Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins

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Generally, I avoid teas in tins -- Downton Abbey English Breakfast, Royal T
his and That stuff. and all the British sounding blends of assam, ceylon, k
enya, etc.

My main problem is that there is so often a conflict between what the label
 implies and what the ingredients are listed as. You get all the stuff abou
t it being specially selected from some local garden in China but then the  
ingredients show just :Green tea" or "A blend of black teas."  

Any expert out there on what the labels actual mean -- if a "darjeeling" sh
ows the ingredients are just "Black tea" how much Darjeeling does it actual
ly have in it? Harrod's pushes a High Alishan Taiwan Oolong as Oolong Green
 tea" and the ingredients don;t specify country of origin or type.  

Is this a con game?

thanks
M


Re: Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins
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Well, the ingredients are correct.  There's green tea in there, and/or a
blend of black teas.  This isn't necessarily enough information, but it's
not information-free.

Of course, sometimes the ingredients aren't correct.  You can buy a Chinese
black that has been made a little fresher-tasting by the addition of methyl
salicylate, or a green tea that has been mellowed out with a touch of
vanillin, and of course a lot of the cheaper Chinese greens have had a  
little artificial coloring added in to make them look better in the cup than
they really are.

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Darjeeling is a special case because the majority of Darjeeling tea
sold is counterfeit.  But, if the labelling were honest, if it said  
"Darjeeling" on the can, it would be a pure Darjeeling tea.  

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Right, but you're purchasing from Harrod's tea counter, and you have some
fair degree of trust in them that what they are selling is what they are
claiming it really is.  This is the key, to buy from a supplier that is
honest, and which has some control over their own supply chain.

The ingredients list might just say "tea" and still comply with the EU
requirements.  The ingredients list is basically there not to insure the
integrity of the tea itself, but to establish that there is no outside
material added other than tea.  (And outside of China you can probably
trust that).

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No, it's just that the ingredients list isn't the place to get the  
information that you want.  There _is_ a con game going on, but it's
not with the ingredients list, it's with labelling in general.  Which
is why you buy from Harrod's tea counter and not from some doubtful-looking
guy on a street corner in Guangzhou.
--scott

--  
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins
On Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 3:44:29 PM UTC-4, mandy george wrote:
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 This and That stuff. and all the British sounding blends of assam, ceylon,
 kenya, etc.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
el implies and what the ingredients are listed as. You get all the stuff ab
out it being specially selected from some local garden in China but then th
e ingredients show just :Green tea" or "A blend of black teas."  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
shows the ingredients are just "Black tea" how much Darjeeling does it actu
ally have in it? Harrod's pushes a High Alishan Taiwan Oolong as Oolong Gre
en tea" and the ingredients don;t specify country of origin or type.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks (I think)

I'm lost... I checked a few boxes and there seems a disconnect between the  
descriptions and ingredient list. Examples

Twinings Pure Oloong tea
Ad: "ancient blend of carefully selected black teas"
Ingredients "oolong tea"

Harney Black Tea Paris
Ad: "Fruity black tea" plus flavorings
Ingredients: "Chinese black tea"

Lively Tea Organic English Breakfast
Ad: Organic EB tea
Ing: "black tea"

Taylor afternoon Darjeeling "highest tea gardens in foothill so of Himalaya
s"  
Ingredients "Darjeeling tea.
Wrapper ""Tea produce of more than one country."  
  
What is all this about? It looks to me as if the label tells me nothing abo
ut the actual tea. What is Taylor up to? When I see something I may want to
 buy, how can I tell what I will be getting?




Re: Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins
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Okay, ingredients seem correct, the description seems shamefully wrong.

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Ingredients are definitely wrong, and possibly in a hazardous way.  What if
someone is allergic to citrus or vanilla?

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Those are probably correct, but they are also very vague.

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Well, likely the wrapper is correct, and that is kind of shameful too.

Taylor is selling a mix of Darjeeling and something that is very close to
Darjeeling, like a greener sikkim tea.  It might taste indistinguishable
from a pure Darjeeling, and unfortunately most of the teas that are sold as
Darjeeling, including some "single estate" teas are like this.

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ALL you can do is buy from a legitimate supplier and hope for the best.
Sadly we do not have an Appelation d'Origin Controle system for tea, and
many teas come from places where counterfeiting and relabelling is standard
practice.

On the other hand, Harney should really be ashamed of listing a scented tea
as just containing tea.  (It is entirely possible that the scenting ingredients
are small enough quantities that they don't have to be listed by US law in
the ingredients, though.)
--scott
--  
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins
On 2015-04-18 19:44:28 +0000, mandy george said:

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I avoid blended teas specifically for this reason.  However, I do enjoy  
regular old Lipton, as well as PG Tips, both in the loose boxes.  Both  
are respectable for an inexpensive black tea, with a consistent flavor  
box to box.  The Lipton is qctually a fine enough tea to stand on its  
own even against fancier blacks - it has a very very light smoky touch  
and it's just delightful.  PG Tips seems to have more of a malty Assam  
character.

Oddly enough, both kinds of tea are quite insipid when bagged!


Re: Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins
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Lipton yellow label and red label are two totally different blends with no
real connection to one another.  Very strange.

PG Tips I don't know about, I have only seen the ctc granules...
--scott
--  
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Re: Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins
On 2015-04-29 15:49:19 +0000, Scott Dorsey said:

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You can get it in some grocery stores that feature a 'British Isles'  
ethnic section.  Most stores only carry the bagged junk.  And there's  
always Amazon!


Re: Ingredient lists on labels on blends and tins
On Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 3:44:29 PM UTC-4, mandy george wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 This and That stuff. and all the British sounding blends of assam, ceylon,
 kenya, etc.
Quoted text here. Click to load it
el implies and what the ingredients are listed as. You get all the stuff ab
out it being specially selected from some local garden in China but then th
e ingredients show just :Green tea" or "A blend of black teas."  
Quoted text here. Click to load it
shows the ingredients are just "Black tea" how much Darjeeling does it actu
ally have in it? Harrod's pushes a High Alishan Taiwan Oolong as Oolong Gre
en tea" and the ingredients don;t specify country of origin or type.  
Quoted text here. Click to load it

thanks Scott.... discouraging. I read that something like 60% of teas is no
w packed by reexporters in Dubai and that just about all lipton teas are mi
xed there. this all makes the labels pretty meaningless

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