This substance, as its name implies, is an imitation of tea, usually containing fragments or dust of the genuine leaves, foreign leaves, and mineral matters, held together by means of a starch solution and colored by one of the facing preparations. It is stated that gunpowder and imperial teas are more subject to this form of adulteration. Of the samples examined by the Department of Agriculture all were free from lie tea.
According to Hassall3 the percentage of ash in lie tea ranges from 13.05 to 52.92 for black teas and 13.13 to 56.34 for green teas. The same authority also found black teas containing from 6 to 17.7 per cent lie tea, and green teas containing 1.38 to 48.16 per cent of this adulterant.
To detect lie tea treat the suspected sample with boiling water; if it contain this adulterant portions will break up into dust and leaf fragments.