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What ingredient in this tea makes it taste sweet? Cinnamon? Cloves? Nutmeg? Answered

Bengal Spice tea made by Celestial Seasonings tastes sweet when brewed without a sweetener.  It's so sweet you could convince a taster that a fair amount of sweetener was already added to their cup.  The listed ingredients are:  cinnamon, roasted chicory, roasted carob, natural spice and vanilla flavors with other natural flavors, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg.  The box lists 0 calories and 0 grams of carbohydrate indicating no sugar.  Further, since the second infusion also tastes sweet, I doubt they "neglected" to list an ingredient such as sugar or stevia, which would tend to fully dissolve in the first infusion. 

What ingredient is making the tea taste sweet?  Why isn't that ingredient used to sweeten other drinks?

Discussions

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AngryRedhead
AngryRedhead

Best Answer 9 years ago

The ingredients that make it taste sweet:  cinnamon, roasted chicory, roasted carob, natural spice and vanilla flavors with other natural flavors, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg.

Pretty much every ingredient is "sweet", and foods with those sorts of ingredients don't need as much sugar.  Gingerbread cookies can get away with far less sweetener than blander cookies.  I think the Starbucks Chai Latte is far too sweet, and when I make my own at home, I use far less sweetener than they do - like a tsp of splenda for 16 oz.  If I were to make a latte, I would use 2 tbsp of splenda for 16 oz.  This is probably why dietitians encourage people to use lots of herbs and spices in their food - foods with lots of flavor don't need as much fat and sugar to taste nice.

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onrust
onrust

Answer 9 years ago

+1, blessed be, and pass the Chamomile

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EvaZ8
EvaZ8

1 year ago

I called Celestial Seasonings. The 'natural flavor' added is cinnamon oil and the 'natural spice' is tumeric. They don't add stevia, honey or any other sweeteners. Hurry! (June 26, 2018)

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canderson37
canderson37

3 years ago

I'm guessing one of the "natural flavours" might be licorice, that is what the sweetness reminds me of

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Canadient
Canadient

4 years ago

"Natural flavors" is what makes the tea taste sweet. Aspartame is one ingredient that is often listed under the blanket of "natural flavors".

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Eshusan
Eshusan

5 years ago

I've become quite concerned about this. At our meditation centre, we've been drinking this blend for years. When I recently looked at a box, I noticed this "natural flavours" which never used to be there. I also remember that the old ingredient list included licorice root, which was a big source of the sweet. This obscuration of the actual ingredients makes me unhappy, and we will likely discontinue drinking this tea.

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teakayache
teakayache

5 years ago

That all sounds quite interesting. I just love the tea.

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adrian.foxkirk
adrian.foxkirk

5 years ago

The clue is in the order of the ingredients. By law all food labels show the ingredients in order of amount used. As you can see, the first ingredient on the list is cinnamon so this is the most abundant ingredient and is what is making the tea taste sweet. Cinnamon has been used for centuries to make things sweet, and is a major ingredient in diabetic friendly 'sweet' foods because of its ability to make the tastebuds believe that there is sugar in what you are eating. The other flavour that helps is cardamon. This also has been used for centuries in India and surrounding areas as a flavour for sweet foods.

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groovellous1.
groovellous1.

5 years ago

My packets of BS tea bought just the other day have a sticker over the original "nutrition facts", stating that in fact 100ml of tea contains "less than 40kj", and "less than 1g" of each of protein, fat and carbohydrate. Since 1mg vs 99mg of each of these is an enormous variation, the information provided is meaningless. I think the best truth is that celestial seasonings has no idea what the chemical constitution of their tea is so they have created a kind of "disclaimer" label. Obviously there is not 0mg of sugar in this supersweet tea. Doesn't matter whether the sugar is fructose, glucose, dextrose or lactose, it's all sugar and should be honestly listed on the package. The labelling in fact is probably illegal in Australia and I plan to inform Consumer Affairs about it.

