Black Tea – Meet Green Tea

Variety is the spice of life. It's a somewhat overused phrase, but when it comes to tea drinking it's true. I'm a black tea drinker first and foremost, and there's nothing I like more than a good Assam. But I also like to mix things up with other varieties of black tea from time to …

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On the Merits of Blending Your Own Tea

[Editor's note: the following article uses the term "blend" to refer to both blended and flavored teas, which are actually two very different things as shown in this other article on our blog.] There are a lot of tea vendors out there who offer a blend-your-own-tea option, but how useful is this, really? Customisation is …

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Can You Blend CTC and Orthodox Teas?

Having a bit of this tea and a bit of that tea in your tea pantry or cupboard is frustrating enough. You don’t have a sufficient amount of that Ceylon black or Keemun or Kenyan to steep a full pot. You do have a nice batch of CTC Assam around, though, and you know that …

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Ad Hoc Tea Blending

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: …

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Homemade vs. Store Bought Tea Blends — Which Is Better?

Tea blends and flavored teas (see what the difference is) are available by the hundreds. Some have been around for centuries and are considered classics while others are thought up in the tea vendor’s kitchen (either residential or commercial). Both of these are considered “store bought.” Inventive tea drinkers add to this array with their …

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Matcha vs Dust-in-a-Teabag

Someone asked the other day why dust in a bag is considered bad but powdered matcha is considered good, even premium. In other words, if whole or broken leaves are supposed to be better, why is matcha an exception? Great question, and one to which I flippantly answered: “Marketing and tradition!” Well, that question deserves …

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Blending Away the Tea’s Character

Tea blends, where teas from various regions, not just several tea gardens from the same region, are combined usually exhibit the flavor profiles of each tea used. Sometimes, though, the blenders can blend away the tea’s character altogether. (Note: we’re not talking about those flavored teas where flower petals, spices, etc., have been added to …

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Mixing Loose Tea and Teabag Teas

When blending teas, I sometimes end up doing the unthinkable: mixing loose tea and teabag teas. Yes, you heard me correctly. Despite the eyebrows that this might raise from some loose tea devotees, I find that it can actually be a very practical approach when my options are limited. But before I go any further, …

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Irish Tea Debate — Lyons vs Barry’s

Ireland and tea go together like … uh, well … Ireland and tea! The Irish people drink the most tea per capita of any country in the world, with 3 million tea drinkers averaging 4 to 6 cups of tea per day each. Most of that tea is the Lyons brand (founded in 1902 by …

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5 Teas and Herbals with a “Social” Quality

Some teas seem to have a real “social” quality, suited to a more social tea time, whether it’s Afternoon Tea or High Tea, or a big tea time gala. They are generally teas best steeped in smaller quantities and able to undergo multiple steepings. A number of options are out there awaiting your selection for …

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