Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Default Adulterants in Teas

Lately I've been looking at tea store web sites, and I see all these
weird teas - whites, greens, oolongs, etc - and they've all be
adulterated with bits of dried fruit and flower petals? What's with
that? Are there no more tea purists anymore? What's with all the
flavored teas? Who drinks those? There's nothing like that at all in
China.

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niisonge wrote:
> Lately I've been looking at tea store web sites, and I see all these
> weird teas - whites, greens, oolongs, etc - and they've all be
> adulterated with bits of dried fruit and flower petals? What's with
> that? Are there no more tea purists anymore? What's with all the
> flavored teas? Who drinks those? There's nothing like that at all in
> China.
>

While I personally don't like flavoured teas, they do certainly seem to
be getting more popular. In fact, growing up, I remember drinking iced
tea as iced tea, now the store shelves are full of "Peach infused
oolong" and all similar items, which I take as something to increase
appeal. Perhaps the "soda-fying" of tea has incited tea sellers to try
the same tactics? Earl Grey is as far as I go into flavoured teas.

While I don't really have a problem with someone who wants to flavour
their tea, it's definitely not for me. It also increases awareness in
the wrong way, IMHO since tea noobs probably think that this is the way
it has always been (though acknowledge certain flavoured teas *have*
been around for a long time). But I think it's here to stay.

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Default Adulterants in Teas

Jasmine, Osmanthus, Lotus, Rose flowers is popular in China. The
biggest abomination Jasmine over YinHao. The tisanes are poplular at
my local tea shoppe. Its been popular in the West ever since Earl
Grey. I occasionally add my own dried fruits and flowers. My
favorite honeysuckle added to white bud tea.


Jim


niisonge wrote:
> Lately I've been looking at tea store web sites, and I see all these
> weird teas - whites, greens, oolongs, etc - and they've all be
> adulterated with bits of dried fruit and flower petals? What's with
> that? Are there no more tea purists anymore? What's with all the
> flavored teas? Who drinks those? There's nothing like that at all in
> China.

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Default Adulterants in Teas

On Jul 24, 8:29*am, Space Cowboy > wrote:
> I occasionally add my own dried fruits and flowers. *My
> favorite honeysuckle added to white bud tea.


I bought some honeysuckle in a local (Tucson, AZ) international
market, expecting the infusion to taste like a fresh honeysuckle
blossom (or more precisely, the nectar, which I used to taste by
sucking it out of the base of the blossom when I was a child).
Instead, it had a taste that I would describe as "resinous". Is this
your experience with honeysuckle?

Alan
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On Jul 24, 7:27*am, niisonge > wrote:
> Lately I've been looking at tea store web sites, and I see all these
> weird teas - whites, greens, oolongs, etc - and they've all be
> adulterated with bits of dried fruit and flower petals? What's with
> that? Are there no more tea purists anymore? What's with all the
> flavored teas? Who drinks those? There's nothing like that at all in
> China.


Presuming you're speaking about the US here, there are plenty of tea
purists to be found, but not enough to be a major demographic.
Instead, tea retailers are attempting to reach the much much larger
group of non-tea-drinkers by appealing to them with sweet and flavored
drinks that have no connection to the bitter, lukewarm brew from a
lipton bag that many americans associate with 'tea'.


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Default Adulterants in Teas

> Presuming you're speaking about the US here, there are plenty of tea
> purists to be found, but not enough to be a major demographic.
> Instead, tea retailers are attempting to reach the much much larger
> group of non-tea-drinkers by appealing to them with sweet and flavored
> drinks that have no connection to the bitter, lukewarm brew from a
> lipton bag that many americans associate with 'tea'.


Well, you can't be all things to all people, and you can't please
everybody. I would tend to stay away from stores that sell all the
flavored teas - and I would never drink any. I don't want them to
possibly taint my other teas. And I would never brew them in my good
tea ware.

In China, if you can believe it, there are plenty of tea stores that
sell only 1 tea! It's not like they got an inventory of 100-200 teas
in stock. There are so many stores like that. I always ask them:
"besides tieguanyin, what other kinds of tea do you have?" They always
reply: "Just tieguanyin."

Personally, I would look for a tea store that is more committed to
selling non-flavored teas, and more focused on quality tea leaf. When
I see flavored teas, I get the impression that they use lower-quality
leaves, and use the fruit/flowers, etc. to mask and make-up for the
lower quality tea leaf.


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There are many varieties of honeysuckle so I assume the nectar is
different. I spent many an hour sucking on honeysuckle in the South.
I got mine at a folk remedy herbalist store. It is young bud with
more suckle than honey ie a slight sweet note with a tinge of
sourness. It looks like bean sprouts when brewed. I eat mine since
they float on the top. I know Asian honeysuckle is popular since they
dont let anything go to waste. Thats about all I know.

