Black tea blends are mixes of different types of black tea, combined with the goal of creating a balance of flavors. Popular tea blends include English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Masala Chai, Earl Grey, and Russian Caravan. As there are no official "recipes" for blended teas, the teas and proportions used vary depending on the brand.
English Breakfast tea is one of the most common blended teas. There are many versions of this tea and the ingredients vary but generally include tea leaves from India, China, or Sri Lanka. It's name reflects the British custom of drinking black tea blends for breakfast. English Breakfast is created to have a robust flavor, often served in the traditional English style with milk and a little sugar.
Another extremely famous tea blend, Earl Grey tea is a blended black tea with the oils of Bergamot orange added for taste. It is made from a mix of black teas that may come from Indian, Sri Lanka, or China, depending on the brand. This classic tea has bergamot flavor that gives the tea a zesty, citrusy touch.
Spice up that tea! Masala Chai is a blend of robust black tea and Indian spices like clove, cinnamon, and cardamom, the addition of which give it quite an extra kick. Milk and a sweetener such as honey or sugar are usually added to create a
sweet creamy spicy beverage. Traditionally the way tea is consumed in India, chai is becoming very popular in the West.
Irish Breakfast tea is a blended tea that includes Assam, a black tea from India characterized as pungent and malty. It tends to be strong and therefore commonly served with milk. Irish Breakfast tea is usually stronger than English Breakfast tea because of the presence of Assam leaves.
Russian Caravan tea was named to reflect the 18th century tea trade from Asia to Europe, when tea was transported by camel caravan across Russia. It is a blend of Chinese teas like Keemun and Lapsang Souchong and sometimes Indian teas such as Assam. It is often described as smoky with a strong aroma.