All The Flavor Options for Tea
Unlike coffee, tea is not reduced down to a single flavor with minimal variation. Taking into account the wide range of tea blends – those from the camellia sinensis plant and herbal options, or tisanes – here is a list of all flavor possibilities.
Dark and Malty
Breakfast black teas reflect the strong flavor of coffee without one element – a lack of acidity. Although darker, and described as malty at times, such blends, including English, Irish, and Scottish breakfast teas, provide the jolt of caffeine needed to get the day started. While flavor varies between each type, breakfast teas have a considerably darker flavor than their afternoon, green, or white counterparts.
For teas originating from the camellia sinensis plant, most fall within this lighter range – moderately flavorful, still caffeinated, but without the impact of breakfast black teas. Falling within this range are afternoon black teas, such as Darjeeling or Earl Grey, the latter of which enhances the lighter flavor with bergamot oil.
Aside from black, green and white teas – both of which are processed less – fall within this range. Taste is less strong and caffeine amounts not as high, but along with the lighter, more palatable flavor, these two blends have greater concentrations of antioxidants – purported to have heart disease-, cancer-, and weight-fighting benefits.
Although tea purists may balk at the notion, tisanes, or herbal blends, are included within the wide scope of this beverage. “Tisane,” on the other hand, is a nebulous term, and such teas have innumerable variations of spices, herbs, and fruits. Popular ones, however, include spice teas, vanilla, rooibos, mint flavors, and chamomile blends. Because of variation, tisanes tend to range from sharp or spicy to mild to sweet.
Although tisanes made exclusively from dried fruit or rinds are one option, even black teas can have such a flavor infusion. Fruit flavors, for black, green, or white teas, play off the natural taste, adding a lighter side to a stronger blend or filling out and enhancing the flavor. For these teas, either loose or in bagged varieties, the fruit pieces are included in the blend. Nevertheless, adding your own fruit infusion to ordinary black tea is also a possibility.
For tisanes and infused black teas, however, there are no limitations on the types of fruits used. Orange is popular but by no means the only option. Black currant, raspberry, peach, lemon, apple, pomegranate, and mango are just some of the possibilities brands carry.