JonnyTwo wrote:Studies have shown that the longer you steep your white tea the more antioxidants you get, also stating that ultimately you get more antioxidants the more you "agitate the leaves".
Slight thread necro, but I've also read these studies, although likewise I didn't bookmark them or anything.
Cancer.gov has an article that says " The polyphenol concentration of any particular tea beverage depends on the type of tea, the amount used, the brew time, and the temperature (3). The highest polyphenol concentration is found in brewed hot tea..." their reference apparently links to a paper that discusses effect of increased temperature and extraction.
links to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12848521
I've seen other studies that also show that caffeine is leeched out first, and then phenolic compounds.
Su et. al. also showed this to be true in multiple papers. However they found decreased radical scavenging capacity in extracts that were continuously boiled for 10 minutes. (does not apply to regular steeping, and this might be specific to Oolong)
Anyway, I often brew for maximum extraction. I brew loose leaf in an extra large mesh in perhaps 500ml water in glass from 100C to ~65C before I drink it.
Some research suggests that, specific to radical scavenging, other types of tea are similar to green/white teas. So while there are other factors involved, that specific one is apparently not maximized in white/green teas.
Additionally, white tea is substantially more expensive than green tea most of the time. I seriously doubt that paying 30%+ more for the tea is going to grant you 30%+ more health benefit. You are probably always going to be getting the best health bang for your buck with the same manner that doctors would suggest eating food... a healthy and consistent variety is best.
I therefore drink a variety of white, sencha, matcha, oolong, and recently obtained some high quality darjeeling.