plant. This creates a slightly darker color and fuller taste compared to Silver Needles,


History: White Peony has a rich history in Chinese tea culture. Farmers and agriculturists have cultivated this tea variety for centuries in the Fujian province of China. Tea drinkers enjoy White Peony’s refreshing and mellow flavor.

Preparation: Steep the tea leaves in hot water. The resulting brew is light and aromatic, with hints of floral and fruity notes.


Caffeine content: White Peony has moderate caffeine levels.


Magic Hour offers Bai Mudan White Tea (White Peony) leaves with honey and floral flavor notes.

Noble, Long-Life Eyebrow

Also known as Shou Mei, Nobile Long-Life Eyebrow originates from mature tea leaves and buds. This gives it a robust, earthy taste.


History: Chinese emperors and scholars enjoyed Nobile, Long-Life Eyebrow tea. Like White Peony, it originates from the Fujian province of China.

Preparation: Steep in hot water. Enjoy the bold and complex flavors, with notes of woodiness and sweetness.


Caffeine content: Noble Long-Life Eyebrow tea has slightly higher amounts of caffeine than Silver Needles and White Peony due to its mature leaves.


Tribute Eyebrow

Tribute Eyebrow, or Gong Mei, is a blend of young leaves and buds, which both add to its quality and taste.


History: Local officials and wealthy merchants often offered Tribute Eyebrow as a tribute to the imperial court during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Preparation: Steep leaves in hot water. Enjoy the smooth and balanced flavors.


Caffeine content: Tribute Eyebrow has moderate caffeine levels.


Moonlight tea also goes by the name Yue Guang Bai. It’s a rare and prized white tea. It has a unique flavor profile and production process. When harvesting Moonlight, tea pickers carefully select leaves and buds during moonlit nights or early mornings. Moonlight tea often undergoes indoor withering and pile-fermentation, which enhances its flavor and aroma.


History: Moonlight tea has a mythical aura surrounding it. And it dates back to ancient Chinese legends and folklore. Emperors and royalty enjoyed the white tea variety for its exceptional taste and health benefits.

Preparation: Steep in hot water for several minutes. The result is a light and refreshing brew with subtle hints of floral and citrus notes.


Caffeine content: Moonlight tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine.

Sri Lankan White Tea


Sri Lankan White Tea comes from “silver tips” or buds from the tea plant. This creates a refined taste and appearance.


Sri Lankan White Tea contains lower levels of caffeine than other tea varieties. To prepare Sri Lankan White Tea, steep the tea leaves in hot water for 2–3 minutes.

Himalayan White Tea

Himalayan White Tea comes from the majestic Himalayan region. Its distinctive flavor profile features mellow honey and wildflower notes, leaving a refreshing sensation on the palate.


Tea drinkers also appreciate that it has a low caffeine content. To prepare, steep in hot water, around 180°F, for 2–3 minutes.

Indian White Tea

People know Indian White Tea for its delicate flavor and subtle aroma. Artisans craft it from the tender buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.


This tea variety has a pale golden hue and a velvety texture. This makes for a smooth and refreshing drinking experience.


To produce Indian White Tea, agriculturalists wither the young buds and leaves to remove excess moisture. Then, they gently dry them to preserve their delicate flavors.


Historically, Indians have associated this tea with wellness and vitality. They often incorporate it into their Ayurvedic remedies and holistic healing rituals.

African White Tea

African White Tea comes from only the twigs or the stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. This gives it a potent and grassy flavor profile.


After harvesting, the tea twigs undergo a withering and gentle drying process, which ensures the tea’s natural flavors shine through.


Rich in antioxidants and low in caffeine, African White Tea is a popular choice among tea drinkers worldwide who value its many health benefits.

Preparing White Tea

  1. Boil fresh, filtered water (around 175–185°F) and allow it to cool slightly.
  2. Place your white tea leaves in a teapot or infuser.
  3. Pour the boiling water onto the tea leaves and allow them to steep for 2–3 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea leaves and pour the brewed tea into a cup or mug.
  5. Enjoy the delicate flavor and aroma of your freshly brewed tea.


Consider infusing your white tea multiple times to reveal new layers of flavor.


Buying and Storing White Tea

When buying and storing white tea:


  • Consider appearance and flavor. Look for white tea varieties with intact, whole leaves and buds. Different varieties offer different flavor profiles. So, choose based on your preferences.
  • Keep it in a cool, dark place, away from light, heat, oxygen, and moisture to preserve freshness. Consider using an opaque, airtight container.

Tea Time

With so many types of white tea to choose from, there’s likely a variety that appeals to your unique taste buds.


Just make sure you carefully store your cherished leaves so that you can enjoy them for many delightful tea moments to come.


For tea that tastes exquisite and divine, try the extensive selection from Magic Hour.

Shop all White Teas

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