The word aroma is of Greek origin and originally meant spice.
An aroma is made up of a range of different individual flavouring substances. The taste or smell of a food is only due to these substances. They are either naturally present or added later.
We have to distinguish between:

- natural flavourings
- nature-identical flavourings
- artificial flavourings

Natural flavourings are produced from natural plant or animal
raw material. In their production, only physical, enzymatic or microbiological processes must be used, e.g. heating, pressing, cutting, grinding, mixing, filtering, distilling, or fermenting.
Nature-identical flavourings are produced by chemical synthesis.
Once the production process is complete, these substances have to be chemically identical to a substance, which occurs naturally in the animal or plant material that it is based on. There is no requirement for the raw materials to be of natural origin.

Artificial flavourings are produced entirely by chemical synthesis and can be detected, because they do not occur naturally. Such substances are not used in the flavouring of tea.

Nature-identical flavourings are thus produced in a laboratory, but in their chemical structure, they are exactly identical to the naturally occurring substances. For that reason, nature-identical aromas can be made up of nature-identical as well as natural flavouring agents.

For that reason, under German law, these two groups are combined under a single definition. Even though both natural and nature-identical flavourings are chemically identical, there are many advantages to using the latter:

- they are more stable
- they retain theier taste and smell over longer periods and also after exposure to heat
- they are cost-effective and better calculable