Tired of the same old cup of tea, day after day after day? Fear not. Tea, as you probably already knew but haven’t yet looked into, is as expansive a world as you can get when it comes to beverages.
Just a small selection of pure teas and some flowers, spices and herbs can pair with several blends for every day of the week. For instance, did you know that rose petals can be blended with regular black tea? Or that something as uncommon as marshmallow root has been found to mix well with tea?
The only constant in tea blends is that they use one ingredient as a base. White, green, black, oolong. The fun starts when you add together the likes of lemongrass, hibiscus, elderberry, peppermint and so on. Depending on what flowers or fruits or spices you pick, you can find a tea flavour that will suit every season of the year!
Below are ten ideas to inspire you when it comes to tea blends. But, please, don’t take this as gospel. Go out there, buy your ingredients, and get experimenting.
Lemongrass and green tea
Things certainly don’t sound much healthier than lemongrass and green tea! Well, you’ll be pleased to learn that not only is it healthy, but it tastes great too.
This combination makes for a sprite and zesty brew, with elements of woody notes and peppery warmth. Rich in vitamin A, C and five unique B vitamins, lemongrass and green tea is also said to have hypercholesterolemia properties that promote healthy cholesterol levels, with one study showing it may assist in reducing LDL.
Linden flowers and green tea
The linden flower comes from the much larger linden tree. The same species as the Tilia and lime tree, it grows in Europe, Asia and North America in inconsistent temperatures, resulting in some of them growing 90 feet tall. The linden flowers drop off in the autumn but the tree itself can live up to 1,000 years!
Depending on the species, the linden flower’s fragrance ranges from sweet to strong to rich. Its taste is highly pleasing thanks to the aromatic volatile oil natural to the flower. So pairing it with green tea is a no-brainer.
Rose petals and black tea
Did you know all rose petals are edible? You do now! And they work great with tea, particularly black tea, which can often be quite bitter and harsh in taste when left to its own devices.
Rose black tea, when brewed, has a reddish-brown hue and a taste and aroma that is sugary. It has a floral undertone and a clean aftertaste that companies perfectly with an afternoon meal. Just one teaspoon of dry rose petals will do when preparing a cup of this brew. Steep the petals or buds for five minutes, strain, serve, and enjoy.
Marshmallow and black tea
Not too unlike its squishy confectionery form, the marshmallow root boasts a sweet and woody flavour, making it a unique blend or served on its own. The texture of Marshmallow root tea is smooth thanks to its high mucilage content, and tends to thicken when cool.
Like a lot of root flavours, the marshmallow contains chemicals that aids certain ailments. It may weaken coughs and fight infections. Marshmallow is even sometimes used to form a protective layer on the skin and lining of the digestive tract. The more you know!
Moringa and green tea
The Moringa tree is often called the horseradish tree due to its sharp root flavour and is grown in the Himalayan foothills. Traditionally used for its nutritious properties, enjoying Moringa with a regular green tea will help you better understand why it is commonly referred to as the ‘Miracle Tree’.
Moringa and green tea can be made from scratch or bought in simple pre-made teabags. While making it yourself might be more fun the shelved variety isn’t anything to sniff at. They’ll both contain multiple nutrients that include 47 antioxidants, 25 vitamins and minerals, and every essential amino acid.
Osmanthus and green tea
Did you know using flowers in tea dates back to the Ming Dynasty in China? Around this time, the Osmanthus flower in particular, was used to blend white, green, black and oolong tea. Though in this case, we’re going to be focusing on green, as it seems to be its best bud in terms of flavour and its gorgeous golden colour.
When you mix Osmanthus flowers with green tea you’ll get a lovely fresh apricot brew and sweet floral aromas that aren’t dulled by going cold. Osmanthus tea is associated with love, weddings and marriage so if you’re experiencing any of those things, it wouldn’t hurt to pour yourself or the people around you a few cups of this wonderful tea.
Elderberry and black tea
Made from the berries plucked from the family of the Sambucus tree, elderberry has been consumed for thousands of years. It was most notably used by the early indigenous Americans in a bid to boost the immune system as well as cleanse the body. Today, it still is used to treat fevers.
Elderberry has a crispy, smooth flavour with tart and earth undertones. Pair with black tea for an unusual but very interesting taste sensation. If the resulting brew is a bit too tangy for your liking, you could always add honey or a bit of cinnamon to sweeten it right up!
Cinnamon and ginger tea
There are plenty of so-called healthy drinks out there that when push comes to shove, don’t really amount to much. A cup of cinnamon and ginger tea is not one of those drinks. Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent sickness and help maintain hydration and weight loss, it also tastes incredible. And it smells like apple pie!
To prepare a mug of cinnamon and ginger tea, add your cinnamon sticks and ginger slices to a pot of water, bring to the boil for 10 minutes then simmer. Steep as long as you want, whatever your taste buds recommend, strain and enjoy.
Orange peel and black tea
The majority of us, at one time or another in our curious childhoods, tried to eat a piece of orange peel only to quickly discover it is the furthest possible thing from an easygoing, mellow slice of the real thing. You may be surprised to hear that orange peel shouldn’t be disregarded altogether. It is after all used to garnish certain desserts.
Orange peel, strangely enough, blends well with regular black tea. Simply boil your water, add your mixture of orange peels and black tea, boil for 2–3 minutes until the water changes colour then remove from the heat. Cover and let it steep for 2 minutes. Strain and serve. This one works well iced, too!
Apple and black tea
If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then what effect does an apple and black tea blend have? I’m no medical professional but it’s safe to say you’ll impress your friends and fellow tea lovers with this one. Picture the scene: you have company over, you promise them a tea they’ve never had. The company scoffs. A tea they’ve never had? Get real. But then, you return to the room with a caddy of something fruity and recognisable yet foreign. They applaud you and your concoction and all is well with the world.
Apple tea is perhaps as simple as it sounds. It is made by boiling apple slices alongside black tea leaves and optionally spiced with cinnamon or cloves. Warm or cold, it doesn’t matter how you take your apple tea, it carries the same amount of health benefits all the same!