Hi! Just found this forum and it looks like there are similar topics already, but they're months old and I assume it's still considered impolite to resurrect old threads? Anyway-
A couple of years ago I found out that my favorite tea had been discontinued because the creator couldn't find a non-nut-derived flavor to use instead of the flavoring they were already using. I already know that flavored teas use flavor extracts and oils and such, but I've run into walls trying to find out what exactly to use, and how to use them. The tea I'm trying to recreate is probably well-known to anyflavored tea drinker - TeaSource's Pistachio Shortbread. It used pistachio and amaretto flavorings, with decorative pistachios and pieces of marzipan in a black tea base. I was able to find out which black tea they used as a base from some of their employees, but apparently I had "just missed" the employee who knew about the flavoring process. I've also tried a purported "exact match" tea from another shop, but it doesn't taste like it at all. It's sweet, cookie-reminiscent, and delicious, but it's not a match.
I certainly haven't been trying consistently for the last two years. My first attempt was horrible so I gave up for a bit.
I had found one youtube video of a man pressing oranges and then using that to mist the tea leaves, but nothing about using any other kind of flavoring. I suspect that since citrus is so strong, you probably need significantly less of it than you would a nut-based flavoring.
I have the black tea and one bottle each of amaretto and pistachio extract. But no matter how much of the extracts I use, the flavor doesn't seem to stay on the leaves once the mixture dries. I've also tried adding sweetener in case the alcohol from the extract might result in some bitterness.
So what am I doing wrong? Are extracts the wrong form of flavoring to use? I've seen mentions of both extracts and essential oils but no info on which one is appropriate for which flavors, or any mention of ratios of how much to use per weight of leaves. As I've seen mention of in this forum, mint and citrus teas are easy to do, and those are my only other experience. I'm not looking to sell any tea, I just want to recreate it for my own love of the unique flavor.
Thanks! And please be kind, if I've missed something in this forum that gives me what I'm looking for, simply link it without snark. I'm so reticent to ask for help already, haha.
Hi! The flavorings used for teas aren't really extracts in the way we use them for baking, etc. They are blended with different carriers, usually alcohol based, similar to baking extracts but likely in different proportions. But they key is evaporating off that alcohol - that usually happens during the blending/production process, and bonds the flavor to the tea leaves. I'm not sure of the best method to do this at home. It seems very weird to suggest to you mixing the tea leaves and extract on low heat in a pot or pan for a bit to evaporate off the liquid, but perhaps it is worth a try? I have never done this personally so proceed with caution