How is Tea Flavored?


Converse about the 34 tea lessons on teaclass.com

How is Tea Flavored?

Postby Charles » Mar 10th, '10, 15:44

This discussion thread is dedicated to questions and comments on the TeaClass lesson: How is Tea Flavored (http://www.teaclass.com/lesson_0202.html). TeaClass is designed to be a free educational tool so if anything is unclear, let us know! We're also using TeaClass to train our own retail store staff so please feel free to share anything you've heard or read that disagrees with the lesson. Our goal is to continually improve this tool based on your feedback.
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby desdemona1230 » Mar 12th, '10, 22:30

Aha, I had wondered about this. Thanks for the information. I am curious what sort/s of chemical synthesis is/are used to obtain the nature-identical flavoring agents.
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby Charles » Mar 13th, '10, 10:54

Well, the truth is that flavor and aroma are nothing more than chemical compounds that are perceived and interpreted by receptors in our nose and mouth. The taste of a strawberry is a series of chemical compounds that combine to deliver a certain impression on our sensory system. Any decent chemist can combine or break apart individual compounds to derive that same composition.

For example, Salt is NaCl (Na = Sodium, Cl = Chloride). We get most of our salt by evaporating seawater or mining rock salt. Our blood also contains about 0.9% NaCl. Sugar is sucrose and is usually derived from Sugar Cane or Sugar Beets. Sugar and Salt are plentiful and easy to get from these "natural" sources. That said, there is no more difference between NaCl derived from water or rock or in a lab. By definition there are no other molecules present and so NO contamination is possible. By this measure, chemically synthesized compounds are SAFER and MORE STABLE because, unlike naturally extracted compounds, there are no other compounds or molecules hanging around.

We tend to have a fear of anything we don't understand, but chemical reactions shouldn't scare us. The "oxidation" that turns green teas to black is Oxygen reacting with other compounds in the leaf. The Antioxidants that we covet from tea are chemical compounds that bond with free radicals in our system. Our bodies are nothing more than a soup of chemicals reacting with each other. The key is simply to avoid chemicals that that will hurt us.
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby beckynoel » Mar 16th, '10, 19:15

Wow! I had always wondered how Adagio flavored their teas and now I know. I'm glad to hear they don't use completely artificial flavors.

Thanks for this fantastic and interesting "class". It has thoroughly satisfied my curiosity!
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby alamba78 » Jun 17th, '10, 03:30

In the article, it states: "Most inclusions alter the flavor or aroma of the cup in some ways, but are not strong enough to deliver the punch we're looking for. Most "flavored" teas, are flavored with Natural Identical flavoring agents."

Does this mean that Adagio flavors its teas with Natural Identical agents only or a combination of inclusions AND flavor agents? And are these flavor agents oil or water based?

Just curious, thanks!
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby Charles » Jun 17th, '10, 08:48

Adagio uses both inclusions and flavoring oils. I'm not aware of any "water based" flavoring agents.
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby entropyembrace » Jul 7th, '10, 02:11

One thing worth pointing out is that while nature-identical flavours are perfectly safe and identical to compounds found naturally in our food the flavours aren´t really the same.

Take for example vanilla flavour...you can synthesize vanillin and piperonal...which are two of the major components that give vanilla it´s flavour and aroma...it´s safe and would taste and smell a lot like vanilla...but the real vanilla bean is made of many more chemicals than is practical to synthesize and has a much more complex flavour and aroma than artificial vanilla flavouring.

...but the trade off for more complex flavour is the real vanilla is a lot more expensive than synthesized vanillin.
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby Leafbox Pete » Jan 7th, '11, 00:34

Unfortunately the FDA does not have a classification for this and they consider nature-identical to be "artificial".


From the article, for years, the EU had a definition/classification for Nature-Identical flavorings. However, I read that this year (or maybe last, I can't find the article now) that the EU went in the direction of the US FDA and did away with their nature-identical classification.

I don't necessarily think this is an advancement, the EU is traditionally a little more advanced than the US when it comes to food regulations. This is a step back. I would have liked to see the US move in the direction of nature-identical flavors since the process of creation is distinctive enough to support it.
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby DebbieKW » Feb 10th, '11, 13:39

I seem to be confused about something that no one else is. The ingredients in Adagio's Passionfruit tea are: black tea, natural passionfruit flavor, apple pieces, sunflower petals.

So we've got the tea and inclusions (apple pieces, sunflower petals), but what is the "natural passionfruit flavor"? Is this a nature-identical flavoring agent or something else not discussed, like passionfruit juice or something?

I guess my problem is the sentence "the FDA does not have a classification for this and they consider nature-identical to be 'artificial'. " I take this to mean that someone using nature-identical flavoring agents would have to label the ingredient as "artificial _______ flavor." Am I reading this wrong?
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby jaderabbit » Feb 15th, '11, 23:46

I really hate artificially flavored teas especially anything flavored with "essence" of whatever. Just tastes fake! :x
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby chamomileteaguy » Mar 11th, '11, 22:23

Very enjoyable and informative read, thanks for the info :)
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Re: How is Tea Flavored?

Postby synth » Apr 7th, '11, 13:15

Charles wrote:Any decent chemist can combine or break apart individual compounds to derive that same composition.


getting that 'same' composition is a lot harder than you may think.
in a natural product, there is no set composition.
also, total, confident characterization of all contributing species is very far from trivial.

Charles wrote:For example, Salt is NaCl (Na = Sodium, Cl = Chloride). We get most of our salt by evaporating seawater or mining rock salt. Our blood also contains about 0.9% NaCl. Sugar is sucrose and is usually derived from Sugar Cane or Sugar Beets. Sugar and Salt are plentiful and easy to get from these "natural" sources. That said, there is no more difference between NaCl derived from water or rock or in a lab. By definition there are no other molecules present and so NO contamination is possible.


not so!
do you realize the extraordinary difficulty (in fact, impossibility) of isolating a 'pure' compound?
you can typically get many clues about the source of a product (natural, synthetic (even which route)) by identifying contaminants.

Charles wrote:By this measure, chemically synthesized compounds are SAFER and MORE STABLE because, unlike naturally extracted compounds, there are no other compounds or molecules hanging around.


not true.


Charles wrote:We tend to have a fear of anything we don't understand, but chemical reactions shouldn't scare us.


fear and ignorance are two sides of a coin. no... of an.. infinitely-sided die. of a sphere? ;]

Charles wrote:The key is simply to avoid chemicals that that will hurt us.


yes!

note that by saying these things, i'm trying to preferentially promote neither natural nor synthetic.
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