Two of the teas that provide the most health benefits are oolong and white tea. However, there are some differences of which consumers should be aware.
All tea comes from a plant known as camellia sinensis, but it is the leaf's exposure to oxygen and fermentation that determines its variety. Oolong tea undergoes a partial oxidation, while white tea is not exposed to oxygen at all.
White tea contains the largest amounts of antioxidants and is richest in is B vitamins, calcium, flavonoids and folic acid, making it the most beneficial for heart conditions and different types of cancer. Oolong tea contains a mid-level amount of antioxidants and vitamins but is beneficial in lowering triglycerides and cholesterol.
Oolong tea leaves are left to wilt in the sunlight before they are bruised to release their natural juices for the first fermentation. Next, they are left to dry again before the leaves are fired and fermented a second time.
White tea is picked fresh and processed without being fermented.
Oolong tea is often scented with flowers like formosa, jasmine and osmanthus. White tea is commonly mixed with fruits like blueberry, peach and strawberry.
Oolong tea is grown extensively in China and Taiwan, with small amounts grown in Vietnam. White tea is produced primarily in China and Japan, but is also produced in smaller quantities in India.
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