For those who don’t know, I’m a very big fan of tea. I’ve grown up with tea since I was a kid because that’s what happens when you come from a Chinese family. If you’re sick, you drink tea. Going out to dim sum or a huge banquet? Drink some more tea. I only really drank adequate oolong or green teas because that was what I was given. And adding sugar, milk or anything in my tea was a HUGE no-no. There was hell to pay by my grandmothers if I was caught dowsing my tea with sugar packets.
And to be completely honest, I love the idea that tea comes from all these different plants and resources. Especially with loose leaf teas, each tea is processed differently. Coffee has a wonderful smell, but I was never able to tolerate the bitterness of black coffee, and even when I added cream and sugar, it still tasted a bit off. I drank coffee during high school when I had to go to school, dance and hold a part-time job. But afterwards, I completely ditched it and stuck with tea.
While there are lots of flavours for coffee and they smell delicious, I find that tea is even more diverse. There’s black, green, rooibos, white teas and many more. And when you find that there’s a gazillion black teas or green teas that you can blend together…that’s an art of it’s own. Tea-blending pretty much offers you paints and a canvas to play with, which I find fascinating.
I love Teavana when I just want a perfect tea blend. My favourites have to be Earl Grey Creme, White Ayuvedic Chai and Samurai Chai Mate. And it’s always fun to sample at Teavana locations or to get Teavana for Christmas gifts for people. But after discovering Adagio Teas…just wow! I had NO IDEA just how many blends there were and that there are FANDOM TEAS (at least 27,000 user-created blends exist!).
This fact made me wicked happy to know and spurred some curiosity. I’ve dabbled a bit in making some of my own blends just by doing a little bit of research on the website, looking at reviews and thinking about what teas would go with what. The blends are still in progress, but I won’t go totally crazy with promoting until I KNOW they actually taste good. Hopefully that’ll be soon!
Basic Tips for Tea Blending:
NOTE: I am not a professional tea blender. I’m probably amateur at it, but you have to start somewhere, right? A few good tea blenders to check out are Cara, Meg and Robert.
- You can pretty much make a blend with just about anything, but obviously, throwing something together might not actually taste good when ordered. Trying to put strawberry with orange and pineapple might actually be gross. So it does take some thinking to decide what teas go together. So, perhaps something like masala chai, cinnamon might work. Why? The chai has the spice, cinnamon can enhance the chai but cream but keep things in check.
- Most importantly: PERCENTAGES. Some teas might try to overpower others. It takes some experimenting to see if your combos will compliment each other.
- The Safe Bet: actually doing the taste testing. So, I decided to get Adagio tea samples so I can try the blending myself. By the way, they smell WICKED good. I kind of want to eat them but I know it’s only loose leaf tea.
Through trial and error, you can estimate your proportions and give things a go. To understand what you want from each flavour though, I highly recommend tasting each individual tea before making the sample of your blend. You might want one flavour to stand out more than the others, and by putting two and two together, that’s the best way for perfection.
Still currently doing more taste testing, but I’m hoping I can get a few perfect mixes before I share with others. For tea-lovers out there, what are you favourite teas that you’d recommend?