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Tea Blending

DIY Teaology: Blending Teas for Unique Flavor Profiles

At Teavana, we’re all about blending teas to create unique and innovative flavor profiles. But, while we’re limited in space – our tea wall can’t go on forever – we’re not limited in creativity, and neither are you.

Many of our customers take a cue from our blended teas and experiment on their own tea blends, creating new flavor profiles. Ready to create your own tea blends? In this post, we’ll discuss tea blending basics.

Flavor Basics

All good tea blends start with high-quality loose leaf tea. White tea is delicate, sweet and subtle; green tea can be grassy, mild or nutty; oolong is complex, floral and aromatic; black tea is rich and robust with a tannic sweetness; and Pu-Erh has a smooth, mineral flavor.

Some of these flavors work well in concert with one another, as they do in some of our straight tea blends such as Body + Mind White Tea. Often times, it’s exciting to pair straight teas with flavors that are floral, fruity, spicy and sweet. Experimenting is both welcome and encouraged!

Flavor Pairings

The trick to blending tea is balance. Because floral flavors tend to be easily overpowered, they don’t work well with strong black teas. Instead, floral flavors pair wonderfully with delicate white teas. The same goes for fruit flavors. Our Blood Orange Sorbet is an excellent example of the winning combination of fruity and floral flavors.

On the other hand, black teas blend well with equally strong, but opposing flavors, such as spice, mint and chocolate. Classic chai teas are excellent examples of the strength of combining warming spices with black teas.

While green tea is a bit harder to blend, citrus, lemongrass and spicy ginger all work well when paired with a mild green tea. On the contrary, more pungent green teas can be evened out with intense fruit flavors such as berries or pomegranates. Blackberry Mojito Green Tea and Superfruit Unity Green Tea are both great examples of excellent fruit and green tea blends.

When pairing oolong teas, it’s important to remember that all oolongs are different. A green oolong will work best with citrus and berry flavors, while darker oolongs work much better with spicy and sweet flavors.

Tea Pairings

When pairing blended teas, aim for opposites. For example, a sweet tea blend like Samurai Chai Mate pairs well with a spicy tea blend like Maharaja Chai. Floral tea blends, like Youthberry White Tea, pair well with citrus blends like Wild Orange Blossom Herbal Tea. You can also even out flavorful teas with more subtle teas. For example, Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls pairs well with Citrus Lavender Sage. Opposites really do attract, when it comes to tea blending!

Comments (3)

Comments (3) -

7/28/2013 7:25:07 PM

My question is with blending teas is understanding the brewing times when you mix different teas to avoid any of them from getting bitter from over brewing but still getting the flavor from some of the teas that need longer brewing times that are in the mix.

8/1/2013 2:58:54 PM

Hi Christine: That is a TEA-rific question! When blending teas, it is important to always use the lower temperature and steep time of the two teas. For example, if you are blending a white tea with an herbal tea, then you will want to use the temperature and steep time of the white tea to prevent singeing of the tea leaves. Cheers!

9/8/2013 7:18:38 PM

If I want to blend my own flavors from scratch using your pure teas as a base (i.e. Silver Needle), what kind of fruits, flowers, and other flavors would I look for?  Should I try to find freeze-dried berries, or is there some other method that would work better?