Adding flavourings to your herbal tea
Hi, Im wondering if anyone who does blend their own tea at home adds any flavouring (like raspberry or any fruity flavourings). I just started blending at home.
Any experience or advice on how to add flavourings to your herbal-based tea? I use raspberry leaf, but the taste is still very grassy.
The simplest way to add flavoring is with a flavored syrup. DaVinci Gourmet sells a lot.
Thanks AllanK, I’ve read, though that some essential oils can be spread on top of the leafs and be left for around a week in shelf life.
Essential Oils are generally not used for flavoring teas. Here is some info on them.
This is one of my favorite books on herbals; 20,000 Secrets of Tea
Raspberry leaf is unfortunately not raspberry flavored.
Oils, in general are not used for flavorings. The process is closer to an extract as the product has some alcohol which helps the flavoring permeate the tea leaves. Flavors are added by drops or spraying and the product is mixed and allowed to absorb flavoring for about 24 hrs. Any alcohol will burn off.
I have not seen much in the way of trying to flavor herbs in this way, as the variety of leaves and such to not absorb in the same way as tea leaves do. However, caffeine free Rooibos absorbs flavors wonderfully and is perfect to blend in with herbals.
The best way to start is not in trying to flavor your own with flavoring solutions but to buy flavored rooibos of a variety and use those as a base to mix with different herbals.
Hi Kate, I have tried to use kitchen essences (vanilla and peppermint) and they seem to have a great flavour even with herbal leaves. Even after more than 10 days, they seem to keep that flavour and freshness. Thanks a lot for the insight on the past threads and advice!
I use a dehydrator and dehydrate fruit (an oven will laso work) to add into my custom blends. I make one with raspberry leaf, blackberry leaf, catnip, dried raspberries, and chamomile. The tony bit of fruit really adds a lot to it. You could also look into bulk dehydrated fruits.
Citrus should be easy to add, by peeling the zest / outer layer off a citrus fruit (orange or lemon, but any should work), and drying that. The white part of the peel layer, inside that, will add bitterness but the outer colored part won’t.
I don’t drink much in the way of blends but I do mess around with making them once in a long while, usually masala chai, but more recently a Thai iced tea. If the idea is to infuse a tea for a few minutes, the standard process, it’s harder to get dried fruit as a component to release flavor, versus a boiling or long steep process one might typically use for masala chai. Ordinarily that would lead to a work-around I have in mind but not so much in this case. I just saw a China Life video (part of their youtube instructional series) where they added a little plum jam to an iced tea but that’s really going to extremes, and only would seem to make sense in that iced-tea case. Also related to that masala chai scope, other range beyond artificial fruit flavors could make sense, different herbs or spices; mint might be nice.
Hi John, thanks! Actually I have tested sweet orange peel and lemon peels, which add a bit to the taste, but dried apple, for example, does nothing. This relate to what you said that for a small boiling period (3-5min) dried fruit does not release much taste. And oh, masala chai is one of my very favourites!
I enjoy blending, so I can suggest some specific dried goods to try blending with your raspberry leaf: Orange, lemon, or tangerine peel; lemongrass or lemon balm; aniseseed or star anise; peppermint; green rooibos; or dried carrot.
You can also buy food flavorings that are designed to be used in drinks. I have not yet tried them, but I know St. John’s Botanicals and Capella both sell them online.
Hi Rosebudmelissa, thanks for the insight. What effect have you had from dried carrot? Its the very first time that I hear someone blends that into tea. In fact, Im trying to spray some cordial (drink flavouring) into my blends, though the carry some sugar load in it. Thanks for your advice!
dried carrot gives a sweet carroty flavor to tea. I enjoy it in some of my more vegetal or herbaceous blends, though I’ve seen it in carrot cake or fruity blends as well.