White tea — Definition

ISO/TR 12591:2013 contains information regarding the manufacture and chemical analysis of the tea referred to as white tea in international trade. It provides an internationally agreed definition of white tea based on the plant source and production methods used.

Thé blanc — Définition

General Information

Publication Date
Technical Committee
Drafting Committee
Current Stage
9093 - International Standard confirmed
Completion Date
Ref Project

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ISO/TR 12591:2013 - White tea -- Definition
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Standards Content (Sample)

REPORT 12591
First edition
White tea — Definition
Thé blanc — Définition
Reference number
ISO/TR 12591:2013(E)
ISO 2013

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ISO/TR 12591:2013(E)

© ISO 2013
All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form
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ii © ISO 2013 – All rights reserved

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ISO/TR 12591:2013(E)

Contents Page
Foreword .iv
Introduction .v
1 Scope . 1
2 Terms and definitions . 1
3 Origins of white tea . 1
3.1 Historical origins of white tea . 1
3.2 Descriptive names: black, green, and white teas . 1
3.3 Plant source and parts used . 2
3.4 Processing stages . 2
3.5 Sensory analysis . 2
4 Recommendations . 2
4.1 General recommendations. 2
4.2 Chemical recommendations . 3
Annex A (informative) Appearances of different subtypes of white tea . 4
Bibliography . 6
© ISO 2013 – All rights reserved iii

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ISO/TR 12591:2013(E)

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards
bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out
through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical
committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International
organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.
ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of
electrotechnical standardization.
The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are
described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the
different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the
editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).
Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of
patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of
any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or
on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).
Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not
constitute an endorsement.
For an explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity
assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the WTO principles in the Technical Barriers
to Trade (TBT) see the following URL: Foreword - Supplementary information
The committee responsible for this document is ISO/TC 34, Food products, Subcommittee SC 8, Tea.
iv © ISO 2013 – All rights reserved

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ISO/TR 12591:2013(E)

Tea is grown and manufactured in numerous countries of the world and is blended and/or drunk in
many more. There is some confusion as to the origins, appearance, and processing parameters for white
tea and how this might or does differ from green, black, and other types of tea.
The desired characteristics of white tea and the resulting liquor brewed from this depend upon a number
of factors including the parts of the plant used for manufacture and how they are processed.
The objectives of this Technical Report are to specify the plant source and parts from which the white
tea is manufactured and to set requirements for production methods and certain physical and chemical
characteristics which, if met, are an indication that the tea had been subjected to good production
practice. It is a matter for the parties concerned whether to apply the recommendations of this Technical
Report as the basis of an International Standard for white tea.
The level of catechins in white and green teas is much higher than in black tea and can be a useful
discriminant between these types of tea and black tea. Differentiation between green and white tea
might need the use of ratios of the various chemical components, among others.
© ISO 2013 – All rights reserved v

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White tea — Definition
1 Scope
This Technical Report contains information regarding the manufacture and chemical analysis of the tea
referred to as white tea in international trade.
It provides an i

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