Jim

Alan wrote:
> On Jul 24, 8:29?am, Space Cowboy > wrote:
> > I occasionally add my own dried fruits and flowers. ?My
> > favorite honeysuckle added to white bud tea.

>
> I bought some honeysuckle in a local (Tucson, AZ) international
> market, expecting the infusion to taste like a fresh honeysuckle
> blossom (or more precisely, the nectar, which I used to taste by
> sucking it out of the base of the blossom when I was a child).
> Instead, it had a taste that I would describe as "resinous". Is this
> your experience with honeysuckle?
>
> Alan

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I think most tisanes arent more than $2/oz. So when I see them added
to tea I dont expect to pay much. This is popular with
Indian,Ceylon,African teas which are decent grades. My local tea
shoppe has a real decent orange blossom oolong which is cheaper than a
comparable oolong. I think in general these teas are better cold than
hot. These days I drink the tisanes by themselves because it is hard
finding a good match with a tea like honeysuckle and white tea. I
think what you find is the herbalist pushing the tea more than the tea
industry pushing the tisane. The local tea shoppe owner is a British
expat and he is partial to his tisanes. He also has something called
Irish cream which is a blend of excellent Ceylon OP and calendula
petals. It has a transcendent taste worth trying. If I can see what
is giving the tea the additional flavor I'll give it a try for
curiosity if I can buy only a cup.

Jim

wrote:
> On Jul 24, 7:27?am, niisonge > wrote:
> > Lately I've been looking at tea store web sites, and I see all these
> > weird teas - whites, greens, oolongs, etc - and they've all be
> > adulterated with bits of dried fruit and flower petals? What's with
> > that? Are there no more tea purists anymore? What's with all the
> > flavored teas? Who drinks those? There's nothing like that at all in
> > China.

>
> Presuming you're speaking about the US here, there are plenty of tea
> purists to be found, but not enough to be a major demographic.
> Instead, tea retailers are attempting to reach the much much larger
> group of non-tea-drinkers by appealing to them with sweet and flavored
> drinks that have no connection to the bitter, lukewarm brew from a
> lipton bag that many americans associate with 'tea'.

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On Thu, 24 Jul 2008 06:27:18 -0700 (PDT), niisonge
> wrote:

>Lately I've been looking at tea store web sites, and I see all these
>weird teas - whites, greens, oolongs, etc - and they've all be
>adulterated with bits of dried fruit and flower petals? What's with
>that? Are there no more tea purists anymore? What's with all the
>flavored teas? Who drinks those? There's nothing like that at all in
>China.


I like the lemon echinacea tea for colds and flu. Along the line of
additives with health benefits, I would consider adding lemon juice to
tea, but don't have experience doing this. I also have elderberry as
an herbal supplement in the form of capsules that might be opened and
added, but haven't tried this either. Seems possible that some
herbals could be mixed with your teas, experimenting slowly. bookburn


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Default Adulterants in Teas


"niisonge" > wrote

> Personally, I would look for a tea store that is more committed to
> selling non-flavored teas, and more focused on quality tea leaf. When
> I see flavored teas, I get the impression that they use lower-quality
> leaves, and use the fruit/flowers, etc. to mask and make-up for the
> lower quality tea leaf.



Flavored teas attract people for their exoctiness,
which usually wears off quick enough,
that the people return to normalcy soon enough.



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I think for every purist there is a tisane. Like the variety of teas
there is a variety of tisanes. You need exposure to appreciate it.
My only caveat I add it myself or trust the local tea shoppe. So
there is the group who occasionally can appreciate the two like myself
and the larger group who thinks it is the normal state of affairs. In
honor of this post I am drinking a green tea with rose bud I got in
Chinatown. It is what it is.

Jim

PS The popular teas at the local tea shoppe are the tisane blends.
You have to give people what they want to stay in business which is
the reason I never opened a tea shoppe. The owner also keeps us
purists coming back. I'm starting to wonder if the traditional blends
like morning, afternoon, evening blends are closer to tisanes in the
sense you are changing the taste of the teas.

chance wrote:
> "niisonge" > wrote
>
> > Personally, I would look for a tea store that is more committed to
> > selling non-flavored teas, and more focused on quality tea leaf. When
> > I see flavored teas, I get the impression that they use lower-quality
> > leaves, and use the fruit/flowers, etc. to mask and make-up for the
> > lower quality tea leaf.

>
>
> Flavored teas attract people for their exoctiness,
> which usually wears off quick enough,
> that the people return to normalcy soon enough.

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Well, there is in China, all kinds of flowers like magnolia,
honeysuckle, chrysanthemum, lavender, jasmine, rose buds, etc. There
are dried leaves of bamboo, licorice root, wolfberries, etc. Stuff
like that is brewed as an herbal tea - and drunk during the summer to
cool the body.

Tea leaves usually aren't mixed in - though they could be mixed in.
But few people here would want to waste good tea and do that anyway.


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