Tea is a natural product, and like its cousins coffee and wine, each harvest produces something different from the last. This means, season to season and year to year, a little or a lot of variation can occur even within the one tea garden or estate.
Large companies blend in order to offer a consistent product – a tea that tastes the same – to large numbers of consumers, year in year out. Tea companies might also want to create ‘signature blends’ – teas that no other company can offer. Of course, two or more teas can be blended for a bit of fun and experimentation with flavours.
Tea blending holds a certain mystique and is something of an art form - professional tasters manage to achieve certain flavour profiles with an ever-changing natural product, using teas from different regions and countries, and from seasons and years present and past.
Some of the classic blends we are familiar with are Irish and English Breakfast and Russian Caravan teas – these are blends of different styles of black tea.
Why drink unblended single-origin teas?
As with an excellent wine, an unblended tea can showcase the very best of a particular garden, a harvest, the terroir, a tea grower’s expertise and a teamaker’s craft. When a tea produces a wonderfully complex flavour profile, it would be near criminal to blend it away! Certainly, a teamaker would not use their best teas for blending. Tea&Sympathy specialises in natural single-origin unblended teas for this reason.
In addition, traceability of the tea is much easier when it is unblended, from a single garden and a specific harvest or season. It allows you to know full well the origin of your tea, when it was grown and processed.
Many of these teas offered by Tea&Sympathy are bespoke, often unique to a particular garden or teamaker, and may appear unfamiliar at first. Bring a sense of adventure and we'll match it with knowledge, passion and experience.