Blending Teas at Home

| 11/29/2010 12:19:51 PM

11-29-2010-culinary tea coverExcerpted from Culinary Tea: More Than 100 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World, by Cynthia Gold & Lisë Stern, with permissions from Running Press (c) 2010. The following excerpt can be found on Pages 40 to 41.  

Creating home blends of tea is another aspect of culinary tea. You can combine a variety of teas, as well as non-tea ingredients such as spices, flowers, herbs, and dried fruits to create personal signature tea blends that you can use both for sipping and for cooking. Familiarize yourself with the ingredients you plan to use and decide what kind of flavor profile you want to create. This can be the fun part—and it’s a good way to get to know teas to use for cooking as well, as you sip and savor different teas and get to know their characteristics.

Steep a wide variety of different teas and taste them. Ask yourself what you particularly like—or dislike—about that tea. Take notes. Do you want to create something full-bodied and rich? Light and bright? Medium-bodied? Is your goal a spiced blend, a floral blend, or a fruity blend?

Keep in mind that really special teas should probably be savored on their own. But don’t make the mistake of trying to cover up an inferior tea with heavy flavors. Blending is used to create new experiences in teas, or a consistent flavor profile of a tea that changes with the seasons or growing years.

11-29-2010-black tea
Styles of unoxidized or lightly oxidized teas.
Photo courtesy
Running Press (c) 2010 

Refer to the list of Flavor Profiles of Tea on Page 29 for teas that might inspire your own blending. Some common teas to use for blending: