Posts in Wellness Wednesdays

TEA 101: Origination & Creation

{Blending & Flavour in the North American Tea Industry}


“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”  

Arthur Conan Doyle ~ The Boscombe Valley Mystery {The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, #4}



Have you ever wondered while reading the labels on your food, on your favourite treats or on your tea what the term "natural flavour" or "artificial flavour" meant? Have you ever wondered where these "ingredients" might have come from, how they were processed and why they are present in the product that you are ingesting into your body? You also might be wondering why there's a massive photo of a beaver in this post. For those of you who are fans of the larger tea company brands who’s teas are full of flavours, sparkles, sprinkles and sugar, we want you to understand where these ingredients come from that you are consuming.


The food industry is full of hidden secrets, cut corners and ways of driving down the prince in order to increase profits. Many “natural” flavours are often derived from grotesque places such as beaver anal glands. Yup, you heard me right, beaver assholes. Not only is this absolutely cruel it is also unnecessary. I mean, who in their right mind discovered this in the first place and would then decide it would be okay to introduce this to our food industry?! A few years ago, we found an article titled, 18 Most Sickening Food Ingredients , which highlights the ingredient Castoreum, which is the ingredient disguised as "natural" vanilla, strawberry and raspberry flavours which are some of the major culprits for being sourced in this fashion.



What it is: Brace yourself—this food flavoring is extracted from the castor sac scent glands of the male or female beaver, which are located near the anus. According to Milkowski, the substance is pretty expensive (think about what it probably takes to obtain it) and is more common in perfume than in actual foods. 

Where you’ll find it: While it sounds downright disgusting, the FDA says it’s GRAS, meaning it’s “generally recognized as safe.” You won’t see this one on the food label because it’s generally listed as “natural flavoring.” It’s natural all right—naturally icky.



At Shisso Tea we have zero tolerance for ingredients that do not positively benefit the body or are sourced unethically and inhumanely. We focus mainly on single origin teas which have been lovingly and ethically sourced. Any teas which have been scented are only ever done so with pure ingredients, essential oils or are naturally scented with ingredients during the processing.

Our  Midnight Jasmine Tea for instance has been naturally scented with the jasmine flowers through a ancient process which is hundreds of years old. Tao Tea Leaf displays this process beautifully in an article called Tradition Jasmine Green Tea Scenting Process.  "Jasmine tea is a precious species of scented tea. It is has a history dating over 700 years old. Some say that you can smell the freshness of springtime in quality jasmine tea. Its taste is mellow and refreshing. It has a durable and fresh fragrance."

½���� ͼ 8月4日,挑选优质的花瓣。
陆乙鑫 图

We are passionate about providing the best quality tea, the most ethically sourced ingredients and sharing the tradition and culture from this 5000 year old industry with you.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions and input with us!

With a jasmine scented heart,

Vanessa Chislett
Founder of Shisso Tea