Tea Blending Blog – Beauty Brains and Depth

The ins and outs of tea blending from Tea Blenders from Around the World

Questions Answered July 28, 2008

So there have been wonderful questions coming my way since the recent blending classes. Feel free to post your questions on the blog because many of you have the same question. This is a new forum but please share your questions on this tea blending blog so we can all learn and share! Remember there is no such things as a dumb question!

With that said many of you have been wondering about the books I recommend on tea blending.

The first I would check out would be Tea Blending as a Fine Art by Joseph M. Walsh. This tea blending book was written in 1896 and lists some of the classic fundamentals on blending with black teas. An interesting read with insight on the origins of commercial blending. Some important facts he brings up in the book are the areas of grading and varietes along with touching on the American population even at that time unaware of the skill and complexity behind the practious and sophistication in tea production. It is a free to view on books.google.com. Some of the names of teas are no longer in use today but at Art of Tea we have put some of the lessons learned in place (at least in honor of the author). Enjoy and please share your thoughts on this book!

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9 Responses to “Questions Answered”

  1. completelytea Says:

    Hi Steve,

    This book used to be free, but seems to be no longer! Unfortunate for those of us who neglected to save the pdf version on our pc’s. If you happen to have a pdf version, perhaps you can send it along.

    With thanks,
    Kerri Lee
    Lee-Middleton Gourmet Tea

  2. steveartoftea Says:

    Try this link.
    http://books.google.com/books?id=2TMEAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=tea+blending%5D#PPA25,M1
    Here you can read it directly online or the pdf can be downloaded from the top right hand corner.
    Let me know if this works.

    Best,

    Steve

  3. steveartoftea Says:

    If the link doesn’t work sign up for a free account with google (you don’t need to sign up for a gmail account and you will have access.

  4. completelytea Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I think we figured out what the problem was… when I accessed the book the first time after our course, I was in the U.S. I think I’m being restricted for some reason because I’m in Canada. My husband (the computer guy) said he can try to figure out a way around that problem. I’ll let you know what happens. Thanks!

    Kerri

  5. completelytea Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I was wondering if you have any suggestions for green teas to use for blending with flavour. I have used Chun Mee (which is what we used in the class with you), but I was wondering if you have another green tea to suggest that blends well with liquid flavour. I remember that you indicated that Sencha could be difficult for blending…

    Thank you in advance.

    Kerri

  6. thegoodleaf Says:

    Thank you, Steve, for opening up this forum. I really enjoyed the tea blending class and was happy to know that I can just get my gloved hands right into the tea. I’ve been having fun blending but really want to work with flavor and have a few questions.

    First – regarding Earl Grey, is an earl grey or bergamot “flavoring” used for earl grey teas or is it the oil of bergamot (without any alcohol added), and if it’s just the oil of bergamot, can I use any oil of bergamot and at what concentration? I would think that the essential oil is stronger than a flavoring, and it is very expensive so my sense is that less would be used.

    My second question has to do with sources for tea flavoring. Can I use extracts for flavoring, for example, pure vanilla extract or is it better to use flavorings made specifically for tea application. It seems like the companies that offer tea flavorings are very expensive and have huge minimum quantity orders. Understanding that people are reluctant to share their flavoring sources (with good reason), are there any suggestions for how to get started in flavoring as a small company? Even though I’m small and my budget limited, of course I want to be working with quality products.

    Thanks,
    Michelle

  7. sarahchicochai Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I had the same question, I’ve been thinking about a green chai. I like to simmer the chai old school style (basically hardcore oversteeping in the tea world), so I’ve been hesistant to try it with green tea. Should I just outlaw the simmering method and stick to green tea preparation, or is there a green that would stand up to simmering without attacking the tongue afterward?

    Looking forward to your next class at the expo!

    Thanks!

    -Sarah

    • steveartoftea Says:

      Greens get tricky. I would try a Ceylon green which would brew less grassy than most. Bright color and meaty in the finish.
      Will you be in Level 1 and 2 Blending class at this years World Tea Expo?

  8. sarahchicochai Says:

    Cool, thanks, I’ll give it a try:)
    I took level 1 last year and I should be volunteering at level 2 this year. Feel free to order me around!


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