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  1. #1

    Default Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    A quick search of the interwebs reveals that tinctures are easy to make, though most people are making them for medicinal, or, erm... 'medicinal' reasons. Anyway, most of the guides recommend vodka (I even found one that recommended vinegar) and that would probably be OK if you were intending to ingest the stuff at some point rather than making them for fragrance use, so I was wondering what's the best way to go about this?

    Tea seems like an interesting material, and costs a wallet battering £11.99 for 3ml from Hermitage. But luckily they provide a - possibly deceptive - guide to its production.

    http://www.hermitageoils.com/black-tea-tincture-862

    'The starting material was a semi-fermented, Japanese style of black tea, similar to Lapsang Souchong but without the smokiness, made more than 30 years ago. This was left without maceration and soaked for a year, with regular agitation, at 10% in near-pure ethanol before straining to produce this very special, delicately scented tincture.'

    Is that it? Simply add some fine tea - I wasn't planning on using PG Tips - to ethanol, seal, and leave (with occasional shaking) in a cool dark place for a year?

    Anyhoo, I have a few questions...

    1. Would the fridge be a good place?
    2. Do you need some sort of inert gas blanket, or would leaving minimum airspace do?
    3. How about powdering the tea first?
    4. Why 10%?

    Any answers to those questions, or hints and tips about tinctures in general gratefully received.

    -

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Quote Originally Posted by Skelly View Post

    Is that it? Simply add some fine tea - I wasn't planning on using PG Tips - to ethanol, seal, and leave (with occasional shaking) in a cool dark place for a year?

    Anyhoo, I have a few questions...

    1. Would the fridge be a good place?
    2. Do you need some sort of inert gas blanket, or would leaving minimum airspace do?
    3. How about powdering the tea first?
    4. Why 10%?

    Any answers to those questions, or hints and tips about tinctures in general gratefully received.

    -
    To answer your questions:

    In essence, yes that's it. The result you get will of course vary with the tea you start with among other variables.

    Occasional shaking probably isn't enough - I generally shake my tinctures at least once a day - not an insignificant commitment over the course of a year or more. It won't hurt if you go away for a week now and then though, tincturing isn't that critical and is a distinctly inexact science.

    Dark is certainly a good idea, cool is OK, warm probably better, cold not so much.

    so:
    1) Not ideal
    2) No, minimal airspace is fine, with some tinctures a little air is helpful to the process anyway.
    3) You could do, but then it will need very careful filtering afterwards - but try it by all means - the more finely powdered it is the faster the tincture will be ready to use. But it may also result in a slightly different scent.
    4) Mainly space - a full jar of unpowdered tea is pretty full at 10% - remember it's done by weight and dry tea doesn't weigh much. If you are using other materials, dry them first or the water in the leaves / flowers / whatever ends up in the alcohol resulting in clouding problems when you use the tincture in your perfume.

    What you're paying for when you buy a ready-made tincture isn't so much the raw-material but all that time, trouble and storage space that went into making it. Also if you want some today, you have to buy it, if you want some next year and you enjoy spending time playing about with tincturing then hang on to your money. . .
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Tea's a favorite scent of mine too... awhile back, I took to making tea in my *big* stovetop cooking pot, then strain and repeat, I repeated about five times, just making that tea stronger and stronger... This process is called "folding".
    So I made a 5X folded Black tea, then I boiled it and boiled and boiled, (lots of volatiles escaping all the while, smelled great!) and finally got to black goo in the bottom of the pot. It worked, and I use it. (but I may have also burned it...)

    Another thought I had while reading this, is that alcohol *does* boil at a very low temp. And while this is def *NOT* recommended, I do it a lot. I put small bottles in the microwave filled with alcohol and something, and give it a five second burst. This heats up the alcohol really fast. I'f I'm using a half ounce bottle, I might get the alcohol to boil in 7 seconds. At which point that if you don't have a cap on it, then it will be all over the Microwave, instead of in your bottle.

    BUT... you *could*, now mind you, this is purely conjecture, and don't try this at home, you could burn yourself, and I could never make a recommendation to personally do this extremely dangerous operation that could maim you for life if the bottle of alcohol explodes in your microwave, or worse on your hands and face scalding them for life..., I'd farm it out to the menehunes in Hawaii or somebody..., or do it in your enemies microwave... but put tea into alcohol with a plastic lid on the *clear* THICK glass jar, and boil the tea and alcohol tincture, using a mitt to pull the bottle out to agitate, or better yet, let it cool for half an hour IN the microwave... and ***DO NOT*** remove the lid till cool... Strain and repeat... You'll need to watch for the first bubbles through the window, and kill the power at the first sign of bubbles, so that the alcohol doesn't build up too much pressure inside the glass jar to make it explode.

    This process certainly wouldn't take a year to complete, but could result in the loss of an eye or melted burnt skin if you mess it up... just sayin'
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Thanks Chris, that's very helpful.

    I've just bought a couple of suitable flasks on e-bay so I'll select my teas, prepare the tinctures and store in a dark cupboard rather than the fridge. I have a stirrer so I'll use that and alternate the flasks. I'll have a think about powdering - maybe try it with a small amount before ageing - though I have a vacuum filter setup which should make that easier.

