Are flavored white teas "junk'?


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby tlhfirelion » Jan 3rd, '11, 16:25

I'm new here and to loose leaf tea. Got my first white sampler today and I'm giving it a run.. So far I'm pleased in a reserved, "it's not a big deal but I like it" kind of way. What I wonder though is about the flavored white teas. Are these teas the junk tea since it's flavored or is it good tea with something extra?

Thank you.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby Bryan_drinks_te... » Jan 3rd, '11, 19:57

Flavored teas usually use a lower grade of tea.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby Victoria » Jan 3rd, '11, 20:01

Right. Usually all flavored teas are lesser quality tea.
There are wonderful natural flavors in tea. You really don't
need anything added if it's quality leaf. But if you like them, then
enjoy!
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby tenuki » Jan 3rd, '11, 22:05

yes, in exactly the same way wine coolers are junk from the perspective of the wine snob.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby entropyembrace » Jan 4th, '11, 14:47

Usually the above is true...almost all flavoured teas have a very bland base with flavour extracts sprayed on to the leaves. That´s in the more "premium" blends...the really cheap stuff will have synthetic chemicals sprayed on.

But this isn´t always the case...sometimes you can find decent teas used as the base and the tea has been flavoured by scenting...by exposing the tea to things like smoke or whole flowers for an extended time....or by additives being blended in such as flowers, dried fruit, spices, dried herbs ect. These type of flavoured teas can usually be infused more times, have more complex flavours and aromas and have a lot more variety in appearance...they´re also more expensive and harder to find.

I´ve had a flavoured white that falls in this category recently....nice blend of fluffy whole leaf bai mu dan and shou mei with whole dried berries and flower petals blended in. The mingling of the natural peachy fruityness of the good quality white tea with the flavours extracted from dried currants, grapes and roses was really exquisite :wink:
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby tlhfirelion » Jan 5th, '11, 18:33

I kinda figured that was the general rule. Thank you for everyone's reply.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby AlexZorach » Jan 24th, '11, 19:19

I think it's true that tea companies tend to use lower-quality white teas for blending and flavoring to produce flavored white teas. However, it's not true as a general rule that flavored teas are inferior in quality or flavor to pure white teas. Some companies are better at blending than others, and some do a good job of producing flavored white teas.

I also think that there's a difference between blends that involve whole ingredients such as herbs, spices, or dried fruit, or that involve traditional scenting such as with flowers like Jasmine, Rose, or Osmanthus, and teas that just use scenting with an essential oil (or worse, artificial flavoring). I strongly prefer the teas that have been traditionally scented or blended with whole ingredients.

I also want to point out that lower-grade does not necessarily equal lower quality or inferior flavor. Personally, as a general rule, I tend to like silver needle tea less than white peony tea, which I tend to like less than shou mei, my favorite style of white tea. Yet shou mei is the lowest grade of the three, and silver needle the highest.

It's largely a matter of personal taste.

So, if I were advising someone, I'd say that it's good to be a little skeptical of flavored and scented teas, and to do some research into them, but if you can find a company that sells traditionally-scented teas or that uses ones blended with whole ingredients, you're probably going to be in good shape. (And honestly, some people do like tea scented with essential oils or even artificial flavors, I know it sounds sacrilegious to the purists but it's really a matter of personal taste.)
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby jaderabbit » Feb 16th, '11, 01:01

I've had my share of teas scented with "essential oils" and "natural flavors". Teas scented with real flowers, herbs, and fruit are a million times better. Never go for the other crap. Mistake! :cry:
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby Oni » Feb 21st, '11, 15:12

Yes, except some jasmine tea, like Jasmine bi luo chun from Teaspring.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby fracol » Apr 2nd, '11, 17:45

Yes, no questions asked.

Well except Jasmine sometimes...
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 3rd, '11, 11:02

jaderabbit wrote:Teas scented with real flowers, herbs, and fruit are a million times better.

This is very true! This method of scenting has at least 700-800 years of history. In the processing of jasmine tea, more jasmine flowers are used than tea, by weight. The flowers are used in severl scenting cycles, each tedious scenting cycle takes 12-24 hours, with heavy labor involved. Then spent flowers are thrown away and new flowers are added. This way of natural, slow scenting has go to be a lot better than fast scenting with concentrated oils, let alone some oils are not so natural.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby Chip » Apr 3rd, '11, 11:11

gingkoseto wrote:
jaderabbit wrote:Teas scented with real flowers, herbs, and fruit are a million times better.

This is very true! This method of scenting has at least 700-800 years of history. In the processing of jasmine tea, more jasmine flowers are used than tea, by weight. The flowers are used in severl scenting cycles, each tedious scenting cycle takes 12-24 hours, with heavy labor involved. Then spent flowers are thrown away and new flowers are added. This way of natural, slow scenting has go to be a lot better than fast scenting with concentrated oils, let alone some oils are not so natural.

You can really tell the difference immediately between natually scented Jasmine teas and those sprayed. The real deal is so nice while the sprayed is quite bleh to disgusting.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby Coppery Cup » Apr 28th, '11, 01:30

I've had a couple of very good flavored white teas from TeaGschwendner-Strawberry White and White Christmas. They use real strawberries, orange blossoms, almonds, etc. I would buy both again. But, I see they both have "natural flavor" listed as well, which I suspect is the dreaded essential oils. Have just received a couple of unflavored white teas and am anxious to see if there is a significant difference in the quality of the leaves.

Last fall, I had a peach-flavored black tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina that was truly hideous. I assumed that since SC is a major peach-producing state that they would use real peaches in their tea-wrong! The peach flavor was clearly chemically obtained-it tasted EXACTLY like a peach-flavored soda pop I had years ago. Yuck.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby Casualconnoisse... » Aug 5th, '11, 16:26

Chip wrote:You can really tell the difference immediately between natually scented Jasmine teas and those sprayed. The real deal is so nice while the sprayed is quite bleh to disgusting.


I'll second that one. My first shot at jasmine green tea was from an unknown source years ago- I decided I hated it and stayed far away from the stuff until I was given some traditionally scented tea as a gift. Brewed some up, figuring I should be nice and try it, only to find that I didn't hate jasmine tea at all. Turns out I only hate low-grade, sprayed jasmine tea.
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Re: Are flavored white teas "junk'?

Postby iovetea » Jul 13th, '12, 10:36

usually most flavored teas are bad. but i really enjoyed twg´s silver moon tea. its a really nice tea in my opinion strong but still round and nice.
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