There’s nothing like relaxing and sipping your favorite tea. Heck, with so many varieties, you will never get bored of it! And not only does it taste amazing, but it can also provide a host of health benefits because of its powerful chemicals known as polyphenols and phytochemicals. (And you thought you were just enjoying a delicious drink, huh?)
Thus, if drinking tea is good for you, you might assume you can gain all of these benefits (and more) by combine different teas and creating new flavors.
But that’s where some of the issues can come up. If you want to be your own tea mixologist, read on and understand how combining teas work.
How It Affects Flavor
All teas are not created equal. Different types of teas often should be brewed at different temperatures and for different times.
For example, black tea should be brewed at 206 degrees for 3 – 5 minutes. This ensures you get the optimal flavor, without the water actually burning the tea. Similarly, herbal blends should typically be brewed at the same temperature of 206 degrees Fahrenheit, but for 5 – 7 minutes; this lets you draw out the full array of flavors.
But… if a black tea was brewed for this long, it would be burned and taste bitter.
Also, it gets tricky when you add green teas because they should be brewed at a lower 180 degrees for only 2 – 3 minutes.
If you exceed the burning point of a tea, you’ll burn it and release a harsh and bitter flavor. Also, if you brew it for too long, you’ll create intense, dark, and overbearing flavors. Conversely, if you use a temperature that’s too low, you won’t give your tea enough heat to extract all the flavor notes.
The result might be a disappointing experience with bitter or bland profiles.
How It Affects Health Benefits
Believe it or not, there are similar issues with mixing teas on the health benefits.
If you follow optimal brewing times and temperatures, you’ll allow phytochemicals and polyphenols to flow from the leaves to the water. If the water is too hot, however, you might damage these properties, diminishing the associated health improvements. On the other hand, if you don’t brew long enough, you won’t give these chemicals enough time to move into your water.
Consider these effects the next time you mix your teas — not only will you get the maximum health benefits and taste, but you’ll also match the right teas if you do want to combine flavors. Enjoy!