And it works- David's Tea is hugely popular.
(I have a problem....)
Except... many of David's Teas have 'flavouring' added to the ingredient list. Have you noticed? If you check their FAQ page, you'll see them describe the use of 'natural flavouring' and 'artificial flavouring'.
I will be honest, I was hugely disappointed.
I, naively, assumed that my teas were flavoured with tea leaves, nuts and berries... not some sort of 'flavour pack' assembled in a lab by 'flavourists'. 'But wait!' you may say, 'isn't the use of 'natural' flavours not that bad?'...
Actually... we well know that the word 'natural' has almost no weight in the food and cosmetic industry. It's not regulated nor is it policed. That said, there are general expectations for what would be considered a 'Natural flavour' and an 'Artificial flavour'.
According to the Scientific American (in 2002):
"...a natural flavor is the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional"
Artificial flavours are synthetical derived chemical compositions that elicit a certain taste. There has been some discussion in the literature and blogosphere on artificial colouring and flavouring causing health concerns in children. It's honestly one more unnatural component that we are ingesting into our bodies. And we can be sure that regulatory bodies have not looked into the effects of how these synthetic compounds react with each other, with other ingredients or holistically over the lifespan of human ingestion.
Unfortunately, added flavourings hide several ingredients (some petrochemical in origin) that companies are not forced to reveal. Similar to perfume companies, as a type of 'trade secret' to protect from other companies copying their scent (or in this case, taste). Artificial flavours can be made from some sketchy chemicals and we all know how fantastic the FDA is at policing additives stamping new ingredients with the 'safe' stamp of approval (read: terrible). Health Canada isn't that much better.
It is possible to find David's Tea without 'flavouring' added. For example, the Organic Peppermint Amour ingredient lists only has peppermint leaves (from Oregon State!). Don't rely on the term 'organic' however. Unthinkingly I purchased 'Organic Sweet Dreams'... which is the first time I've noticed the ingredient 'flavouring' on the tin.
Unfortunately, the entire purpose of getting new tea was because I have discovered that although Peppermint Tea is the BEST thing for IBS (better than medication!!!), it is NOT good for reflux. Apparently Peppermint tea will relax the upper stomach sphincter and allow acid to rise up while sleeping.
What I should do is look into the truly local, tea house 'World Tea House' in Halifax instead of continuing to support the 'Starbucks' equivalent to Tea.