In response to my article “Teas with Something Extra,” a friend on either Twitter or Facebook (I can’t remember which) commented, “Hey, if you’re gonna add ‘stuff’ to your tea, why not throw in the kitchen sink?” So very true. Once you’ve loaded down a tea with so many pieces of fruit, or flower petals, or spices, your chances of tasting the tea are virtually nil. The Tea Association of Canada even recommended adding carbonated lemon-lime drink to your iced tea for some extra kick. While these things don’t suit my taste, I know there are some folks for whom these additions to their tea are a definite plus.
Some people just plain don’t like the taste of tea yet drink it, trying to get the health benefits it is said to have and/or avoiding resorting to drinking things like colas (one tea vendor actually has a cola-flavored tea). They relish teas that are mainly fruit-flavored (lemon, strawberry, and blueberry are quite popular) or floral-flavored (jasmine and rose petals/buds being the most common). They also go for spiced teas (usually made with cinnamon, coriander, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper), teas with various herbs added (chamomile, hibiscus, and mint are rather popular), and teas flavored with oils (Earl Grey being the most common and containing oil of bergamot, vanilla is another one that is trendy).
Some of these flavored teas tend to go with the seasons. Pumpkin Spice Black Tea tends to be most popular in Autumn here in the U.S. — probably due to our Thanksgiving Holiday in late November but also since pumpkins are harvested in September and October. In Summer, teas flavored with lemon and mint are quite popular for their cooling and refreshing qualities. Fruits like raspberry and blueberry also sell well, especially in those bottled teas that are usually served chilled.
There are tea vendors, large and small, that work hard to come up with new combinations and convince you of how great they taste. They give their mixtures names that are memorable, descriptive, and sometimes downright silly (which can help make them memorable). So far as I know, though, know has a tea concoction named “Everything but the Kitchen Sink.” My guess is there’ll be one soon.
As for those of us who like our tea tasting like tea, there are a growing number of tea vendors devoted to just that. They source the finest teas from tea gardens near and wide because they know that some of us are not fond of all that “stuff” getting between us and our tea.
Isn’t variety wonderful?
Men’s Names and Tea
Tea Name Circus
A Bouquet in Your Teapot, Pt. I — Flowers in Your Tea
A Bouquet in Your Teapot, Pt. II — Herbals Made from Flowers
A Bouquet in Your Teapot, Pt. III — Teas with Floral Aroma and Flavor
All Flavored Teas Are Not Created Equal
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