Generally, around 2 to 2.5 grams of tea per 200 ml (6 ounces) of water, or about 1.5 teaspoons of white tea per cup, should be used. White teas should be prepared with 80°C (180°F) water (not boiling) and steeped for 2 to 3 minutes. Many tea graders, however, choose to brew this tea for much longer, as long as 10 minutes on the first infusion, to allow the delicate aromas to develop. Finer teas will exhibit more flavour and complexity with no bitterness as they brew. Lower grade teas do not always stand this test well and develop bitter flavors or tannins. On successive brews (white teas produce three very good brews and a fourth that is passable), extend the time by several minutes per. The third brew may require as long as 15 minutes to develop well. Temperature is crucial: if it is too hot, the brew will be bitter and the finer flavors will be overpowered.
White tea is the uncured and unoxidized tea leaf. White tea is fast-dried, while green tea is roasted in an oven or pan (kept moving for even curing). Oolong and black teas are oxidized before curing.
White tea often contains buds and young tea leaves, which have been found to contain lower levels of caffeine than older leaves, suggesting that the caffeine content of some white teas may be slightly lower than that of green teas.
White tea is a specialty of the Chinese province Fujian. The leaves come from a
number of varieties of tea cultivars. The most popular are Da Bai (Large White),
Xiao Bai (Small White), Narcissus and Chaicha bushes. According to the different standards of picking and selection, white teas can be classified into a number of grades, further described in the varieties section.