White tea is the least oxidized of all the teas but beware of the amount of caffeine that some experts say is NOT in this tea. In fact, university research studies show that white tea can have as much caffeine as an Assam or Ceylon! Why? It’s simple: when a mother plant begins to have off shoots, it will push as much caffeine to the new shoots because caffeine is a natural pesticide! That’s right, a natural pesticide and since there is only a withering process such as air or sun-drying with white tea, the caffeine may still be as concetrated as the the mother plant first produced to save the newly formed leaf! Caffeine in leaves tend to start high, dip down and then return to a higher level with oxidation as can be seen in pu-erh teas.
If you’re looking for a smooth, light taste for a tea with some caffeine to boot, enjoy some Pai Mu Tan (pronounced Pie-Moo-Tahn) or Bai Mu Dan(pronounced Bye-Moo-Dahn) that has a nice buttery, toasty flavor with no astringency. This is what a white tea should look like: whole leaves that are open with minimal tightness to the leaf.