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Tea 101: Tea Flavors

Posted by Rachel Schwartz on 10/11/2019

Last time we discussed the overarching categories--or types--of tea that all the thousand and one teas at the grocery store fall under. Within each category (ex. black tea, green tea, etc.), are the various flavors of tea. If you've ever visited a tea shop or wandered down the coffee and tea aisle at the store, then you know the flavor combinations are never-ending. Below are the six most popular flavor blends from around the world. 

Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey is one of the most popular blends of tea in the world. A bergamot flavored black tea, it is usually enjoyed with a bit of lemon and without milk or sugar. Bergamot is a type of orange, giving the blend a slight citrus-y taste. Cornflower are also often added to general Earl Grey blends for color. Part of the reason Earl Grey is such a popular flavor is because there are so many variations of it. For example, Lady Grey tea is Earl Grey with lavender, French Earl Grey is Earl Grey with rose petals added in lieu of cornflowers, and London Fog is an Earl Grey latte. 

Chai Tea

Technically, the phrase "chai tea" is redundant as the word chai means tea in many languages. Over time, chai has become a catch-all term for tea that is either super sweet or super spicy. Masala chai is perhaps the most popular chai flavor comprised of Indian black tea with cardamom and ginger, although other spices may also be added. It is particularly popular in India. 

Jasmine Tea

If you have ever eaten at an Asian restaurant, you've probably seen jasmine tea on the menu. Popular in China, it is a blend of high quality loose tea leaves and jasmine petals. The jasmine petals give off a delicate aroma and add a slightly sweet flavor to the tea. While often made using a green tea base, it can be prepared with oolong, black, or white tea. 

Matcha

Perhaps the most popular of the green tea flavors, matcha is made by whisking high quality powdered green tea leaves into hot water. Matcha lattes and boba teas are two popular ways to drink matcha. However, tea is not the only way people are enjoying matcha. In the last several years, it has also become a popular cooking ingredient, used to make everything from ice cream to salad dressing. 

Breakfast Teas

If Earl Grey is a popular tea around the world, breakfast teas might be THE most popular. Various blends of tea types, breakfast teas are full-bodied, caffeinated black teas. They are generally stronger in flavor than Earl Grey and often enjoyed with a bit of milk or sugar in the morning, as their name suggests. There are several blends of breakfast teas but the most popular blend is English, followed closely by Irish. English breakfast tea is a blend made of primarily Ceylon black tea with Assam tea. Irish breakfast tea uses the same two black teas but in opposite proportions. 

Sleepy Teas

While technically not a flavor of tea and instead rather a collection of flavors, sleepy teas are one of the most searched for online. Generally preferred in the afternoon or evening due to their caffeine-free state, sleepy teas also often have soothing or rejuvenating qualities. Chamomile tea is the most popular sleepy tea flavor, although other favorites include lavender, mint, and peppermint. 


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