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Tonester
Tonester

9 years ago

According to Evitamins website:

Your answer on why Celestial Seasonings "Bengal Spice Tea" being a little on the sweet side is a hint of vanilla that adds a bit of sweetness taste.

Ingredients: Cinnamon, Roasted Chicory Root, Roasted Carob, Natural Spice and Vanilla Flavors with other Natural Flavors, Dates, Ginger Root, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cloves, and Nutmeg.

The answer is found at:
http://www.evitamins.com/product.asp?pid=5030

By: Tonester of DeluxeMini-Sports (http://www.deluxemini-sports.com/)

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jewels55
jewels55

Answer 7 years ago

I can't get my whipped cream to taste as 'sweet' with a "spoonful of vanilla" compared to the excessive sweetness of CS "Bengal Spice" tea bag!! No the sweetness has another more prominent source of sweetness than a "hint" of vanilla....

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tincanz
tincanz

9 years ago

All of the plant-based ingredients have natural complex sugars, and the hot water causes them to break down slightly. The broken down form of a complex sugar is a simple sugar, one that tastes sweet. To prove or disprove, try some of that tea with cold water, see if it is sweet still.

It is also possible that some of the "Other natural flavors" are slightly sweet.

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jewels55
jewels55

Answer 7 years ago

DING -idea......They would have to be boiled for a long period to break down sufficiently to release their sugars. (Not just by brewing in cup for 5 mins) This is partly how High Fructose Corn Syrup is produced. The cinnamon may have undergone such a process before being added to the tea mix and still maybe classed as natural cinnamon when in fact it is pre-processed to release it sugars first? Excess fructose is linked to metabolic syndrome including type 2 diabetes.....

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jewels55
jewels55

7 years ago

I thought it was exceptionally, perhaps overly, sweet. But i have been making my own spice tea with 2 broken quills of cinnamon and 5-10 cloves and grated apple or pear and tsp green tea left to infuse all day. First cups are sweetish from the fruit BUT later additions of water show that the sweetness intensifies from the (now more available) cinnamon alone. I have no doubt that the other flavours stated on Bengal spice contribute, too but it is the taste of the sweetness from cinnamon that predominates and is the source,( in my opinion). What i would like to know is whether cinnamon's sweetness is from from fructose or another sugar such as the sweetness from stevia which is not fructose derived. The sweetness is NOT from glucose as glucose is not particularly sweet compared to other sugars.

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TheStott
TheStott

8 years ago

most likely the ginger

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d1ndian
d1ndian

8 years ago

The very name tells that it's an Indian green tea. Originally the green leaves used to make this tea is grown in Darjling, India and at a few more places near. It's famously known as Indian green tea or Darjling tea.

Here's a quote from the official website - celestialseasonings.com "This adventurous blend is our caffeine-free interpretation of Chai, a piquant Indian brew traditionally made with black tea."

Chai - made of milk sugar tea specially made tea leaves/ powder.

Also all plants have glucose in them, this is exactly what plants produce to fee upon (plants make their own food). Glucose is naturally sweet and for humans it works like medical Redbull or an energy drink since it directly dissolves in your blood and makes you feel energetic.

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Foxx4050
Foxx4050

8 years ago

The roasted carob. Also you can't tell what the "other natural flavors" are so it could be that too.

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amelaboy
amelaboy

8 years ago

They all work together to make it sweet

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jrg3ni0us
jrg3ni0us

9 years ago

All of the above. But it's not too cheap, so others just use sugar

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Alex Dee
Alex Dee

9 years ago

ginger cardamom that is what probably make it sweet

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teeval
teeval

9 years ago

I reckon its the mix of vanilla flavouring and cinnamon. Both taste sweet on their own and cinnamon added to things, such a stewed fruit, reduces the amount of sugar needed :-D

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Dr.crazy
Dr.crazy

9 years ago

probably a spice uve never heard of grans of paradice

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thepelton
thepelton

9 years ago

Carob is naturally sweet. Cardamom enhances the flavor of chocolate and carob.