    I'm in no rush; I'm new to perfumery* and lack the skills needed to make good use of the tea tincture, but in a year or so, who knows?

    *I was preparing zingerone from vanillin, wondered why the chemical changes produced such a massive change in fragrance, read part of The Emperor Of Scent ordered a few samples to see what all the fuss was about, and ended up here.

    -


    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post

    BUT... you *could*, now mind you, this is purely conjecture, and don't try this at home, you could burn yourself, and I could never make a recommendation to personally do this extremely dangerous operation that could maim you for life if the bottle of alcohol explodes in your microwave, or worse on your hands and face scalding them for life..., I'd farm it out to the menehunes in Hawaii or somebody..., or do it in your enemies microwave... but put tea into alcohol with a plastic lid on the *clear* THICK glass jar, and boil the tea and alcohol tincture, using a mitt to pull the bottle out to agitate, or better yet, let it cool for half an hour IN the microwave... and ***DO NOT*** remove the lid till cool... Strain and repeat... You'll need to watch for the first bubbles through the window, and kill the power at the first sign of bubbles, so that the alcohol doesn't build up too much pressure inside the glass jar to make it explode.

    '
    Hmmm..... I could try that. But I think I'll use a reflux condenser in order to avoid rapidly expanding fireball and sheet of flame misery.

    -
    Last edited by Skelly; 22nd January 2013 at 08:27 PM. Reason: getting to grips with this threading system...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Hmm, <Yoda says> Chemistry experience have you?

    Thanks for making me think of tinctures today. They just asphalt slurry sealed my street in front of me, so I just bottled up some asphalt slurry seal tincture in 200 proof alcohol, (because it was already wet, no need to add a lesser proof alcohol already containing more water...)
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    But seriously, pkiler; if you want to boil things in alcohol get a round bottomed quickfit boiling flask, a hotplate, and a reflux condenser from e-bay.

    Then you can safely boil things in alcohol all day if you like without incinerating the neighbourhood. Keep the condenser cool enough and you'll also get to keep your volatiles. Though you might denature them, which is probably why people do all that waiting.

    -

  7. #7
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Do the tea leaves need to be changed? Or do you just let the original tea leaves sit for a year? I have been looking, off and on, for a black tea tincture or oil to buy. I've only found green tea which isn't what I want.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    I'm pretty sure you use the same leaves, Curly.

    Tincture news latest: Haven't started the tea yet, but I found 25g of powdered orris root I added to 100ml of IPA a month or so ago. I bought the orris because I didn't know what it smelled like and decided to experiment. It's usually steam distilled but I didn't have enough, hence the IPA. I'll stir it for a week - somewhere warmer than the fridge - then filter and evap the IPA to see what I get.

    -

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    I have used a soxhlet extractor to make a tea extract with ethanol. I got something very similar to my nose to the tea absolute I purchased later. The exception is there seems to be a lot of minute particles in the extract I made and I have had a hard time filtering them out.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Quote Originally Posted by gecko214 View Post
    I have used a soxhlet extractor to make a tea extract with ethanol. I got something very similar to my nose to the tea absolute I purchased later. The exception is there seems to be a lot of minute particles in the extract I made and I have had a hard time filtering them out.
    That's useful to know. I've got a couple of extractors and might give that a try.

    Maybe a fritted glass filter funnel would work for filtering out the last of the particles?

    Orris tincture update: I managed to spill a load of the mixture. Doh! Didn't know exactly what was left so I decanted and filtered the now yellowish IPA. Evaporation yielded a few drops of a gummy material a little like thick toffee. Hard to tell what it smells like 'cos I've got a cold and I'd spent the previous half hour cleaning up orris powder. Anyway, I scraped what I could into a vial to check out if and when this cold ever goes away.

    -

    - - - Updated - - -

    Orris tincture update 2: The brown gummy material smells very faintly of orris powder. Ho hum, back to the drawing board. Guess that's the reason people steam distil a kilo of the stuff to yield 1g or orris butter...

    -
    Last edited by Skelly; 25th January 2013 at 08:30 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    I tinctured green tea and peppermint and ithey seemed ready to use in a few days. Black tea powder is taking longer though... why 1 year? I feel like it would be usable soon...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly11 View Post
    Do the tea leaves need to be changed? Or do you just let the original tea leaves sit for a year? I have been looking, off and on, for a black tea tincture or oil to buy. I've only found green tea which isn't what I want.
    I wouldn't change the leaves no, tea tinctures very slowly because most of the interesting things in it that make tea when you pour boiling water on it are water soluble more than ethanol soluble, so you'll go on extracting more from the same leaves for a long time. If you keep changing them the result will be different: you'll get a high concentration of the volatiles that come out quickly and nothing of the ones that take a long time.

    If you want to buy some Black Tea tincture ready-made there is a link in the very first post in this thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambolt View Post
    I tinctured green tea and peppermint and ithey seemed ready to use in a few days. Black tea powder is taking longer though... why 1 year? I feel like it would be usable soon...
    That will be because peppermint tinctures very quickly, so what you have after a few days is a peppermint tincture with traces of green tea. If you keep it for a year you'll have a green tea and peppermint tincture . . .

