The Gift of Tea Blending

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This holiday why not surprise the tea lover in your life with a holiday gift that keeps on giving… all the ingredients to make their own custom tea blends. Create your own thoughtful gift that combines teas with spices, herbs, fruits and flowers and let loved ones make their own blends. Tea blending is a fun way to create teas suited to your own taste. There are thousands of different blend combinations that can be created.

Designing your own signature tea blend is both easy and gratifying. Start with a base tea- black, white, green, oolong or herbal. The base will provide the dominant flavor and aroma, and comprises the largest portion of the tea leaves you’ll be using. For a bold cup you might choose a black tea base, for a light but energizing cup start with green or an herbal for a variety of tastes and health properties. Next layer in small amounts of secondary ingredients to fill out the blend. There are no hard-and-fast rules here; your custom blend is a reflection of your own personal taste, so trust your palate and have fun!


If you’re new to tea blending the sheer number of choices may be mystifying. To get you started, here are a few classic combinations:

Orange Spice
4oz tin Orange Spice tea
1oz tin whole cloves
1oz tin cinnamon chips
2oz tin orange peel
2oz tin rosehips
1oz tin hibiscus

Lemon Spice
4oz tin Assam black tea
2oz tin lemon myrtle
2oz tin lemon peel
1oz tin whole cloves
1oz tin cinnamon chips
1oz tin lemongrass

Floral
1oz tin Snowbuds white tea
1oz tin Chamomile flowers
1oz tin lavender blossoms
1oz tin rose petals


Finally, here are a few helpful hints from the pros:

  • Before blending, get to know each ingredient independently. Brew a small amount of the tea base to learn its unique flavor profile and aroma. And be sure to do the same with each of the secondary ingredients you’re considering as well
  • Measure carefully. To keep the ratio of ingredients consistent, use a single tool for measurement- usually a teaspoon for small batches.
  • Take notes- once you’ve found your perfect blend, you’ll want to recreate it or even expand upon it. Keeping a record of measurements and steeping times will help you learn more quickly.
  • Avoid adding too many diverse secondary ingredients to your base. Although it’s tempting to include all of your favorites, too many diverse flavors and scents can overwhelm your brew.
  • Finally, when you’ve hit upon your perfect blend, write out brewing instructions, package it up in correct portions and store your signature blend for many enjoyable cups to come!

 

Photograph by A Girl With Tea / CC by 2.0


Did You Know:

Professional tea tasters use a large spoon to taste tea, slurping it noisily into the mouth and then spitting it back into the cup before moving on to the next sample. The process and language of evaluating tea is similar to wine tasting in many ways.


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About Author

Simpson & Vail, Inc. is an old time tea company and was originally founded as a green coffee merchant in 1904 by Augustus M. Walbridge on Water Street in New York City as Augustus M. Walbridge, Inc. In 1929, Mr. Walbridge sold the business to Mr. Simpson, the accountant, and Mr.Lester Vail, the tea taster. Hence, a great business was born.

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