What are your favorite self-made blends?
Now that I’ve got a small collection of teas I am experimenting with blends. I’m wondering about blends you’ve all come up with that you find yourself re-creating again and again. For me, I’m having fun with my big stash of lemongrass and have been mixing that with a variety of teas, particularly mint. YUM!
I’ve discovered that tulsi (holy basil) is a really nice herbal base—lemony/spicey/clovey for lots of different floral teas.
If you haven’t done so, search on “Chance Combinations” in the tea listings and you’ll find the results of a number of Steepster chemistry experiments.
My Chocolate Rose Romance was my favorite … that and my Masterpiece Chai. Sigh how I miss those.
Why do you miss them? Did your ingredients get discontinued?
I’m totally interested in something called Masterpiece Chai here :)
I just don’t flavor and blend teas any longer … at least, not my own blends. I have combined other people’s teas together. My own blends would cost too much to blend at a retail level, and I am not a business any longer. :)
Hmm, this could be a fun topic!
I have a blend my boyfriend has affectionately dubbed “Aikochai” that involves mixing a cheap but decent assam base with tons of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, white pepper, and cardamom. The key is in the proportions— he really loves a spicy tea, and to be honest you can only barely taste the actual tea over all the spices, but it’s quite good in its own way.
All my other blends are generally created on a per-cup basis. I’ve taken a real liking to using a bit of osmanthus to accent my black or dark oolong teas. Somehow I’ve acquired an unnaturally large box of star anise, and I like to throw a star or two into my pot of black tea sometimes. My morning black tea these past few days has been an odd blend of Yunnan, dark oolong, and Darjeeling teas. I’m loving this enough that I might mix up a bigger supply of it once I get the proportions just right, but on the other hand, it’s not that difficult to blend them per-cup, and I have more flexibility with the component parts, so I’m not sure yet.
I also blend a lot of teas just to get rid of those last inklings of tea that aren’t enough for a full cup, which can result in some… interesting experiments.
Aiko, does black tea need to be decreased when using it as a blending base? The black teas I’ve tried to use as bases seem to overpower the other flavors. Maybe its my imagination, but it seems easier to blend using mate or green teas as a base (so far for me).
Hmm, I never really thought much into it. In the case of the chai blend, the spices certainly have no trouble besting the black tea flavor. I guess it depends on what other elements you’re using in the the blend and how strong their flavors are compared to the black. Personally I really love black tea, so I don’t mind it being the dominant flavor in my blends, but it’s all up to personal taste I suppose. I’ll admit I don’t have much experience blending anything other than blacks and occasionally herbals, hah.
I just bought some osmanthus recently. Will be trying some new blends! I have no idea about ratios, but I’ll guess I’ll learn by trial and error. :-)
I’m not sure if this counts as a blend :-p Sometimes when I brew Yunnan green tea, after initial infusions, I would throw in some more Yunnan black tea and keep brewing the mixture. I learned it from a Yunnan friend, and gave it a name “Banna Sunset” :-)
I really love what I call my Doomsday blend- its a silver needle base with roses, lavender vanilla and spearmint. Or the Rose blend, which is a ceylon base with coconut, rose and vanilla!
OK you’ve got to explain where the name “Doomsday” came from!
Oh my, coconut and vanilla; that sounds heavenly.
Haha, on Doomsday – I’m a huge nerd, and Im trying to teach myself blending, so I’m trying to create blends for different characters in the British sci-fi show Doctor Who. And there’s an episode called Doomsday which always makes me really sad, so I blended a super relaxing tea. :)
Oh wow that just clicked with me. I’m slow aren’t I.
…Man I feel all sad just remembering that episode.
I know, isn’t it terrible? It makes me so sad. The rose blend I mentioned earlier – that’s also a Who blend.
Sorry to bring up an old topic but I’m looking for information on exactly this: Michelle, how do you add those flavored? Oils?
I remember that episode…
Recently I’ve taken to mixing vanilla black into all my fruity black teas.
Incidentally, earlier today I tried a half and half mixture of black currant and lemon flavoured black teas. The result was quite pleasant, although I thought it sort of needed a bit of a something which I haven’t worked out what is yet.
Kind of an alternate version of what Angrboda does, I like mixing in some rose black into my fruity blacks!
I actually mostly blend when making cold-steeped tea, and when I am trying to use up odds and ends of samples and such. I’ll do blends of various fruits that go together, but I will also often add a bit of Earl Grey or a bit of jasmine green or a bit of rose black to things. Pretty much some of my favorite flavors that I think improve a lot of things, haha.
I typically don’t mix actual teas together, but I do like to mix some of my herbals. My favorite is 1 tsp Chamomile, 1/2 tsp Peppermint and 1/4 tsp Lavender for 16oz. Helps me calm down if I’m stressed and if I’m about to go to bed it helps me sleep.
I will mix a little bit of one of the three herbals mentioned above with some Jasmine Pearls or Silver Needles for a little twist, especially if I’m cold brewing.
That sounds great – I do a silver needle with rose, lavender and spearmint that is heavenly. I’ve never tried it cold though!
i combine lapsang souchong tea with lavender, a 1:1 ratio. i like the contrast of smoky & sweet.
I bought some bulk herbs and those are great – I made a honeybush blend with ginger root, orange peel and cayenne pepper which was pretty interesting (to me anyway). Other than that I keep around rose petals, ginger root, verbena, chamomile, lemongrass, cinnamon, dried orange peel, cardamom, all of which are fun to mix and match together or with different plain teas.