1
siliconghost
siliconghost

9 years ago

It's the Roasted Carob, at least according to this guy (and a few others here that mention it).

"If you don't know what carob is, it's a dark-brown pod that is native to the Mediterranean. It has a nice-chocolate-y taste is often used as a chocolate substitute. It has calcium, phosphorus and potassium. It has been purportedly used to help people survive during wars. And what's great is, it's naturally sweet! Which explains why the tea possesses a mild sweetness without any sugar."

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KNEXTeam
KNEXTeam

9 years ago

Natural Flavors, The tasting made by nature.

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aeray
aeray

Answer 9 years ago

"Other natural flavors" are definitely weird and slightly suspicious. Basically, if a particular chemical can be found and extracted from a natural (usually plant) source, or synthesized to match the chemical(s) in that source, it can be called a "natural flavor" The New Yorker recently had a great article about it.

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Arano
Arano

Answer 9 years ago

hmm natural flavirs... strawberry flavor is in most cases extracted from the bark of some trees hehe

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bloglinks
bloglinks

9 years ago

it sweet...

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meltoneom007
meltoneom007

9 years ago

i think sugar n Cinnamon make it tastes beter...(spoon lickin good)

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satcchi.08
satcchi.08

9 years ago

the cinnamon makes it sweet...

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maddman
maddman

9 years ago

not only the carob, but also cinnamon also tends to be a bit sweet in it's natural form, not too sweet though ,as it's sweetness is usually masked by the firy cinnamon taste. but in the form of cinnamon sticks it is a bit sweet.

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acidbass
acidbass

9 years ago

vanilla when roasted with the carob carmelizes and makes a sweet taste

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NachoMahma
NachoMahma

9 years ago

. roasted carob

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orksecurity
orksecurity

Answer 9 years ago

Roasting would caramelize some of the starches...

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Goodhart
Goodhart

Answer 9 years ago

Yep, that is what I posted on FB and that the cinnamon would help enhance the sweetness

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aeray
aeray

9 years ago

I knew that chicory is sweet-tasting but I didn't know why, until now.
Chicory contains a high level of inulin, which is used as a sweetener. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicory

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aeray
aeray

Answer 9 years ago

It's the chicory, folks:
"the root contains up to 20% inulin" "It is used as a sweetener in the food industry with a sweetening power 1⁄10 that of sucrose"

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lemonie
lemonie

9 years ago


I wonder what more accurate %s are?
0.49% rounds to 0%, which gives you up to 9.8mg of each. Not sugar, must be very-sweet.
I guess the analysis is of the liquid @ 8floz (they don't expect you to eat the tea bag)
I guess Stevia too

L

Interesting thing I found

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rimar2000
rimar2000

9 years ago

Are you sure you washed the cup before pouring the tea? ;)

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Re-design
Re-design

Answer 9 years ago

Maybe that's why my iced tea tastes like Gentleman Jack!

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PKM
PKM

9 years ago

My money's on chicory, carob and possibly vanilla.

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Ninzerbean
Ninzerbean

9 years ago

According to the FDA sugar is a "natural" flavoring, where as honey is not. That says a lot about Big Sugar (as they are known as in FL) and it's successful lobbying. I would guess that sugar is indeed in that tea, why there are no calories listed is probably a loop hole they found in the "natural" area.

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jrossetti
jrossetti

9 years ago

I'd suspect it's the combination of them. I have that same tea and just made a cup, it isn't that sweet... But I do have a cold and can't smell, so maybe the sweetness is from the scent, possibly?

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Jayefuu
Jayefuu

9 years ago

Other natural flavoUrs maybe? Either way, they have an amazing address.

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orksecurity
orksecurity

9 years ago

I would guess that the vanilla, carob, and perhaps cardamom also add some sweet notes.

Simplest way to check would be to get some of those ingredients and try your own mixtures.