A type of tea that is made from the young silky white-haired buds growing on the same tea shrub that also produces green and black tea. The buds are generally picked within 2 days or less after they have opened to provide a tender and rich bud for the tea. All white tea is produced with very little processing as it is quickly steamed immediately after the buds are harvested and is then dried for use as a tea, resulting in less coloration to the liquid beverage when brewed. Processing the tea in this manner creates a blend that retains a larger concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants than other teas, both of which are considered to be valuable cancer fighting compounds.
Generally, the black and green teas are made from whole leaves that are picked, held for processing and then fermented or roasted before being packaged into tea bags. With colors that range from pale yellow or green to dark rust brown, depending on the age of the buds, white tea provides a smooth delicate flavor that may be slightly sweet and will not typically contain a grassy undertone common in green teas. White tea is not only higher in cancer fighting compounds but also lower in caffeine content. It is available in a variety of flavors and types.