How To Make Your Own Tea Blend

How To Make Your Own Tea Blend

Today I’m going to give you a brief overview of loose leaf tea. First off, what is loose leaf tea? Well, it is basically the stuff inside a tea bag, mainly teas and spices mixed together into a blend. Before the tea bag was invented in 1908, everyone made tea with loose leaf. In place of tea bags, they used a variety of different infusers and methods for keeping the leaves out of the final product. While this was a bit more involved than throwing a tea bag in a cup of hot water, the quality of the final product was so much higher.

A tea blend is a combination of teas and/or other ingredients to create new flavours. The ingredient list on a tea blend will be of 2 or more items.

Tea blends can be quite simple but they can also be very unique. Not all tea blends are equal. There are tea blends that feature all-natural, raw ingredients. But, there are tea blends that feature flavourings or essential oils, too.

This is because it is often difficult to get the right flavour just from dried fruit pieces. Flavourings (natural or artificial) are added to enhance the taste and aroma.

As the tea bag became more and more ubiquitous the quality of ingredients eroded and more and more artificial flavorings found their way in. A good comparison is tea bags are to lose leaf as instant coffee is to espresso. There are hundreds of different ingredients that are used all over the world in different cultures to make teas with different flavors and medicinal qualities and with loose leaf you can explore all of them.
For today's blog post we will be looking at a set of 10 base ingredients that we will use in a series of tea blends that you can follow along with at home as well as provide a launching spot for you to go and make your own tea blend.

As a traditional tea lover, I have always assumed that a good tea blend doesn’t mask the taste of the true tea base.

If I want a green tea based blend, then I don’t want it to only taste like the other components added. I want to experience those vegetal or marine notes as well. The key to a great blend is balance. When tea blending, it is important to get your base, middle and top notes to all work in perfect harmony.

So, the first 2 ingredients we are going to be using are black and green tea loose leaf. Black tea is the most common kind of tea and also the darkest. It carries a bold hearty flavor and notably has the most caffeine of of any tea type. An English or Irish breakfast will work beautifully for our purpose.

Despite coming from the same plant as black tea, green tea couldn’t be more different. It has a distinctive green color and a more grassy flavor. It works really well with fruit and floral flavors.

Next, we move on to herbal teas.
Peppermint leaves or peppermint tea have great calming effects and are soothing to the stomach. It has a nice sharp mint flavor that can add a nice touch to a blend.
Hibiscus petals are our next addition. They have an intense deep red color paired with a strong sour fruity floral taste that is wonderful!
It also helps to lower both blood pressure and blood sugar. It can be a bit hard to find outside of specialty tea stores.
Next, Licorice root with its delicious flavor known for hanging around on your pallet. It is incredible for sore throats!

I have tried many different methods for dealing with an angry throat and Licorice
tea is the best I have found for fast acting relief. You can feel it working while drinking it! It is not commonly found except in specialty stores or health food stores.
Finally, our last herbal tea is Chamomile. It's great for relieving stress, promoting calm, and aiding sleep. It serves as a great base when green or black tea’s caffeine isn’t desirable such as before bed.

Before blending, steep and taste each of the components separately. That includes the tea but also rose petals, cinnamon bark, lavender, dried apple pieces, etc. Basically anything else you want to use in a blend!

This will help you understand the flavour profiles and how they may or may not work together.

Now we move on to spices.
Any list of blending ingredients would be incomplete without ginger. This superstar spice nhas it all. The unbeatable flavor and a very long list of health benefits that make it useful for a wide range of ailments including but not limited to congestion, upset stomach, and even joint pain!
Next up we have cinnamon. It packs a punch in both flavor and health benefits including lowering blood sugar levels and helping reduce the risk of heart disease. We will be using the regular powdered version.

Turmeric is another potent spice, it has been used for thousands of years in India for its numerous and potent health benefits especially for the immune system and digestive tract.
It also carries a very bright and concentrated yellow color. The powder can stain skin and clothes so a bit of caution is advised when handling it.
Cardamom will be the final ingredient on the list. It is the spice that gives chai most of its yummy holiday type flavor. It has a very unique anti-cavity property and helps prevent fat build up around the liver.

Using these 10 ingredients we will go through a series of blends and tea-based beverages that you can follow along with at home and hopefully create some of your own!
Always bring a notebook and writing utensil to the tea blending station! You need to document ingredients used, measurements, flavour combinations, and experiments.
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