Easy Tea Crafting: How to Make Your Own Tea Blends in 4 Steps
Making Your Own Teas
Perhaps you are a tea enthusiast and you recently have wondered, how do I start making my own tea blends? Teavana is expensive and Celestial Seasonings is just plain boring...so why not create your own custom blends of tea and herbs to indulge your taste buds and creative flow?
When I first had the interest in making my own tea blends, I couldn't find much on the topic online or in the library. So then I decided to figure it out all on my own. It's not as difficult as one might imagine, but it does take some time and dedication to getting the perfect blends down to a science. I am sharing my process of tea crafting with you now so that you can have an easier time making your own tea blends than what I had! Feel free to use my tips and add to them whatever you feel is necessary to make your tea blends unique to your style and personal preferences.
1. Identify Your Base Ingredient
Get out a bowl and pour about a handful of the base ingredient into the bowl.
The first thing you'll want to do when crafting your own tea blend is to think of what the main ingredient should be. We will call this ingredient the "base" of our tea blends. The base ingredient should be the ingredient that one can taste the easiest in the blend...basically think of the base ingredient in the tea as being the main character of a play. You want your tea to be centered on the base ingredient just as a play is centered around the main character but you will also want supporting flavors just as a play has supporting role characters.
Here are a few ideas as to some of the best base ingredients to use:
- Black teas: English Breakfast, Assam, Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, Darjeeling
- Green teas: Dragonwell, gunpowder, Matcha, Green snail spring, Tie guan yin
- Red teas: red rooibos, honeybush, honeyroo
- Herbs: peppermint, lemon balm, blackberry leaf, raspberry leaf, marshmallow
You'll want to do your research on your base ingredient, and really you should know whether you like the base ingredient or not. Don't use a base ingredient that you know nothing about or have never tasted before. The base ingredient is what you are literally basing your entire tea blend concept around...so choose a good one.
2. Add Complimenting Flavors
Pour your complimenting flavor(s) into the same bowl as your base ingredient. Blend carefully with your clean hand or with a spoon.
The 2nd step in the process of tea crafting is to add your complimenting flavors. This can be as many complimenting flavors as you would like, but I would say as a general rule anywhere from 3-5 complimenting flavors. If that amount scares you, start out with just 2 or 3. Remember when choosing your complimenting flavors that you should go off of flavors that you already know...and think about how they will combine with your base ingredient. You want these flavors to compliment the base, not overwhelm or overpower your base. Kind of like the supporting characters in a play.
Great Complimenting Herbs to try:
- rosemary leaf
- elder flower
- vanilla bean
- lemon verbena
- rose petals
3. Taste Test Your Blend
After you've blended your base ingredient with your complimenting flavor(s), you will want to taste test your blend!
This is the part where you ask yourself, is this tea blend actually drink-able? So get your water boiling and test out your first tea blend!
If you find one of your complimenting flavors is overwhelming the rest of your tea, repeat steps 1 and 2 but add less of that complimenting flavors. There are no measurements when I craft my teas, I simply go off of what feels/looks right! So don't stress out over measurements, just eye it!
Or if you find you don't have enough of the complimenting flavors and you only taste the base, add more of your complimenting flavors. It's as easy as that. Then taste-test it again and again until it is just right. Crafting the perfect tea blend is all about finding that heavenly balance between the base and complimenting ingredients.
4. Add Fruits, Nuts, & Sweeteners
Now add a few extra flavors as you see fit.
When you've mixed the perfect blend of the base tea and complimenting herbs/teas, you might want to think about adding the finishing touches. Don't forget that making the perfect tea blend is all about your creativity!
In addition to herbs and teas, you can also use various types of fruits, nuts, legumes, and sweeteners in order to make your tea blend one of a kind and absolutely delicious.
As far as fruits, I find that dehydrated/dried fruits work the best because you can mix them right into your tea blend and it will stay fresh for months right along with the tea itself.
Here are some dried fruits that you can try in your tea blends:
- lemon peel
- orange peel
- grapefruit peel
- hawthorn berries
- goji berries
What about nuts and legumes? Can you add those to your tea blends? Of course you can!
Try these out in your tea blends:
- salted peanuts
And last but not least, if you have a sweet tooth like me you might be inclined to add some sort of sweetener to your tea blend. You can do this with each cup or blend it right into your tea blend to save yourself time per every drink.
Try these sweeteners in your tea blends:
- sugar (powdered or cubed!)
- brown sugar
- stevia leaf
- sweetened cacao nibs
- chocolate chips
Tea Blends You Can Try:
Wrapping Up Your Tea Blends
Now that you've learned the easy steps to tea crafting your own blends, you can go crazy with trying various herbs, teas, nuts, fruits, and all manner of brew-able ingredients. The sky is the limit with tea crafting, as long as you're selecting edible and delicious ingredients.
If you're crafting tea blends simply for tasting pleasures, go with what tastes the best; however, if you're going with a medicinal tea you will want to do your research on the medicinal properties of each ingredient and base your tea blend off of your medicinal need. Be careful how much you drink, and if you have any medical problems consult your doctor or health care provider before starting a regimen of medicinal teas.
Also, please be careful while drinking certain teas during your pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Some teas/herbs can be dangerous in large amounts to you and/or your baby. The point is that you must do your research!
© 2013 Kitty Fields