Making Tea Blends - Harney & Sons Fine Teas
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Happy Blendings: The Art of Creating Tea Blends

by Emeric Harney June 04, 2020 4 min read 3 Comments

Happy Blendings: The Art of Creating Tea Blends

While we certainly enjoy an outstanding cup of “pure” tea – teas harvested from the same variety of tea plant, from the same region, and ideally from the same factory—the world of blended teas is wonderfully exciting!

There are so many ways to blend tea, the possibiliteas are endless. This post is meant to give you an overview into not only our blends but to inspire you to create your own. Why should we be the only ones to have all the fun? 

Harney Blends

We couldn’t possibly talk about blended teas without first mentioning our most popular,  Hot Cinnamon Spice. A blend of black tea, three types of cinnamon, orange peel and sweet cloves, it’s hard to know what’s better: the aroma or the taste. With blends like HCS and others like  Earl Grey Supreme with its blend of both black and white teas along with bergamot oil, or  Paris, a delicious mix of black and oolong tea, black currant flavor, vanilla flavor, bergamot oil and caramel flavor—we have more fun than a mad scientist in his lab coming up with these flavors, tasting and tweaking until we have something unique and delicious.

We create these teas in our blending room at our facility in Millerton, New York. We have three blending machines: the largest blends 800 pounds of tea, the medium blends 400 pounds and our little guy blends 50 pounds. We use the small one to create our specialty blends like those mentioned above. To make the perfect cuppa, we add different types of tea, herbs, fruit and flavors to each machine to create an unforgettable blend. As you can imagine, that room and our facility in general smells wonderful! 

Become Your Own Mad Scientist!

Have different types of teas in your cabinet? Feeling a little adventurous? Mix ‘em together!  Black Currant and  Vanilla Comoro? Could be like putting currants on vanilla ice cream (hmmm, iced – there’s a thought!).  Peppermint Herbal and  Chocolate tea? It’s a DIY combo that also mixes a decaf and a caffeinated tea to lower your caffeine level if you’d like. The options are endless, and the really cool thing is there’s no wrong way to do it. If you like it, go for it!

Loose tea works best for this as you can control the portions to have just the amount of tea you need. But if you have sachets or tea bags, that will work, too.

Add Essential Oils

While essential oils have grown in popularity, many of them have been around for centuries. These oils, extracted from plants and capturing their beneficial properties as well as their scent and flavors, not only add flavor but can have some health benefits. Popular essential oils used in tea are bergamot, peppermint, spearmint, lemon and lavender, among others.

While most essential oils are perfectly safe to put in your tea, you should do so in limited quantities-- just two or three drops should do it. Pregnant women should check with their doctor to make sure they’re safe to ingest. 

Homemade Herbal Tea

You can create a batch of homemade herbal tea from quite a variety of ingredients. These caffeine-free beverages can also be concocted with ingredients that have known health benefits to create a beverage that is not only good but good for you. (See  our blog on teas that are good during cold season for info on the benefits of some common herbs and spices used in tea.)

Just some of the many common items you can put into your herbal tea concoction:

  • Peppermint leaves
  • Dried chamomile flowers
  • Dried lemon peel
  • Peeled and dried fresh ginger strips
  • Lavender
  • Dried blood oranges
  • Rose hips
  • Dried apples
  • Dried pomegranate
  • Dried lime peel
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried calendula (aka marigolds)


Use a vegetable peeler to get a nice fine peel on your ingredients. To dry them, you can either use a food dehydrator or your oven. Set it at a low temperature, like 200° F, and dry your items for a couple of hours. Store your ingredients in airtight containers. When ready to make your tea, use one part of each of your ingredients (or a half part for stronger items like ginger that tend to want to take over!), place them in an infuser and proceed to make tea like you normally would. Or, if you have a French press, you can make it that way as well.

If you’re wondering where the “tea” part of making these herbal teas is, remember: herbal teas are tisanes, which aren’t really teas at all since they aren’t derived from theCamellia Sinensis plant, which is the mothership of tea plants. They’re called teas because they’re just as awesome!

Have fun experimenting with different ingredients you have around the house, or go exploring at a local herb market, health food store or spice market. Throw in a cinnamon stick or some honey for a natural sweetener. Give it a name, like “Aunt Lulu’s Luscious Lavender & Lemon Libation” and wait for the kudos!

We’d love to hear about your experience of blending tea! Please tell us about it in the comment section below. In the meantime, Happy Blendings!

Emeric Harney
Emeric Harney

3 Responses

Candy Taft
Candy Taft

November 19, 2022

First, I love your Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea. I was in a panic looking for Cinnamon Tea by Harney and Sons when you had changed the name. Thank goodness, you never changed the recipe.
I want to blend my own teas, and everyone mentions adding essential oils, 1 or 2 drops. I am assuming they are talking about adding that to one cup of tea. But if I like the recipe and want to do a bulk mixture, how do you add the right number of oil drops so they are mixed in the entire batch, not just on a few leaves of tea.

Brandina Molt
Brandina Molt

June 26, 2020

Apple pieces, pineapple, strawberry leaves, rose petals , hybiscus blooms, dried camomile, Lemon grass, Green tea( bankok) ,mint , and Hot Cinnamon spice. …Name : Sun Kissed. Side note weight loss results.

Martin Schotten
Martin Schotten

June 11, 2020

We take apricot and add a touch of oranges passion fruit! It’s the perfect blend. Orange passion fruit is very fruit forward, Apricot in itself is the most perfect odd teas. Back up address Paris and Paris herbal!!

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