Ad Hoc Tea Blending

A ready-made blend of Assam and Keemun that I have approximated with my own blends. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)
A ready-made blend of Assam and Keemun that I have approximated with my own blends. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

A bit of this, a bit of that, and you find yourself engaging in the time-honored tradition of ad hoc tea blending. Some concoctions will be better than others, of course, and some will be so good that you might build yourself a whole new career as a tea blender, as several people have.

[Note: for the purposes of this article, I am using the terms “blending” and “flavoring” synonymously. Usually, they are two different things, tea-wise, as explained here on this blog.]

The one thing that leads most often to this flurry of tea blending activity is the urge to use up bits of this tea and that left over in their containers. There’s usually not enough for a full 6-cup potful, which is what we need in our house to get us through breakfast. So, some rather interesting combinations have come about as a result. For example, we combined all of our Autumn Flush Darjeeling samples together to get one very robust-tasting tea that can be steeped up fairly strong yet retain those distinct qualities of Darjeeling teas, especially that tangy fruity character.

Another motivating factor in our tea blending adventures is trying to temper a taste characteristic in a particular tea that we like in moderation but find overwhelming in larger quantities. The solution is usually to add in some of that stronger tasting tea to something less brash in the taste arena. Thus we found ourselves adding one teaspoon of Dian Hong to 5 teaspoons of CTC Assam to make that breakfast pot of tea. The peppery quality was still quite evident with the maltiness of the Assam but not so much that we would be tasting it for days afterwards (one of those “ghostly” tea tastes that lingers).

Time for you to dig through your tea pantry (you have one, right?) and pull out those bits of this tea and that to blend into what will hopefully be an unforgettably delicious pot of tea!

See my further adventures and explorations into the fascinating past-time of tea blending:
Tea and the Pioneer Spirit II
Homemade vs. Store Bought Tea Blends — Which Is Better?
Blending Away the Tea’s Character
Blending Your Leftover Teas
Ceylon Blends
Darjeeling Blends
Some Tea Blends I Hope to Never See
The Advantages of Blended Teas
The Advantages of Unblended Teas  

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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