White tea is the rarest and least processed tea variety. It is steamed and dried and does not go through the withering or fermentation process. This rare (and very expensive) tea is picked as dawn breaks in four northeastern Chinese provinces. It contains buds that are covered with fine silvery hairs. They impart a whitish/gray color to the liquid, hence the name 'white tea'. It is sometimes called silvertip pekoe or white needle. When you brew white tea it is a pale yellow straw color. It has a slightly sweet flavor with none of the 'grassy' undertones often characteristic of green tea.