The adulteration of tea.

The Living age 915, 14.12.1861

The London Lancet gives the result of the microscopical and chemical analysis of forty-eight samples of tea.

Of the twentyfour specimens of black tea analyzed, every one was found to be genuine. Of a like number of green teas all were adultrated. The adulterations are mainly a coloring matter with which the tea leaf is faced, painted or glazed. Ferro cyanide of iron or Prussiau blue is the article most commonly used for this purpose. Sometimes, however, indigo, kaolin, or China clay, and tumeric powder were found in addition. That species of tea which is denominated gunpowder, was adulterated in other ways by admixture with leaves not those of tea, with paddy husk, and particularly with "lie tea," so called, a leaf which resembles the tea leaf closely, and is sent to this country from China in vast quantities, to be employed in adulteration here. Tho coloring of the tea is almost entirely done in China, and probably because it improves its appearance, and, perhaps, renders its sale more sure and rapid.

Such is the result of a thorough analyzation of this article by eminent scientific men in England, and it is certainly not very flattering to the tastes of those who drink green tea for the love of it. There is no such article as an unadulterated green tea. Let the lovers of the herb remember that fact, and as they sip the delicious beverage, and fancy that they find in it a solvent for their itches and pains, let them also remember that they are sipping with it a solution of Prussian blue and indigo, as well as sundry other little peccadilloes that neither add to its exhilarating properties, nor yet are entirely harmless to the system. On the other band, the black teas are not adulterated, and are the only ones used by the Chinese. Knowing the impurities that are in the best green teas, they send them to foreign ports to tickle the palates of the English, the French, and the American, who, in their view, fancy the bright lively appearance imparted by the coloring compositions they use.

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