International Tea Day: How are tea blends made?
There's an uncountable number of tea blends and infusions. Have you ever wondered how they are prepared? What taste profiles are kept in mind while creating the blends? We spoke to industry experts on the laborious process involved. Revered tea taster and managing director of a retail tea brand Madhav Sarda, and Ekta Jain, CMO of a heritage tea brand, share their knowledge.
Tea blending is a very subtle art mastered by tea experts. Hand blending is done after proper research on the right proportions to create the desired taste and flavor. "The key to a great blend, be it herbal or tea, is balance; it is important to get your base, middle and top notes to all work in perfect harmony," says Mrs. Jain.
The important thing to keep in mind while blending is its purpose--wellness, exotic, fruity, etc. From Darjeeling, Madhav Sarda explains, "Different blends are developed for different palates, primarily made for taste and health benefits. "Blending provides a quality mix of different herbs together with regular tea leaves. "The aroma and appearance of the blend are important too, so it appeals to customers."
Talking about creating blends, Sarda says, "Experimentation and the trial and error method plays a big part in getting the right tea blend." "It is also important to make blends in different ratios with various tea leaves and herbs to suit individual palates. Wrong ratios can have many ramifications. "It takes years of dedication and practice to master these intricate processes."
After deciding the purpose of the blend, a combination is created with ingredients that blend well with each other. Mrs. Jain gives an example, "For a calming wellness blend, we choose ingredients based on benefits, like chamomile for promoting sleep, rose for its soothing effects, and green tea for overall wellness." "Then the proportion is thoroughly checked and the right mix is created."
Generally, most tea blends are safe. However, the right ratio of tea leaves and herbs, and recommendations for drinking the number of cups per day are essential. Many blends help in weight management, diabetes, and heart health. Certain teas have certain herbs which are not advisable for lactating women and people with comorbidities. Always read the ingredients in blends carefully before drinking.