Updated: Dec 28, 2020
As a true tea aficionado, we are always experimenting with one of the world’s favourite beverages. From drinking it cold to sipping it hot, with milk, without milk, adding spices, preparing it in different styles, we really love our tea. As there are only five to six types of real tea available - black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea - it can sometimes become a bit boring to sip the same flavour of tea every day. With that said, a plain tea is surely going to taste bland or too gassy, because that’s all it is. The secret is that you can create a perfect blend of different ingredients to create million flavours and flavour profiles. But should you mix teas together? Well, yes, you can mix your teas. But there is a catch!
We have created this post to help you understand the art of mixing and blending teas for creating a new flavour. It is not as simple as just taking a small bowl and mixing two or three different types of teas together. The goal is not just to mix different types of teas to create a unique flavour but also to create a flavour that is drinkable and doesn’t taste absurd.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
In order to understand tea blends, it is important that you know about true teas. The true teas are derived from the same Camellia Sinensis Plant. There are basically six different types of true teas and what differentiates them is how they are prepared and processed. Tea processing is something that can lend different flavours to each unique brew. It is quite a challenge to mix true teas together because they all boast distinct flavours of their own. The following are the types of true teas:
#1 Black Tea
Black tea is one of the highly-consumed teas in the world, especially in Asia. Black tea is the strongest of all tea types. The leaves are highly processed. The tea leaves are plucked and withered. After that, they are rolled in enzymes and oxidised. As a result, you get dark tea that has a more strong and malty flavour. Black tea contains the highest caffeine level, and when you brew it with hot water, you get the distinct red colour. This is the reason why it is called red tea in China.
#2 Green Tea
Green tea is another popular true tea known for its health benefits. It is one of the least processed teas and is packed with antioxidants. The tea leaves are withered until they are floppy and loose. The manufacturers use different techniques to dry the leaves. This includes roasting and pan-frying. The taste of green tea varies depending on how they are dried. The flavour ranges from grassy to nutty, earthy, and freshly floral.
#3 White Tea
White tea is made using baby tea leaves and is the least processed. The tea masters let the baby tea leaves dry naturally. Since is it not processed, white tea is considered to be the healthiest of all true teas. White tea has a sweet, delicate flavour that is free of astringent tastes.
#4 Yellow Tea
Yellow tea boasts a liquor-like colour and has bright, sweet, floral taste. Unlike green tea, yellow tea has a flavour that is neither too weak nor too strong. The production of yellow tea is typically time-consuming and complex. This is the reason why it is expensive. It goes through the same process as green tea, but it includes an additional step, known as ‘sealing yellow,’ which is the unique factor.
#5 Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is processed in a way that it boasts the characteristics of both black tea and green tea. It is one of the highest qualities of teas in the world. When brewed with water, oolong tea produces deep amber or medium green colour. The colour will depend on how it is processed. Lighter oolongs have a floral and smoother flavour, whereas dark oolongs boast hints of burnt sugar and chocolate.
#6 Pu’erh Tea
The last of the true teas is the Pu’erh tea. It is a post-oxidised tea and is considered to be a subtype of green tea. The reason why it is popular among the masses is that it tastes like fine wine.
Mixing True Teas
Most people ask whether or not you can mix true teas. Well, it will depend on what types of teas you are planning to mix. For example, you cannot mix black tea and green tea. While practically you can mix both the tea types, the flavour it generates will not be appreciated by your taste buds. So, you are advised not to mix black tea and green tea because both have intense flavours, and it will ruin your taste buds.
The flavour you get mixing two teas depends on the types you use, how long you steep it, and what other ingredients you add to the mix. Since true teas have their own unique flavours, it will be a blunder if you mix two or more of them (but there are exceptions).
But true teas blend well with other ingredients that are not true teas. This includes herbal teas and a variety of spices. The following are some popular blends:
1. Mix green tea with freeze-dried raspberry bits and lemon peel. You will get a citrusy, fruity flavour.
2. Mix black tea with cloves, orange peel and cinnamon. You will get a hot, tasty, and healthy cinnamon spice tea that earthy notes.
3. Mix green tea with some Pu’erh and oolong. Add strawberry, hibiscus, elderberry, and lemon myrtle leaves. Then add some orange, raspberry, blackberry, black currant, and apple oil. The blend you get will be unique. It will be a pungent aromatic tea with a range of notes. This is an exotic tea blend that you can create with other ingredients as well, according to your taste buds.
It is not that you cannot mix two teas. You can, but it is important that you know the notes so that it won’t taste bad. Mixing true teas together is an art, and you need to understand that not all true teas blend well. You will have to add other ingredients as well to balance their flavours.