On Microflavoring Tea

Flavored teas don't appeal to us all. (ETS image)
Flavored teas don’t appeal to us all. (ETS image)

Don’t bother looking for a definition of the term “microflavoring” by the way. I tried looking for it, just to be sure, and I didn’t find one. Which is not surprising, given that it’s a term I just recently coined. I don’t expect that it’s going to catch on, but here’s the story of how it came about.

Over the course of my years of drinking tea I came to the conclusion that I no longer liked flavored teas, for the most part, and I never really have liked smoky teas like Lapsang Souchong and the like. More recently, however, I’ve started to come to terms just a bit with the smoky stuff, which is something I discussed in an article a few months back.

There are also a (very) few types of flavored tea that I can drink now and then. One of the more tolerable is peach, which is something I was able to confirm when I had the chance to try some of the English Tea Store’s peach flavored black tea not so long ago. The only drawback to this particular tea is that I found it a little strong for my tastes. Which is also the case with most of the smoky teas I’m still working on coming to terms with. The smokier ones I still don’t even bother with, at least not in their undiluted state.

While I was never too keen on smoky tea there was actually a time when I drank a fair amount of the flavored stuff. My theory is that when I started drinking tea my taste buds weren’t really attuned to the more subtle flavors of the plain teas and thus the flavored ones didn’t seem so overpowering. As the years passed my palate adjusted to unflavored tea and nowadays I find the flavored ones to be too much.

Which is a more roundabout way than usual of getting to the point of what microflavoring is. Which is quite simple actually, as the name suggests. It’s simply a matter of taking a very small amount of a flavored tea – be it smoky or peach or whatever – and adding it to a plain tea just to give it a little bit of a kick. I do this most often with teas that I’m not completely nuts about but which are not lackluster enough to give up on altogether. As for good tea, it doesn’t need any help. But don’t take my word for it.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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