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Old 11-08-2011, 12:33 AM
AlexZorach AlexZorach is offline
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Default White Tea Health Hype

I have started to get increasingly irritated with the health hype surrounding white tea. A lot of websites have outright misinformation on them, such as claims that white tea is very low in caffeine, or hugely exaggerated statements about how it's much more healthy than other teas because it has far more antioxidants.

Why do you think people have focused / fixated on white tea in particular? Is it the connotation of white denoting purity? Or is it just historical accident?

Will you buy white tea from a company that hypes up its product with false or exaggerated statements or health claims, if you think it's otherwise a good buy? Or do you boycott companies because of these factors?
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:43 PM
Butiki Teas Butiki Teas is offline
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I wonder if a lot of the hype has to do with the amount white tea is processed. Think of it this way, the more vegetables are heated/cooked/processed the less nutrients they contain. It may seem to be common sense then that white teas would be more healthful. I haven't just seen white teas being hyped. I have seen health claims on all types of tea for all types of ailments. Everyday I receive articles on health claims of tea. You would think tea is a miracle drug based on some of these claims. Recently, I have seen a lot of health claims on puerhs. Personally, I think some of the health claims may be true as I have seen more studies from well regarded universities but I would never use health as a selling point as it is misleading and can give someone false hope. Another reason a focus might be on white teas is because that is what the studies are choosing as their focus. If they choose to study just white tea then how will you know how black tea compares. Also, maybe some of the hype is justified.

Here is an article about white tea vs green tea in germ killing (Pace University study): http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0526070934.htm
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:37 PM
AlexZorach AlexZorach is offline
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Yes, I agree that other types of tea are hyped as well.

I checked out the article you link to. I haven't read the original study that this article cites, but the problem with a lot of these studies is that they will often use one particular white tea, or a small selection of white teas, and compare it to one black tea, or one green tea, or a small selection of these.

In order to make a statement like "white tea is more effective than green or black tea for X", one would need to sample a broad range of white teas, and compare them to a broad range of green and black teas. Without these, the study, no matter how strong the results are, would only be able to conclude things about the particular teas tested.

There have only been a few studies that measured the chemical composition of a wide range of teas, and these studies all found that the chemical composition, including the antioxidant content, and content of caffeine and other bioactive compounds, was highly variable within broad classes of tea (black, green, white, etc.) and that no trends could be observed of one class relative to the other.

And to my knowldege, there have been no studies that have actually measured biological activity or effects of a wide range of teas. So, to date, all the evidence points to there being no trend of broad classes of tea being more or less healthy.

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One final note, there is not even a strong theoretical basis for white tea being healthier because it is less processed. White tea may be less processed, but (a) this doesn't mean it less oxidized...the processing of green tea actually halts the oxidation and preserves it, and the full oxidation of black tea actually renders it chemically more stable than either white or green tea, so it may stay fresh longer. (b) less oxidized doesn't necessarily mean less healthy...otherwise aged teas like Pu-erh would not show evidence of health benefits, but they do, and it seems roughly comparable to other teas.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:37 PM
Butiki Teas Butiki Teas is offline
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Alex-I completely agree and I always wonder which specific teas they are using.
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