One of the things that makes Art of Tea stand out is that we hand-blend and hand-pack all of our orders. That means that every ingenious flavor combination in our blends is dreamed up in our lab! We rely on our tea guru and CEO, Steve Schwartz, to come up with exciting new flavor combinations, but you can channel your inner Master Blender, too! Experimenting with tea mixtures can be exciting and fulfilling (if the flavors are good!). Mixing teas can be even more fun as a group activity! Shake up your usual meetup with your friends and throw a Tea Mixing Party! Your guests will have a blast exploring new flavors and smells and you’ll all go home with a tea specially made for you! (And it’s way easier to set up than you’d think!)
Don’t Forget Your Bags!
While you can get away with using an infuser ball or mesh basket to brew your own cup of tea, you’re going to need filter bags to make this party work. Each box comes with 100 filter bags, so depending on your guest list, you might need one or two boxes. Before your guests arrive, set out Art of Tea filter bags, small white label stickers, and Sharpie pens. When your guests get to the party, you can instruct them to use the filter bags to package their special tea blends. (And we suggest using the stickers to label the teas to cut down on confusion later!)
Cover Your Bases
Next, you’re going to need tea bases! Pick three or four single-origin teas and herbal ingredients to use as the main ingredient in each tea mixture. Great options for this would be Chamomile, Assam Gold, Sencha, White Peony, Silver Needle, Naked Pu-Erh, and Wuyi Oolong. You want teas that taste delicious on their own, but will also support the awesome flavor combinations you’re about to throw their way! Pour each of these teas into its own small mixing bowl. It’s sometimes helpful to keep these mixing bowls away from the mixers to help guide your guests.
Mix Things Up
The next thing you’ll need for a great blend is things to blend into your tea! When we make our blends in house, we add in pieces of dried fruit, flowers, herbs, spices, cacao nibs, and other botanicals. You can actually shop an assortment of our favorite botanicals through our store. We suggest keeping things simple for your tea mixing party. Choose maybe three or four ingredients to mix in, and be diverse with your offerings! Pick a fruit, flowers, a spice, and one other ingredient you think will pair well with our teas. Great mix in choices includes Pacific Coast Mint and Rosehips and Hibiscus. You can find ingredients like cacao nibs, dried fruit, and berries at your local grocery store.
When your guests arrive, instruct them to grab a filter bag, and scoop in a base and mix-ins, keeping in mind that an 8 oz. cup of tea only needs about a teaspoon or tablespoon of loose tea. Keep hot water handy in case party goers can’t wait to try their tea, or keep small carryout bags handy for those who want to take their teas home. Your guests will have a blast concocting different combinations and they might find that they have tea blending skills, too!