Welcome back, tea scholars! If you’re like a lot of tea drinkers, much of your tea exposure has been to black tea. These dark, rich, and caffeinated leaves make a delicious brew either on their own, or blended with different flavors. If you want a refresher on the wide variety of pure black teas that you can try, go back and read Black Tea 101. Today we’re going to be talking about all the flavor profiles that can be blended with black tea to create the best black tea flavors.
Tea blending is one part art and one part science. It takes an in-depth knowledge of tea to figure out what will create a balanced flavor and what will be overpowering. It takes creativity to blend something that’s delicious, unexpected, and poised to become someone’s new favorite tea. When it comes to blending black teas, there are a few general categories of flavors that we can explore. The best black tea flavors are always being developed and reinvented, though, which is what makes tea so exciting!
Breakfast and Earl Grey Black Teas
Probably the most common black tea flavors in the west, breakfast teas and Earl Grey teas can be found just about anywhere, from supermarket shelves to airplane drink carts to elegant tea parlors.
Breakfast teas are made from a blend of black teas and meant to maintain a strong, malty flavor, which is great for early mornings. Try our Fog Cutter Meyer lemon black tea for a classic Irish Breakfast Tea with a hint of lemon, the Heritage Blend Scottish breakfast maple tea, or the House Blend vanilla black tea for a more traditional flavor.
Earl Grey is a traditional tea infused with an Italian citrus called bergamot. Initially blended to imitate the flavor of another pure tea, Earl Grey has become a worldwide phenomenon of its own. If you’re interested in getting into Earl Grey, a great place to start is our Gratitude Blend, which adds a sweet hint of strawberry black tea to the usual flavors. You may also wish to try the more classic Mindful Morning Earl Grey creme tea or the Delightful Morning lavender Earl Grey tea, which is perfect for a London Fog.
Fruity Black Teas
Fruit and tea can be the perfect pairing! However, when whole fruit pieces or a strong fruit flavor are blended in, the taste can become overpowering. That’s what is so great about fruity black teas: Since black tea is such a strong flavor, it usually holds up well when blended with fruits. Anything from berries and citrus, like our Blackberry Mojito Tea, to apples and cinnamon, such as our Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea, can blend well with black tea. Whatever your mood, there’s a fruity black tea for the occasion!
Floral Black Teas
Flowers add a nuance and elegance to the deep, rich flavors of black tea. Roses often add sweetness and fragrance, like in our delightful rose chai tea with blackberry. Lavender adds a savory bite, and is great in our Delightful Morning floral tea. Even chamomile, traditionally reserved for mellow nighttime blends, can go well with black tea. If you haven’t tried our Reading Nook black chamomile tea blend with rose and lavender yet, you need to!
Nutty Black Teas
Most people think of nuts as more of a snack or a topping than a flavor, but blended with tea, nuts can create some incredible taste experiences. Pecans are hearty, creating a stalwart base for the nostalgia-inducing Porch Sippin’ pecan tea. Almonds are incredibly sweet, making them a perfect choice for dessert teas like Coconut Macaron vanilla coconut tea.
Dessert Black Teas
Dessert teas are meant to replicate the flavor of popular desserts. Black tea can have nutty, chocolatey, and even fruity flavors on its own, which are accentuated by delicious add-ins like fruit, nuts, and sometimes even candy pieces. Our Brunch In Paris is an orange black tea with chocolate, while Sweet Spot butterscotch tea tastes just like a candy minus the sugar. Of course, you can always add the cream and sugar back in if you’d like to!
Chai Black Teas
While chai actually just means “tea,” it has become associated in the west with strong spice teas, often combined with cream or served as a latte. There are almost as many types of chai as there are individual tastes, so you may have to try a few before you settle on something with just the right blend of spices. Our Full Moon vanilla chai tea with butternut combines traditional Masala spices with the smooth creaminess of butternut (the nut, not the squash). The Uplifting Coconut Chai tea, on the other hand, adds in a splash of tropical coconut to accentuate the spice.
The world of black tea is vast enough on its own. When you start blending in different ingredients, the possibilities become almost endless. If you’re looking for the best black tea flavors, you’re just going to have to start trying black teas!