White tea is the least processed of all teas. They comprise of tea buds that are harvested by hand. A tea bud is the infant stage of a tea leaf and harvested before it grows into a leaf and the production of Chlorophyll. Therefore tea buds are white with minute down like hairs visible to the naked eye. Once harvested, they are spread out to dry. The drying period can vary depending on the dryness of the air, which is dependent on the weather conditions. Dry natural air produces the best quality and flavor in the tea. Processing is basically the removal of moisture from the buds. No handling, rolling or bruising of any kind is acceptable and when dried to the required time the dried buds are collected and packed, ready for sale. Even though white tea can be produced from any varietal of the tea plant Camilea Sinensis, there are select varieties that are most suitable, in terms of flavor and appearance. Buds can be long and slender or thick and short and everything in between, depending on the varietal. Sometimes, color of the buds also could take on various shades of white and gray. Since the buds are not rolled or processed in a manner as to cause breakage, it takes more time for flavor to be given out when steeped. Therefore unlike Green, Black or even Oolong teas, more time is required to make tea. Due to this phenomenon there is much deliberation as to the proper way to steep white tea. We do not believe there is one right answer. It all depends on preferences and time available. White teas can give several infusions and the entire process may take hours. Water temperature also is debatable. Going on the basis of logic, our recommendation is to steep with boiling water (212 F). The first infusion could be 8 minutes and each successive infusions could be 2 minutes longer. This could go on for as long as the tea still tastes good. Of course the first few infusions will be more flavorful, with diminishing results in the latter infusions. Cup color is extremely light even at 2 grams of white tea to start with. Flavor is also very subtle and is an acquired taste. Those who are used to drinking black tea or green tea will find the flavor to be less forthcoming, but after much practice will begin to notice the nuances of the tea which will become more and more appreciated with time. There is also a category of white tea called Pai Mu Tan, made in China, that is not entirely buds. This will have 2 tender leaves harvested along with the bud and this is known as a 'flush'. Yet, the drying part is the same and there is no rolling. Dried leaves however, are not easy to keep intact and therefore in Pai Mu Tan, there will be some broken leaves. Due to the leaves, cup color and flavor will be different. Cup color will be much more pronounced and the taste too will be less subtle. Some tea connoisseurs prefer Pai Mu tan over pure white tea because of this. Pai Mu Tan is also less expensive because manually harvesting 'flush' is easier than harvesting only buds.