by Adam Yusko
Many teashops are now selling more teas that are blended with fruits, candies, flowers, and oils. While I don’t doubt that such combinations can be tasty, sometimes we need to ask ourselves, is this really tea? I mean, sure it has tea in it, but how much of the tea are you actually appreciating? I’ve had a few of these mixtures, mostly fruits and spices, and I’d say the tea had contributed to little more than the color.
Many people enjoy these teas, and many people start off by drinking fruity and flowery blends. They might even do a bit of good for the tea industry, but in a sense I feel like the ready-to-drink bottled teas give the impression that tea has to be bland, and is best served with lots of sugar.
I make a regular tea with no added oils or goodies, and I’m overwhelmed with waves of flavors. I see no reason why anyone would want to add extraneous flavors to tea. Think of tea as a way of consuming the essence of a specific plant. It’s precisely this sort of commune with nature that promotes healthy living.
So take a minimal tea approach, try and cut as many things from your tea as possible. A nice Earl Grey works if you like a bit of a bergamot flavor. Or perhaps a tea mixed with one specific flower. Or just be as minimal as possible by drinking individual teas with nothing added. There are many different types of teas and they all taste slightly different. Embrace the differences in the tea itself. Then, decide if you like taking the minimalist approach to your tea, or if you like the added flavors in your cup.