White – always works for hot, sweaty summers. But contrary to what you may think, we are not discussing clothes here. The perfect drink to rejuvenate and detoxify your body in the heat, is white tea, the latest entrant in the health sector, and proving to be even better than the ubiquitous green tea. The purest of all teas and extremely rich in antioxidants, it’s a good idea to get hooked to this wonder drink.
White tea comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis which grows upto 20 metres tall. This tea is native to the Fujian province of China, but it is also grown in Darjeeling , Assam and Ceylon. According to Faiz Ali, who owns the Zen Tea Estate in Kangra, the best flavour comes from the first flush. The season for white tea is end of March to mid – May. White tea is unfermented, unlike other teas, and gets its name from fine silvery hairs found on the buds, as well as from the almost colourless liquor it brews into. Owing to the fact it is handmade, this tea is prohibitively expensive.
White tea has a subtle, slightly sweet taste and a mellow and creamy or nutty quality. The flavour is delicate, and the colour very, very pale.
This perfect detox drink is said to have more anti–viral and anti–bacterial qualities than even green tea. Since white tea is made from only young leaves and buds, it has a greater concentration of amino acid theanine, known for its relaxing and mood enhancing properties. Studies show that for optimum health benefits, 2 to 4 cups of white tea should be had every day.
Given its delicate flavour and light texture, white tea is best had on its own, that is, without milk and sugar. It should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from sunlight and in an odour free, airtight container. A perfectly brewed cup needs one and a half teaspoon tea steeped in hot, but not boiling (80 degree centigrade) water for 2 to 3 minutes. To extract all the nutrients, and also to stretch your supplies (they are, after all, expensive), simply re- use the leaves. Just remember to brew for a few minutes longer when you are re- using the leaves.
White tea is rapidly gaining popularity, which is probably why it is being introduced in Café menus in all the metros of India. When buying for home consumption, it is best to buy fresh, loose white tea from an exporter. The easiest way to locate a vendor in your city is to look up trademart.in, indianyellowpages .com and exportersindia.com. Another source is Pekoe Tips Tea, who is making white tea readily available in the retail market in India.
After a night of heavy partying, start off the morning after with a nice, warm cup of white tea. Nothing better to relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul, and prepare you to take on the challenges of another day.
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