Quick Recipes and Easy

Tea- What is White Licorice Tea?

White tea was once reserved for only the most elegant affairs in China. In fact five years ago most Americans had never even heard of white tea. Today, but, white tea is rapidly gaining popularity in the US. White tea is much milder and sweeter than black tea and lacks the grassy flavor of many green teas.

White tea is the healthiest of all teas and has the lowest caffeine content as well. White tea brews to a pale color and has a very delicate aroma.

One of the finest white teas available is a blend called white licorice tea. This tea is a tasty blend of the finest white tea with the addition of sweet and bold licorice flavor from the use of star anise.

All white teas come from the camellia sinensis plant. What separates white teas from black and green teas is the time of harvest and the method of processing. White tea is harvested just once each year, in the spring before the buds have opened and while they retain a fine white hair. White tea is simply steamed and dried, often right in the fields, without going through any oxidation process.

This not only means that white tea has a much more delicate and sweet flavor than other teas, but also means that white tea retains more anti-oxidants in their natural state than green or black tea.

The anti-oxidants in white tea have been shown to fight cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. White tea has also been shown to improve the immune system, too. In particular, white tea seems to have the ability fight off bacteria and viruses. White tea is also high in fluoride, making it fantastic for preventing tooth decay and inhibiting the formation of plaque.

White licorice tea gives is one of the best blends of white tea available. It combines the sweet and delicate flavor of all fine white teas with the sweet and exotic licorice flavor that only whole pieces of star anise can provide. The addition of licorice to the slightly herbal and smoky flavor of the white tea provides a bolder tea than most plain white teas.

The addition of licorice also increases the health benefits of the white tea. Licorice has long been renowned for its ability to cool the stomach and ease headaches. For centuries Chinese herbalists have prescribed star anise to treat colic in babies, as well as headaches, abdominal pain and intestinal distress in adults. So, this may be just the tea for the person who suffers from chronic stomach troubles, and may be an effective natural way to treat a colicky baby.

Other countries have used licorice and ginger tea to treat colic for centuries. But, one downside to treating colic with black tea flavored with licorice is that black tea has a honestly high caffeine content and might prevent sleep or make babies jittery. White tea, but, has very small caffeine, so using white licorice tea is likely a better colic treatment. For the adult who periodically experiences stomach upset before bedtime, a natural treatment that won’t interrupt sleep is also welcome, indeed.

Brewing White Licorice Tea

White licorice tea is brewed in the same manner as other white teas. It should be brewed with water just below the boiling point and steeped for about 5 minutes. Because it is very fluffy, it requires a bit more tea per cup to brew. Start by using about two teaspoons per cup and adjust to your taste. As your tea is brewing inhale the wonderful aroma made by the combination of white tea and star anise. A excellent white licorice tea should provide a minimum of two infusions.

The addition of licorice flavor to white tea makes for a bolder and more exotic flavor than many other white teas. White licorice tea is also a bit sweeter than other white teas since it derives sweet flavor from both the tea and the star anise.

You can also use white licorice tea to make iced tea. You’ll find the licorice flavor to be quite refreshing and yet it will be bolder than other iced white teas. To make iced tea, simply brew several servings of tea at once and allow the tea to cool before serving. Because white tea is delicate in flavor, pouring it over ice while it’s still hot may dilute the flavor a bit too much.

To retain the flavor you must allow the tea to cool first. Once cooled, you can either refrigerate or use ice to bring it to the proper temperature.

You may quickly find that white licorice tea is one of your very favorites. Once you’ve learned that you want to drink it regularly, you may want to buy it in bulk to ensure you always have it on hand. Because white tea is plucked just once a year, it is the rarest of all tea varieties.

And because only a certain amount of white tea is blended with star anise each year, white licorice tea is even rarer that plain white tea.

Once you’ve learned this variety in a high quality loose form, you’ll want to buy enough to allow you to drink it daily.

Jon Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. For more information about goldenmoontea.com tea, goldenmoontea.com/whitetea white tea and goldenmoontea.com/WholesaleTea wholesale tea go to goldenmoontea.com



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