    Black tea tincture colours after a few days, but don't be fooled into thinking that the colour and the volatiles come out of the leaves at the same speed. I've not tried it with powdered tea, that could well be significantly faster.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  13. #13
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Thanks for the tip, Chris. I may try to tincture it myself just for fun.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    The daphne in my garden is in flower.

    I'd better get out there...

    Edit: Only about 20% of the individual flowers on the heads are open, so I'll leave them to the weekend and see if I can find the optimal scent time. I'll dry the few I've picked so far to see what happens. Rather than drying completely - and losing volatiles - I might add some molecular sieves to the tincture to soak up any water.

    -
    Last edited by Skelly; 6th February 2013 at 06:18 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Tinctures are great fun to make using all sorts of things. It is one of my favourite occupations. Mine are just done with patience, not direct heat.

  16. #16
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Tinctures are great fun to make using all sorts of things. It is one of my favourite occupations. Mine are just done with patience, not direct heat.
    By all means, please describe your process. I am very interested. Spring is coming and the lilacs will be in bloom. I'd like to try tincturing fresh lilacs. Do you have any experience with them?

    - - - Updated - - -

    What is a molecular sieve? (This question is for Skelly. For some reason it attached to my reply to Mumsy).

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Quote Originally Posted by Skelly View Post
    The daphne in my garden is in flower.

    I'd better get out there...

    Edit: Only about 20% of the individual flowers on the heads are open, so I'll leave them to the weekend and see if I can find the optimal scent time. I'll dry the few I've picked so far to see what happens. Rather than drying completely - and losing volatiles - I might add some molecular sieves to the tincture to soak up any water.

    -
    Two cautions here: from a practical viewpoint tincturing flowers is difficult and only rarely successful, especially if they are fleshy and still fresh as in this case.

    From a safety viewpoint you need to be very, very careful with Daphne as it extremely poisonous. The poison is absolutely deadly when ingested - I don't know whether alcohol might render it dangerous by skin contact as well - to be honest this isn't something I would tincture.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Oddly, whenever I load this page, it automatically forwards to Facebook, looking for something, but it only finds an error message...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  19. #19

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Oddly, whenever I load this page, it automatically forwards to Facebook, looking for something, but it only finds an error message...
    That was, briefly, happening with pretty much every thread. It seems to have stopped now. Weird problem to have occurred though - makes me really glad I'm not in IT any more!
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    I'd better forget about the Daphne if they're poisonous. And I was freeze drying them..

    *kicks self for not checking*

    Never mind, my jasmine abs arrived today, and I'll just have to play with that this weekend instead.

    -

    From the wiki. Molecular sieves:


    Molecular sieves are used as adsorbent for gases and liquids. Molecules small enough to pass through the pores are adsorbed while larger molecules are not. It is different from a common filter in that it operates on a molecular level and traps the adsorbed substance. For instance, a water molecule may be small enough to pass through the pores while larger molecules are not, so water is forced into the pores which act as a trap for the penetrating water molecules, which are retained within the pores. Because of this, they often function as a desiccant. A molecular sieve can adsorb water up to 22% of its own weight.

    Several materials may be used as molecular sieves. Silica gel and activated carbon are two examples. Another - which I was planning on using - is zeolite. The 3A sieves may be used to dry several organic compounds, including ethanol. The water will be absorbed by the sieves, but the ethanol and - I assume - any aroma molecules will be too large.

    3A sieves are used by double glazing manufacturers to scavenge any residual moisture from inside the windows in order to prevent misting. The double glazing people use these by the tonne, but it's possible to buy samples, which is how I got mine.

    -

  21. #21

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    Quote Originally Posted by Skelly View Post
    I'd better forget about the Daphne if they're poisonous. And I was freeze drying them..

    *kicks self for not checking*

    -
    Sorry about the Daphne I knew because for years I've grown it in my garden and always had to worry about puppies chewing on the stems or visiting children eating the tempting looking red fruit. It was actually me that added that to the Wikipedia entry after I noticed it wasn't mentioned. There are a handful of deaths from Daphne poisoning each year round the world and all parts of the plant are known to be poisonous.

    However all may not be lost for your freeze dried flowers: they would be safe enough used in a pot-pouri (out of reach of children, just in case) and would probably emit their scent for a good few weeks that way.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Tea tincture, and tinctures in general

    I like making tinctures of all sorts of herbs etc. DIY perfumery is just a hobby for me started from aromatherapy. I have homemade tinctures mostly vodka based from single herbs mostly. This season so far I made mugwort/yarrow tincture, a mineola tincture and a birch leaf tincture. When my fragrant rose blooms in the garden in summer I will be making rose tincture. Spices and resins I have also tinctures. Besides vodka some of the small liquour bottles of eau de vie are interesting to use also. I tincture just leaving things in bottles and wait.
    [COLOR=""]a rose is a rose is a rose[/COLOR]

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