While many of us new to the world of tea often find ourselves first attracted to flavored tea, there is no denying that such teas can present a multitude of problems. Today, we’ll discuss some of those problems.
The good news is that if you like flavored tea, know that there is a right way to do it, and we’ll explore exactly what that is in our next post. In the meantime, let’s review the main issues with common flavored teas.
Weight. Perhaps one of the most pressing issues with flavored teas, practically speaking, is that many of the places that offer flavored teas often sell their teas by weight. The issue? The additives to the tea that flavor it, what we in the industry often call “filler,” are almost always carefully selected bits and pieces of dried fruits, candied fruits, nuts, and so forth. In other words, some of the more unscrupulous vendors carefully select heavy additives that increase the weight of the tea.
This means that you’re ultimately getting less tea per ounce!
You would be rightfully upset if we promised you 50 grams of tea and sold you just 15 grams. In fact, as an experiment, we invite you to try this. Next time you purchase two ounces of flavored tea, you should filter out the tea leaves from your bag and weigh them on a scale to see how much tea you’re actually purchasing. The results might be surprising.
Additives. For those of us who care about taking responsibility for our personal health, we are adamant about developing awareness of what we put in our bodies. As health-conscious consumers, we familiarize ourselves with ingredients, track our dietary sensitivities, and do our best to cook and bake from scratch.
Unfortunately, some flavored teas often fail to do us any favors in this respect. So many of the flavored teas in the market simply fail to add wholesome, high-quality ingredients. From nutrient-empty, candied fruits that have been smothered in dextrose and dried beyond recognition to “natural” or, worse still, “artificial flavors,” these additives are simply bad news. And we haven’t even mentioned the possibility of pesticides, mold, or other complications that additives create. Though additives may provide some health benefits, many, at best, add unnecessary calories to our favorite beverage, and at worst, they compromise our personal health goals.
Flavor. Lastly, flavored teas do a great injustice to the tea itself by overpowering and masking the naturally occurring flavor offered by the tea leaves. There is nothing worse than purchasing a flavored green tea and, well, not tasting any green tea. One could simply purchase the bits and pieces of additives separately and pour some hot water over them to taste the same exact flavor, and it would be cheaper to do so.
One thing to watch for is very strongly scented or flavored teas. While not always the case, some vendors may try to mask their use of inferior or stale teas by scenting them so much that the poor taste of the lower quality tea can no longer be noticed.
Besides masking the flavor of inferior teas, over-scenting creates other problems as well, especially when artificial flavors or scents are used. For example, some people may also find that they are sensitive to these aggressive smells or unnatural tastes, which can cause feelings of nausea, dizziness, or headaches for them. These adverse reactions are in general far less likely when using natural, traditional methods.
Now what if I told you that you can have all of the things you have come to love about flavored tea while avoiding these issues surrounding it? Worry not! Stay tuned for next week’s post to find out more!