10 October 2011

Blending Breakfast Teas (2)

Blending Breakfast Teas (2)

These developments in tea blending style are best described through the developments in the composition of the standard household tea blend over the years.  These show how the blends became more complicated, even as they became less complex in flavour, and how the ingredients shifted from China towards Indian teas, so from artisanal Camellia sinensis towards Camellia assamica and industrial tea.  If anyone has any great family tea recipes - the older the better - I would love to hear them, so do not hesitate to leave a comment, or email me direct.

General blend - 1730 East India Company

All China teas

Mix together pekoe and congou China bohea teas

General medium quality blend - 1883 from "Tea blending" by Whittingam & Co

Mix of China and Indian teas

37.5%  Oonfa (China)

12.5%  Indian souchong or broken black (India)

25.0%  Tseu moo or souchong-flavoured Kaisow (China)

6.25%  Foochoo scented orange pekoe (China)

6.25%  Darjeeling pekoe souchong (India)

General English blend - 1892 from "Tea , its history and mystery" by J. M. Walsh

Mix of China and Indian teas

6lb  Ningchow (China)

6lb  Oonfa (China)

5lb  Darjeeling or Cachar congous (India)

5lb  Oolong (China)

1lb  Caper (China)

1lb  Pekoe (China or India, but most likely from Assam)


General medium quality blend - 1894 from "Tea and tea blending" by Lewis & Co

Mix of  Indian teas

Principal ingredients:-

Brisk pungent Assam

Rich Dooars

General blend - 1929 from "Tea and Tea Dealing" by F. W. F. Staveacre

All Indian teas (I have counted Ceylon and Java as Indian in that they are not Chinese style teas)

1lb  Darjeeling BOP

2lb Ceylon BOP

1lb  Ceylon Fannings

2lb Assam BOP

4lb  Assam BP

4lb  Dooars BPS

2lb  Java BP

4lb  Cachar BP Fannings


But perhaps the most intriguing is an unknown blend that is kept secret in the National Archives - the Royal Family's "Empire Tea Blend"...