There’s nothing mysterious about white tea. It’s made from the same Camellia sinensis plant that black and green tea comes from — only the processing method differs.
Yet the result is a remarkably lighter, nutrient-packed brew that’s surprisingly nuanced and never overpowering. If you’re ready to try something new, liven up your cup with one of our recommended white teas.
Our recommendations for Best White Teas:
- Best Loose Leaf White Tea: VAHDAM Blue Mountain Nilgiri
- Best Organic: Buddha Teas Organic White Tea
- Best White Teabags: Taylors of Harrogate White Tea
- Premium Option: Taimei Teatime Premium Silver Needle
- Best Flavored: The Republic of Tea Cucumber Mint White Tea
- Best Sampler Set: VAHDAM White Tea Loose Leaf Sampler
White Tea Benefits
White tea is minimally processed, so it retains more key nutrients than most other varieties.
Ounce for ounce, it contains more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables. From Vitamin C to polyphenols, antioxidants are potent compounds that rev up metabolism and protect the body from inflammation.
Here are a few good reasons to start drinking white tea:
Weight Loss: Green tea has a proven reputation for promoting weight loss, but did you know that white tea has a similar effect? A 2010 review study shows that it can boost your metabolism and burn an additional 70-100 calories daily. That’s good news for dieters who don’t like the grassy taste of green tea.
Heart Health: As part of a healthy lifestyle, three or more cups of white tea daily may significantly lower your risk of heart disease. How it works isn’t exactly clear, but researchers know that polyphenols relax cardiac blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Cancer Prevention: White tea may also prevent the growth of malignant cells. In preliminary studies, it shows promise for the treatment of lung and colon cancers.
Brain Protection: The same inflammation that causes arthritis pain is also linked to degenerative changes in the brain. Packed with polyphenols, white tea may help prevent Parkinson’s and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 35-percent.
Radiant Skin: Drinking white tea supports the collagen network that keeps skin firm and youthful. Applied topically, white tea extract helps protect skin cells from UV damage, a primary cause of premature wrinkles.
Strong Bones: More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, putting them at increased risk of fractures. The antioxidants in white tea suppress the free radicals that break down bone cells.
Pearly Whites: Sipping on sugary beverages is a recipe for tooth decay. But polyphenols inhibit the growth of the plaque-causing bacteria that cause cavities, so you can sip white tea guilt-free.
Best White Tea Brands Reviewed
Best Loose Leaf White Tea: VAHDAM Blue Mountain Nilgiri
Grown, harvested, and packed in the Nilgiri Mountain region of southern India, this single varietal loose-leaf is mellow but rich and brimming with antioxidants. Delicious hot or iced, it has an intense floral aroma and a sweet edge.
- Amount: 1.76 oz (50 g)
- Type: Blue Mountain Loose Leaf White Tea
- Unique mellow taste with floral notes
- Special single estate tea
- Produced ethically by supporting the local community
- VAHDAM is a carbon and plastic neutral brand
VAHDAM teas is known as one of the best tea brands for their superior quality and incomparable flavor. This tea comes vacuum-packed in a puncture-resistant Mylar bag for freshness. Transfer leftover tea to the complementary aluminum-lined zipper bag, so your last cup is as fresh as the first.
The price point is high but appropriate for the quality, and it includes social and environmental benefits. VADHAM is certified climate- and plastic-neutral. Future-forward, they donate one percent of their revenue to educate tea workers’ children. It’s a noble sip.
Best Organic White Tea: Buddha Teas Organic White Tea
Buddha Teas’ organic white is made from the world’s finest White Peony leaves. Handpicked in the spring for optimal flavor, it’s an understated brew with delicate fruity notes and a light herbal aroma that pairs well with a splash of citrus.
- Amount: 18 tea bags
- Type: White Peony Organic White Tea in Tea Bags
- High-quality Chinese white tea
- USDA certified organic
- Bleach-free tea bags
- Packaging is made with recycled materials
- All US orders of at least $50 receive free shipping!
Each resealable box contains 18 bleach-free tea bags that have a light brown color. They contain no dioxin or other toxic whitening agents.
The eco-friendly packaging is made of post-consumer materials and is fully recyclable. Colorado-based, Buddha Teas partners with the National Tree Foundation to plant millions of new trees. It’s their gift to you and the planet.
Simple and modestly priced, this organic white tea is delicious and refreshing both hot and iced.
Best White Tea Bags: Taylors of Harrogate White Tea
A British institution since 1886, few companies are as particular about their tea as Taylors of Harrogate. Their white is made with leaves that are sourced directly from China, and only the finest farms make the cut.
- Amount: 20 tea bags
- Type: White Tea in Tea Bags
- Mild taste with floral and fruity notes
- Quick and easy to brew
- Great value for money
- Rainforest Alliance and Ethical Tea Partnership certified
This tea is unimposing but not weak with a wispy wildflower scent and a pleasant hint of peach. Unlike some teas, the brewing process is forgiving — it’s hard to make a mistake. Perfect with honey, subtle flavor nuances may be lost in milk. Try it plain first.
The bags come in a recyclable cardboard box that’s refined enough for gift-giving but may not keep tea fresh — put them in an airtight container for the best results.
The recipient of a Queen’s Award for promoting sustainable supply chains, Taylors of Harrogate is accredited by the Rainforest Alliance and a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership. The company cultivates long-term relationships with their growers, so each bag is consistently flavorful and a great value for your money. Save a little more by buying in bulk.
