As I have mentioned before, my parents come from different cultures. My Mother is Chinese and was born in Hong Kong. My Father is Irish and was born in Upstate New York. So, when you combine the two, that leaves me – a mixture of Chinese and Irish ethnicities. Now that we have that out of the way, let me relate this to tea.
If I were a tea, I would be a tea blend
I take key features from both sides (the Irish and Chinese) and combine them to create a unique appearance. My skin is darker than the Irish and my eyes are a bit less round, but I am also on the tall side. Does that mean I am any “worse” than a 100% Irish or Chinese individual? Of course not. But, what it does mean is that I have different ethnicities that complement each other.
Good tea blends have complimentary flavors
Let’s say you have one tea that has notes of fresh berries in it and another that has notes of honey. If you combine the two you get cup of tea that has a natural sweetness of honey-covered berries. Now if you add in a third tea that has natural notes of hazelnut, you have three flavors that taste really great together. (This happens to be the flavor profile of our Irish Breakfast Tea.)
You also get consistency
Blends have one major advantage over single origin teas and that is consistency. Since there is a little bit of tweaking that occurs every year when the new crop comes out, you can always adjust the blend to hit the exact flavors you want. Therefore, if the honey notes are a bit light one year, you can add a bit more of that tea to the blend. Too much honey flavor, then take some out. Either way, blends are and will always be the most consistent teas out there.
Are tea blends better than single origin teas?
No, but single origin teas are not better than blends either, they are just different. It is like asking if a purebred Poodle is “better” than a friendly mutt. Sure, the purebred dog is held in higher esteem by the show dog crowd, but that doesn’t make him better. So, it really depends on what you prefer. If you like a consistent cup of tea, then blends may be the way to go. Take it from a “blended” Irish/Chinese person, having the best of many worlds isn’t so bad.