For as long as teas have been around, people have flavoured them with herbs, fruits, berries, flowers, and more. In the early days in China, this was often done for medicinal reasons as tea was considered a medicinal herb. At times, however, the aim was to attain the delicious taste of a flower or berry, or to mask a lower quality tea.
Some flavourings have passed the test of time better than others. Jasmine was made popular over a thousand years ago, mint tea is an absolute classic in the Arabic world, and prime minister Charles Grey’s favourite blend from the 1830s, Earl Grey with its bergamot flavour, has a spot in every tea section across the world. Additionally, smoked teas, which can be considered part of the flavoured category, are relatively popular today.
The market offers a plethora of flavoured teas nowadays. Not many people know that most of them are made with essences as this is the easiest and most efficient way to flavour teas. Pieces of fruit and flower petals are usually only added for decorative purposes. Then there are a few naturally flavoured teas, with the best jasmine teas on top of the list, for which fresh jasmine flowers and tea leaves are mixed until a perfect taste is achieved. Of course, there is also the option of elevating the flavour in your own cup with fresh herbs or spices.