A word on Flavored Teas
Sep 26, 2009 | Written by Anupa Mueller
Customers often ask us for different flavored teas - why don't we carry Plum or Pear, why doesn't the Mango taste as good as the Berry or how come the flavor isn't strong on the Rooibos? Welcome to the world of flavors. Volatile at best, ephemeral at worst. First, there are two broad type of flavors - natural (which are also organic-compliant) and artificial which are allowed to be used with conventional teas. By artificial, I mean those that use specific solvents to sustain the flavor, something not allowed with organic teas. This seemingly small difference results in wide variations and presents a critical trade-off. We can produce true flavors by using artificial flavors or we can use natural flavors which may not be as "true" and with the added disadvantage of not lasting as long. So you should know that for our organic flavored teas, the flavoring we use is one that is allowed by the USDA and conforms to the National Organic Program standards and works beautifully for Earl Grey, Raspberry, Pineapple, Orange, Lemon, Spice and, for the most part, Vanilla. Not so promising for Peach, Apricot, Mango, Passion fruit and even Coconut. In our conventional teas (not organic), we find that the Black and Red Fruit categories are very true. So too for most of the citrus family. Chocolate, Ginger, Cinnamon Spice, Caramel all turn out well. Peach, Apricot and Mango always seem like a sweet soda pop or candy flavor. How do some Mango Bottled Teas achieve their flavor? By using mango puree! We've given up on Plum, Apple, Kiwi and Guava. We can do Banana but I don't know about you, I don't want to taste bananas in my tea! We will continue our pursuit of new, true flavors this coming week.