Scenting, Blending, and Flavoring Tea

by on Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:37:00 PM

We often get asked what the difference is between scented tea, flavored tea, and blended tea. In this quick post I will highlight the difference.

Scenting tea is a traditional process where fresh flowers are added to dry tea leaves so that the tea leaves can absorb the flavor from the flowers. Typically this process is done in a big bamboo canister and the flower/tea mix is allowed to sit overnight so the tea can absorb the full flavor. Then this process is completed 3-5 more times to give the tea a rich and natural floral note.

Flavored tea is created by mixing tea leaves either with extracts, nature-identical flavors, or artificial flavors. The difference between these three types of flavors is that an extract is essential oil that is actually extracted from living flowers/plants, whereas nature-identical flavoring is a chemically created compound that is chemically identical to an extract, and artificial flavoring is a chemically altered version of a nature-identical flavor typically designed to reduce costs.

Blended tea is a mixture of tea leaves and other herbs, flowers, or dried fruit bits. For example, a famous blended tea would be tea mixed with chrysanthemum.

Of course, a certain tea can also use a combination of the above process. Many large scale producers of jasmine, for example, will scent tea 1-2 times with jasmine flowers and then flavor the tea with jasmine oils to complete the process.

Here at Shang Tea we utilize both scenting and blending to create some of our teas. For example we use a scenting procedure to produce our jasmine teas, pao blossom tea and tangerine blossom tea. We scent our tea 6 times with jasmine flowers, and 4 times with pao flowers and tangerine blossoms to produce the rich floral taste that you receive with these teas. We also have white tea blends, called honeysuckle white tea, orange blossom white, and chrysanthemum white, where we mix in these herbs with our white peony king tea. Check out our whole selection of teas here.

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