White tea gets its name from the white hairs present on most varieties of white tea. The flavor profile is generally lighter than any other tea, due to the low levels of processing and oxidation (or browning, much like an apple will turn brown when exposed to the atmosphere).
White tea is typically made from the youngest leaves and un-opened buds of the camellia sinensis plant, also adding to its delicate flavor profile.
Trivia about White Tea:
White tea is a curious phenomena. It is simultaneously a young and old tea.
Ancient Chinese sun-dried tea before storing for later consumption. This is white tea processing in its most primitive.
White tea leaves can be left to dry briefly in the sun before being prepared for packaging.
White tea undergoes withering for relatively long amount of time. It is therefore slightly oxidised, not unoxidised as many people think.
Modern white tea was invented in China in 1857, then exported worldwide from 1891 onwards.
White tea went into steep decline during the two world wars, and has only recently recaptured its allure in the West.
White tea plants produce buds and leaves that are fat and thick. It takes higher temperature and longer steeping time to soak out the flavors.