What are Flavored Teas?

loose leaf flavored teasFlavored teas are teas that have had something added to them such as flowers, herbs, or spices that provide additional flavor.  Some flavored teas, if you look at the back of the packaging, might also have extracts or flavoring agents added in order to enhance the taste of the tea.  There are many flowers that are traditionally added to teas to give them a distinct aroma and taste.  Traditional flowers include:

  • Jasmine: This is probably the most well known of flowers that are added to green tea, black tea and even white tea.  With some jasmine teas, the scent is naturally infused into the tea leaves but we’ll talk more about that in the scented teas section. Jasmine tea can also be an herbal infusion if there are only flowers and no tea in the mix.
  • Rose: Another traditional flower, rose is traditionally added to Chinese black teas, for example, Rose Congou, but has also reached America and Australia in the flavored tea French Earl Grey.  More about Earl Grey later.
  • Osmanthus: This peachy aromatic flower is a great enhancement to tea such as oolong and has been known to be added to green teas and black teas. Osmanthus flowers have their own unique health benefits as does rose petals and jasmine flowers, but I think that this is another blog post that is waiting to be written.
  • Chrysanthemum: These flowers can often be found in Chinese supermarkets and are often brewed alone as an herbal infusion.  They are also used to enhance a category of tea known as pu’erh.
  • Cornflowers:  Cornflowers are a vibrant blue, so not only do they enhance the tea by way of flavoring, they are visually stunning too.  Cornflowers have been known to be added to Earl Grey tea to distinguish itself from other traditional Earl Grey teas (which consist of bergamot oil, a citrus fruit, as well as a blend of black teas).

In addition to flowers, there are some flavored teas that have herbs, citrus or spices added to them.  Some of the most popular include:

  • Mint: Moroccan Mint tea despite the name is in fact, a traditional Chinese flavored tea consisting of Gunpowder Green Tea and peppermint leaves.  Some teas might add spearmint leaves into the mix too.  Each component of the tea has its own unique health benefits.
  • Citrus Peel: There are some Earl Grey teas that have citrus peel added to the tea in addition to the bergamot scent that is infused into the tea (any scent that is infused into the tea rather than an actual herb, flower or anything else added to the tea, is known as a scented tea).
  • Ginger: In Ayurvedic Medicine, this spice has a warming component that is said to enhance digestion and you’ll often find it as a welcome addition to a black tea.
  • Brown Rice: Genmaicha is a Japanese tea which is as popular to the Japanese as English Breakfast is to the British.  Genmaicha is a mix of bancha green tea (or sometimes sencha) with brown rice kernals. During the roasting process, some of the brown rice puffs up and sometimes it will pop, which gives way to its alias: Popcorn Tea.
  • Masala Chai: What is proving popular around the globe is masala chai or just simply chai.  Ignoring the chai lattes and chai syrup that you can get in cafés, real masala chai is a black tea (or blend of black tea) mixed with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves. Tea companies will have their own unique recipe and spices for this warming spicy tea.

These are just a sample of popular flavored teas.  With so many flavored teas on the market today, you can certainly find one that you will enjoy!

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