Creating a Unique Taste All Their Own
|Ever since the Chinese first discovered tea, they've been adding flavorings,
either by blending flowers, fruits, herbs, or spices to the processed leaves, or
by adding additional ingredients to the boiling water used to brew tea.
Processed black, green, and oolong teas are used as a base, then blended to-
gether with spices, herbs, flowers, or essential fruit oils to create a unique one-
of-a-kind flavored tea.
|Classic Tea Blends
|One of the most popular and recognizable tea
blends is Earl Grey. Using a traditional blend of
China and Indian teas, Earl Grey is flavored with
essential oil from the citrus-like bergamot fruit,
which tastes something like an orange.
There are lots of tales about how Earl Grey tea
came to be named. One tells of a British diplomat
on a mission to China who saved the life of a
Mandarin. Deeply grateful, the Mandarin gave a
recipe for the flavored tea to the diplomat, and
also as a gift to the then Prime
Minister, Earl Grey, who served
from 1830 to 1834.
Another version tells of how it was the Earl himself
who saved the Mandarin's life, and so was given
|Another version tells of how it was the Earl himself who saved the Mandarin's
life, and so was given the recipe as thanks. Yet another story tells of how the
recipe was a gift to the Prime Minister at the end of a successful diplomatic
None of the stories are likely true. But no matter what really happened, the
truth of the matter is that Earl Grey is one of the most popular blends ever
marketed. Today several different types of Earl Grey are available using China tea, Darjeeling,
Ceylon, Silver Tip, and smoked, Lapsang Souchong (or Tarry Lapsang) tea.
|Less is More
| Depending on the amount of bergamot oil used, Earl Grey tea
can taste incredibly good, or absolutely horrible. If too much oil
is used, the tea can taste a lot like dish soap, or too little, and
you may as well drink straight tea. When done right though,
you have a wonderfully refreshing tea with a light citrusy flavor.
Another version you might also like to try is Yunnan Earl Grey
(Roi des Earl Grey), a blend made with black China tea from Yunnan
and also scented with bergamot oil. Again, when properly blended with just the right amount of
bergamot oil, you get that light, fresh citrus flavor that tastes so refreshing and good.
Some other popular blends are:
Breakfast blends are meant to go with heavy,
fatty foods like bacon and eggs, sausage,
smoked meats and fish.
Afternoon or Five-O-Clock blends are usually
lighter than breakfast blends, containing Dar-
jeeling, China, Formosa, and lighter Ceylon
teas, often with just a hint of bergamot oil or
As its name suggests, Russian Caravan (also called Lapsang Souchong)
is a blend that was recreated for the taste preferences of the Russians
who drank China tea that was carried by camel from the Russian/China
border. This heavy, smoky blend is usually made up of black or Formosa
tea, with a hint of Lapsang Souchong or Tarry Lapsang.
Russian Caravan is a blended tea that you will either love or hate. When
done properly it will have a wonderfully sweet and smoky aroma, and
subtle flavors of fruit and spice, with hints of orange and cloves.
Lesser quality Russian Caravan teas will have a strong meaty smell like
that of smoked bacon or meat, and the strong smell of tar.
This is just a sampling of some of the classic, traditional blends that
are available. There are, of course, many more to choose from, so
get out there and look around. I'm betting there are some that will
be on your list of favorite teas someday, too.
But in the meantime if there are favorite flavors you'd like to incor-
porate into your own recipe, visit our Make Your Own Blended
Fillable Tea Bags page and learn how to make your own personal blended and flavored teas
using ingredients you likely have right now in your own kitchen cupboard. Enjoy.
|For information or to learn more about tea, visit our other pages:
How jasmine and other scented teas are made.
How do I choose the right tea for me?
The history behind iced tea and recipe for a summer
time classic - Sun Tea!
How should tea be stored?
Blooming Teas - a delightful feast for the senses.
Make brewing tea a breeze with a few helpful tools.
Learn why organic teas aren't just good for you, but Mother Earth, too.
Learn how tea helps you lose weight the healthy, natural way.
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