Black tea sorted by characteristic and quality in a sample tray at a Sri Lankan tea factory. Various whole dried leaves, partial leaves, and tea dusts are used in combination to produce different types of blended teas

Tea blending is the act of blending different teas together to produce a final product that differs in flavor from the original tea used. This occurs chiefly with black tea, which is blended to make most tea bags, but it can also occur with such teas as Pu-erh, where leaves are blended from different regions before being compressed. The most prominent type of tea blending is commercial tea blending, which is used to ensure consistency of a batch on a mass scale so that any variations between different batches and seasons of tea production do not affect the final product. However, it is also common to blend tea leaves with herbs and spice, either for health purposes or to add interesting and more complex flavor notes.[1] It is important that any one blend must taste the same as the previous one, so a consumer will not be able to detect a difference in flavor from one purchase to the next.

Because tea takes on aromas with ease, there can be problems in the processing, transportation or storage of tea, but this property can also be used to prepare scented teas. Tea is often flavored in large blending drums with perfumes, flavorings, or essential oils. Although blending and scenting teas can add an additional dimension to tea, the process may also sometimes be used to cover and obscure the quality of sub-standard teas.[citation needed]

Varieties of blended tea

Breakfast teas are generally a blend of different robust, full-bodied black teas that are often drunk with milk. Common types of breakfast tea include English breakfast and Irish breakfast.
Afternoon tea
Afternoon blends of black teas are generally lighter than breakfast blends. Both breakfast and afternoon blends are popular in the British Isles; an example would be the Prince of Wales tea blend.
Russian Caravan
Russian Caravan is a popular blend that originates from the tea trade between Russia and China. It usually contains a bit of smoky lapsang souchong, though its base is typically Keemun or Dian Hong. Some variants also contain oolong.

Flavored and scented teas

Although many teas are still flavored directly with flowers, herbs, spices, or even smoke, teas with more specialized flavors are usually produced through the addition of flavorings or perfumes. This is particularly true for tea blends with pronounced fruit or flower aromas, which cannot be achieved with the original ingredients. Some firms such as Mariage Frères and Kusmi Tea have become quite famous for their perfumed teas. The most commonly used scents are jasmine, traditionally used to scent delicate white and green teas, and bergamot, which is used to scent Earl Grey tea.[2] The teas described below are flavored directly with other materials.


Chinese osmanthus black tea

A variety of flowers are used to flavor teas. Although flowers can be used to scent teas directly, most flower-scented teas on the market use perfumes and aromas to augment or replace the use of flowers. The most popular flower teas include the following:

Vietnamese lotus green tea


Other flavorings

See also


  1. ^ Smith, Krisi (2016). World Atlas of Tea. Great Britain: Mitchell Beazley. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-78472-124-4.
  2. ^ Smith, Krisi (2016). World Atlas of Tea. Great Britain: Mitchell Beazley. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-78472-124-4.
  3. ^ The Tao of Tea. "Vietnamese Tea". Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2008-01-30.