The history of flavored/scented teas?

These teas can resemble virtually any flavor imaginable.

Aug 13th 18 2:16 pm
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 13th 18 2:13 pm

The history of flavored/scented teas?

by Skimmerskir » Aug 13th 18 2:16 pm

Hi everyone!

Does anyone have a clear idea of, or can point me to a good source regarding, the history of flavored and/or scented teas?

I'm desperately trying to find information regarding this, but I'm coming up short because most authors who pride themselves on being tea experts favor natural or classical teas. I know that SOME blended/flavored teas - such as Jasmine or Earl Grey or Chai teas - have a relatively old tradition, but what I'm looking for is when it became popular to start selling the great variety of (often artifical, sometimes not) flavored teas? And why? How? When? In what cultural context? Who started doing it, and around what time?

Ideas? Tips on where to turn?

Sep 21st 18 4:55 am
Posts: 100
Joined: Oct 14th 10 4:06 am

Re: The history of flavored/scented teas?

by mbanu » Sep 21st 18 4:55 am

In China teas were stored with flowers to absorb their scent, to imitate the natural fragrance of high-cost tea and perhaps trick a person into buying it under false premises. However, as more and more flowers were added to the process, it became its own thing, sort of like yellow cheese. The British innovation was the use of essential oils for this process through the invention of Earl Grey, rather than going through the laborious process of doing this with flowers directly. If I had to guess, the use of other essential oils was likely a natural outgrowth of this once it was realized you could do it, but that's a "just-so" story on my part. Many countries had legal restrictions on how you could flavor teas to prevent the sale of imitation teas.

In Europe the center of the tea flavoring industry is west Germany, and it has been so since the 80s at least. I imagine if you can find out how Germany, which is not known for its tea drinking, became the center of the European tea flavoring movement, you will find the answer to your question. :-)