Some of your favorite tea blends start from three main base teas: Assam, Keemun, and Darjeeling. You can make your tea experience much better and conserve cupboard space by keeping these teas in stock.
Let’s go over these teas and then we can get to some recipes and customization!
Assam comes from India and has a rich, malty flavor which is complimented well with milk and sugar.
The version we get is the highest quality T.G.F.O.P (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) which is mostly tips.
You will find Assam at the base of many favorites like Earl Grey.
Keemun is also known as China Black which is one of the highest quality of teas to come out of China. Often referred to as the “burgundy of teas” it produces a sweet, liqouring, full bodied, dark red cup. Keemun also makes a great iced tea and does not cloud easily.
Our Keemun is F.O.P. (Flowery Orange Pekoe) which is a high quality long leaf tea with pleanty of tips.
By itself Keemun is a delicious tea and when combined, as we will see shortly, with other teas it becomes something magical.
Darjeeling comes from the southern slopes of the Himalayas, which is located on India’s northern border. It’s delicate floral aroma and a mildly fruity flavor, with a slight astringent nip makes it indescribably unique and delicious.
Our Darjeeling is a high quality T.G.F.O.P. and is considered one of the fanciest of Darjeeling teas.
Blending some classic teas and making them your own
The three most popular breakfast teas are English, Irish, and Scottish and though there are no standard recipes for them we can get a general idea of the ratios. They have essentially the same ingredients but in differing ratios:
English Breakfast Tea: 2 parts Assam, 1 part Keemun
Irish Breakfast Tea: 2 parts Keemun, 1 part Assam
Scottish Breakfast Tea: 1 part Assam, 1 part Keemun, 1 part Ceylon
An initial way to customize your breakfast tea blend would be to slightly alter the ratios until it is exactly where you want them. Be sure to make note of this so you can recreate it each time.
Another variation would be to replace the Ceylon in Scottish breakfast tea with Darjeeling. This would add it’s unique flavor to the blend and help round it out.
We made a post a while ago about making Earl Grey Tea and a slight customization. As we said in that article Earl Grey is a black tea base with bergamot essential oil. Though Assam is the primary tea used in Earl Grey, Keemun and Darjeeling make excellent substitutions.
I love mint tea as it is great for clearing sinuses, treating indigestion, and it’s just plain tasty. Sometimes I really want a little caffeine kick with it so adding peppermint or spearmint to Assam or Keemun does just the trick. The mint is also naturally a bit sweet so adding sugar or other sweeteners is not necessary.
Keemun is our go to for making iced tea which is great on it’s own but you can take it up a notch by adding fresh fruit slices while you are brewing it. You can also customize your cup by brewing it straight and adding some of your favorite fruit juice to your glass and blending in the tea until it’s just right.