Herb Tea Blending
While the field is wide open for whatever herbs you want to try, most good herbal tea blends follow a structure to provide a range of tastes.
- Flowering notes. The basic blend includes flowery notes of some sort. Common options include lavender flowers, chamomile flowers, dandelion petals, calendula petals, or wild rose petals. Add one part of this herb.
- Placeholder flavor. After adding the flowers (fresh or dried), add a place-holding flavor. This will be the flavor that ties everything together and keeps an iced tea tasting strong enough to withstand a few ice cubes melting into it. Dried red raspberry leaves or dried nettles work well here. Add two parts of these herbs.
- Fruity component. Next, a fruity or naturally sweet component is nice. Dried rosehips is a common choice here. These are sold in many herb shops or health food stores if you have not harvested your own. Another option here is hibiscus flowers, which are not only sweet and lemony flavored but also impart a rich, red color to your teas. Add one part of these herbs.
- Cooling herb. Especially for summer iced tea, a cooling herb is an ideal final ingredient. Mint is usually most common here. You can add any combination or variety of available mint herbs you have. Another naturally cooing herb that works well to round out your blend is borage—the leaves or flowers (or both) can be used. Add one part cooling herbs to finish your recipe.
|Calendula Petals||Neutral||Visual Decoration||Fantastic, vibrant colour that will add interest to any blend.|
|Cornflower Petals||Neutral||Visual Decoration||When infused alone creates a slightly blue infusion.|
|Dried Ginger Root||Excellent clean taste with hot ginger finish||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Great blending ingredient that will add a warmth to any tea or herbal blend.|
|Camomile||Fruity with a light floral flavour||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Apple-like flavour adds a layer of depth to any herbal blend. Try adding Orange Peel or Spearmint.|
|Hibiscus Flowers||Sweet, honey-like tangy taste, similar to pomegranate or lemonade||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Popular with the stars like Beyonce! Very versatile blending ingredient which when infused will add a deep, bright burgundy red colour to the infusion.|
|Lavender||Slightly pungent, distinctive flavour||Layer of taste in a blend and visual decoration||Versatile blending component that can complement most types of teas. Can be overpowering if used too much, so add in stages and test blend profile regularly.|
|Lemon Balm||Herbaceous lemon notes, slightly dry cup||Layer of taste in a blend and visual decoration||Works well when added to green tea like Japan Sencha. Try ratio 1 part Sencha to ¼ part Lemon Balm.|
|Lemon Verbena||Slightly dry with hints of sweet lemon||Layer of taste in a blend and visual decoration||Try blending with a black tea to create a 'lemon' tea.|
|Lemongrass||Sweet, lemon taste without the normal lemon tang||Used for its sweet lemon taste but without the tangy flavour normally experienced with lemon.||Very popular and versatile blending ingredient for taste but also gives a great visual impact too.|
|Lime Leaves||Strong and sweet citrus notes||Layer of taste in a blend and visual decoration||Particularly good with black tea blends and Lemongrass.|
|Liquorice Root Pieces||Sweet with anise like character||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Contains up to 14% naturally occurring sugars so has a naturally sweet character. Blends especially well with Egyptian Camomile and Peppermint.|
|Mate Green Egyptian Lemon||Slightly sweet with palate cleansing Egyptian lemon.||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Contains Mateine, a derivative of caffeine. Blends well with green tea and other herbals.|
|Nettle Leaves||Dry with a herbaceous finish.||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Try blending with other herbal infusions such as Yerba Green Mate, Lemongrass, Peppermint or Spearmint.|
|Peppermint||Pungent, cool fresh, menthol taste||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Distinctive mint taste will add a refreshing layer to any tea or herbal blend.|
|Pomegranate Peel||Refreshing, fruity taste, with a hint of zesty lemon||Layer of taste in a blend and visual decoration||Great blending ingredient for use with most teas.|
|Rose Hip||Mild and fruity with a slight tangy taste.||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Packed with Vitamin C, Rosehips are commonly used as a base for herb and fruit infusions.|
|Spearmint||Cool mint and fresh||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Blend with a Green Gunpowder tea and create your own Moroccan Mint Green tea.|
|Sunflower Petals||Neutral with a light, slightly musty finish||Visual Decoration||Wonderful vibrant colour to add accent and interest. Will also provide a mild mellow flavour. Try with all types of teas and herbs.|
|Sweet Orange Peel||Very mild, almost neutral character but with slightly tart, citric notes||Mainly Visual Decoration & Texture||Use sparingly if adding to a tea blend that might be taken with milk - too much orange peel will cause milk to curdle.|
|Wild Rosebuds||Pleasant and soothing with soft rose character||Herbal Infusion or addition to a herbal blend||Visually very appealing and offers any blend a definite rose character.|