Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tea Basics: What’s in a Blend?

Most tea retailers create their own blend to make their tea taste and smell unique so that a particular group of target customers are hooked to only that variety of tea. However, there are no maxims regarding the right blend or anything. There are some regular blends and you can make your own blend by mixing two or three of these regular blends to suit your taste.

Here are some blends that you can take a look at to get an idea about the usual blends. You can try some of them and then make your own by mixing them or adding a few herbs or spices of your choice to experiment.

Earl Gray

This is only black tea with Bergamot citrus oil added for the aroma. The light citrus flavor is refreshing and strong and you can make it to smooth the aroma if you want with a few jasmine or holy basil leaves.

English Breakfast

Yes, this is the name of a blend of tea or to be precise, a Chinese Keemun famous in India, Africa and Ceylon. This is one of the commonest types of tea.

Irish Breakfast

Similar to the English breakfast, the Irish breakfast is a blend grown in Assam and Ceylon in large quantities. It is dark in color and malty in texture.

Afternoon Blend

This is a light tea unlike the English and Irish breakfast. The blend is made from the best Darjeeling tea, Oolong tea and light Ceylon tea. Since it promotes digestion it is recommended after heavy meals which we usually tend to eat during lunch and hence the name.

Russian Style

This is black tea or oolong tea teamed with Lapsang Souchong for the smoky effect. The blend is generally made by mixing Keemun tea, Assam tea and green tea from China. Some other blends include different types of black tea only.

Spiced Tea

Spices like cloves, cardamom, anise and cinnamon are added to superior quality Ceylon tea and your spiced tea blend is ready. The base is black tea because black tea has a strong aroma base to be able to stand out even in the flavor of these spices. To add to the refreshing property dried orange or lemon peel can be grated into the tea and left for some time before straining and consuming.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea, just like spiced tea is not a blend of tea in itself but tea with added herbs for the aroma and health factors. Green tea is preferred over black tea in the case of herbal tea but you can use either or even a blend of green and black tea. You can add peppermint, holy basil, spearmint and other light herbs to make the blend of your choice.

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