What is a tea blend?
A tea blend is a blend of various ingredients usually including tea (camellia sinensis), herbal tea (peppermint, rooibos, etc.), spices, herbs, dried fruits, seeds, and just about anything else that can be steeped in hot water for flavor.
The two main kinds of tea you'll find when shopping for tea are blends or single ingredient teas.
- Example: organic green tea vs organic green tea with peppermint and jasmine blooms
- Example: Ceylon tea from India vs English Breakfast, which is traditionally a blend of black teas from Assam, Ceylon and Kenya.
- Example: Green Rooibos vs our own Wild Tea#5 Thai G, which is a blend of organic green rooibos, ginger pieces, lemongrass and lime.
Are Tea Blends Better?
At Wild Foods, we love tea blends.
We also love single ingredient teas—green, black, herbal.
We appreciate enjoying and appreciating the subtle flavors (and benefits) that various single ingredients can provide, like the simplicity and potency of peppermint tea for soothing a sore throat and easting a cough or the sedative effect of chamomile leaves in aiding sleep.
We also prefer single ingredient teas as a base for making other kinds of tea recipes, like Buttered Tea or tea with protein.
We find it unfortunate that the tea industry has mostly moved to tea blends. Of course the average tea consumer is going to buy more of a tea that tastes good to them, so it makes sense that tea manufacturers have focused on creating most flavorful tea creations they can.
At Wild Foods, we think the simplest, purest ingredients taste the best.
That's why we recommend sticking with a mix of favorite tea blends and a selection of pure single ingredient teas.
Your tea collection should include both.
Make Your Own Tea Blends
To get started making your own tea blends, you'll need single ingredient teas as well as at least a few other ingredients so you can come up with a tasty blend.
The more teas you have, the more possibilities you have for making a delicious, colorful and nutritious homemade tea blend. (Here's a great place to get all your teas.)
Homemade Tea Blends
The first thing you need to do is get your ingredinets together. The following list is not exhaustive, but it's a great starting point for making your own tea blends.
Loose Leaf Tea:
- Green tea - Sencha, Gunpowder
- Black tea
- White tea
- Yerba Mate
- Green Rooibos
- Red Rooibos
- Rose petals
- Elderberries (dried)
- Cranberries (dried)
- Ginger pieces
- Vanilla beans
- Wild Vanilla Powder
- Cocoa Shell
- Cocoa Nibs (Sweet or Raw)
- Coconut flakes
- pepper flakes
- Dried chilies
- Just about anything. Experiment!
- Notebook or spreadsheet
- Scooping utensils
- Mixing containers - glass jars work great
1. Decide on your "base" tea. This is the tea that will usually make up 40-80% of your tea blend by weight.
2. List out the rest of your ingredients and try to assign rough percentages to make the final 100%.
- Rooibos (base tea) 60%
- Wild Sweet Nibs 15%
- Coconut flakes 10%
- Vanilla beans 10%
- Cocoa shells 5%
3. Convert recipe to weight. Simply multiple the percentage by the total volume you are going for. Let's stick with 1 pound (16oz) for this illustration.
- Rooibos (base tea) 60% - 0.6 * 16oz = 9.6oz
- Wild Sweet Nibs 15% = 0.6 * 16oz = 2.4oz
- Coconut flakes 10% = 0.1 * 16oz = 1.6oz
- Vanilla beans 10% = 0.1 * 16oz = 1.6oz
- Cocoa shells 5% = 0.05 * 16oz = 0.8oz
4. Place a large enough container on your scale and tare. Then start adding your ingredinets by weigh until you reach 1lb.
5. Close your container and give it a good shake.
6. Grab your favorite brewing vessel—French press, Tea brewer, Strainer, etc.—and brew up your first batch!
*Brew times are going to take some experimentation. A good rule of thumb is to stick with the brewing recommendations for your base tea. For example, if Rooibos is your base, follow our tea brewing chart and aim for 5 minutes at 200°.
Here's a quick general cheat sheet for average tea brewing times->
7. After trying your tea hot and cold, make notes about possible iterations on you recipe.