Are Flavoured Teas Safe and Healthy?
As a commodity that has a position of respect in the health world, most commercial tea companies today operate under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but the teas are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavours and GMOs. With the many tea brands that consumers are bombarded with today how do you know which ones to choose and which ones to avoid?
One of the most prized and amazing characteristics of tea is its ability to easily retain any aroma, which can be advantageously used to prepare scented teas. To differentiate between a healthy cup of tea and one that is not, let us understand the different ways teas are blended or flavoured:
Nature Identical Flavours: Many popular tea brands get away with using the ambiguous term ‘natural flavours’ to trick the consumer into thinking they are buying cleaner, better ingredients; however they are just covering up the inferior taste and low quality of their tea. Nature-identical flavouring agents are the flavouring substances that are obtained through chemical processes. The term is too vague and moreover the ‘flavour’ is actually a chemical whether you call it nature identical or artificial. It is a catch all term used when companies do not want to disclose the true source of their ingredients.
Artificial Flavours: These flavours are created in a lab to to create an illusion of something that does not exist. The sole purpose of this is to trick our taste buds and minds into believing that the taste is coming from the real thing. Mango flavour for example is created by distilling the flavour molecules from a mango using a chemical solvent, while artificial mango flavour is created by mixing chemicals. Both result in the same chemical output. Artificial flavours have several possible long term and short term negative effects on health and should be avoided. They are addictive, chemically produced in a lab, and lack any sort of nutritional benefit.
Inclusions: Tea blends often include dried pieces of fruit, flowers, spices, nuts, herbs or other items that add flavour and visual appeal to the blend. This is the oldest way of including flavour and aroma in tea. It’s lonely in the inclusion field – that’s because it is an expensive way to flavour tea as most artificial or nature identical flavourings are relatively cheaper. If the inclusions used are of the highest quality, the flavours and aromas of the tea are unparalleled especially when compared to artificially flavoured ones. All Tea Trunk teas are flavoured using this method.
So what exactly is natural nowadays? The majority of commercially available tea has flavours and colours that are simply imitations. But this does leave a small portion of tea that is truly flavoured naturally. Everything comes down to reading the ingredients on the label. That is your only safe bet.
At Tea Trunk our blends are flavoured exclusively with 100% natural and organic whole ingredients. This means that the flavour and aroma in our tea blends come directly from the actual ingredients that have been blended along with the tea. For example; our Marigold Green Tea gets its vibrant hue from the marigold petals, and its aroma and flavour from the lemongrass bits, present in the tea blend. No artificial flavours, no preservatives, no nonsense.
The golden rule of the blending process that we follow is to emulate the same aroma, taste, color and finish as previous batches, year after year. We understand the dangers of non-natural flavourings and have always vowed to create blends that are 100% naturally flavoured so that you can enjoy tea like is should be!