Premium Option: Taimei Teatime Premium Silver Needle White Tea
Taimei takes tea to the next level with its Silver Needle loose leaf. Grown in the heart of Fujian province, each batch is expertly blended to ensure peak flavor and consistency.
Contributing to the exceptional quality, the leaves are stored in climate-controlled warehouses, preserving their plump, natural appearance.
- Amount: 1.76 oz (50 g)
- Type: Silver Needle Loose Leaf White Tea
- Single-origin tea from Fuding, China
- Well-preserved whole leaves covered with white hair
- Unique and rich taste with natural sweetness
- Comes in a stylish tin that keeps the tea fresh
The tea is packed in gift-worthy tins protecting it from light and air so it remains fresh for months. The price per ounce is steep but competitive among similar premium brands.
Light on caffeine but big on taste, brews have a dainty floral fragrance. The flavor is brisk but subtle and surprisingly rich with hints of honey and a slightly sweet finish. With more antioxidants than an apple plus a healthy dose of Vitamin C, it will help you start your morning strong.
Best Flavored White Tea: The Republic of Tea Cucumber Mint White Tea
White tea is flavorful alone, but its clean profile lends itself well to complementary flavors. The Republic of Tea’s Cucumber Mint White is among the finest examples.
- Amount: 50 tea bags
- Type: Flavored White Tea in Tea Bags
- Great option for trying out white tea
- Refreshing and rejuvenating
- Contains 50 unbleached tea bags
- Excellent for hot or iced tea
Sourced from Fujian, this quality white tea is crisp and refreshing. The classic combination of garden-fresh cucumber and cooling mint smell and taste like spring in a cup.
Delightful hot or iced, it’s a perfect balance of savory and sweet and pairs well with salads or sandwiches for a light summer lunch. The flavors are all-natural.
Bargain-priced, you get 50 bleach-free bags in an artful, airtight tin. The packaging is minimal and Climate Pledge friendly.
Cucumber Mint is just one of the many flavored varieties The Republic of Tea offers. If you’re new to white tea, blends with familiar flavors can help you develop your palate. Have fun, and try them all!
Best Sampler Set: VAHDAM White Tea Loose Leaf Sampler
Try five of India’s finest teas in VAHDAM’s loose leaf sampler pack. Ideal for commitment-wary purchasers, it’s a cost-effective way to audition new tastes without buying large quantities — there’s enough for a few cups of each.
- Amount: 1.76 oz (50 g)
- Type: Loose Leaf White Tea Sampler Set
- Includes 5 high-quality white teas
- Try different flavors from grassy to citrusy and floral
- Great gift for any tea lover
This sampler set includes Imperial Himalayan, Blue Mountain Nilgiri, Darjeeling Pearl, Imperial Earl Grey, and Silver Needle varieties. All of them are among the best white teas in the world. Flavors range from grassy and floral to citrusy and sweet.
VADHAM’s award-winning supply chain model guarantees you get the freshest cup of tea. Each variety comes in an airtight Mylar bag with brewing instructions printed on the front — you can’t go wrong.
Buy a sampler for yourself and give another as a gift. It’s a healthy and flavorful way to celebrate any occasion!
How to Prepare White Tea
Preparing a cup of tea can be as simple as heating some water, pouring it into a cup, and adding a bag of tea to be steeped for a few minutes. However, it can also be considered art and treated as a ceremony.
Let’s start with an uncomplicated method and then look at some tips to perfect your brewing.
Here are simple instructions for brewing white tea:
- Heat water to about 185 degrees Fahrenheit (or 85 °C).
- Add 1 tablespoon of loose leaf white tea (or one tea bag) per one cup of water.
- Steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Strain into cups and enjoy!
A few more things to know about brewing the perfect cup:
Water Temperature: You can try brewing with temperatures up to 195 °F (or 90 °C) to get a stronger brew but don’t use boiling hot water. Use a temperature control kettle to easily heat the water just enough. Another way is to boil some water first and then letting it cool down for about one minute.
Steeping Time: One way of preparing white tea is to add a bit more leaves and then steeping it for only about 30 seconds. Then you can brew the same leaves again with a longer steeping time (about 2 mins) and for a third time (about 5 mins).
Equipment: There are dozens of ways to prepare tea and you could just use a tea bag and cup to make it. If you want to use a traditional method, we recommend getting a Chinese Yixing teapot or a tetsubin cast iron teapot.
Caffeine: The steeping time and water temperature do not only affect the taste of the tea but also its caffeine content. The amount of caffeine in white tea can range from as little as 10 mg to as much as 60 mg per cup depending on how you brew it and what brand and variety you are using.
If you want to prepare something interesting for a party, you can even serve your guests a white tea shot (with or without alcohol).
White Tea FAQ
How is White Tea Produced?
All tea comes from the same plant — the only difference between white, black, and green tea is how it’s harvested and processed.
White tea is hand-gathered before the leaves are mature and unopened buds are still covered with fine white hairs. It’s steamed and dried immediately, often at the field-side, to limit the oxidation that gives darker varieties their characteristic flavors.
How Does White Tea Taste?
White tea has a delicate flavor with a slightly sweet taste and a light floral aroma, but profiles vary based on the soil and climate conditions where different cultivars are grown.
Where Are the Best White Teas Grown?
Taste is subjective, but most experts agree that the best white teas in the world come from China’s Fujian province. Top varieties include Silver Needle, Fujian White, and White Peony.
There are also some fine white teas produced in other Asian countries with honorable mentions going to India, Nepal, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka.