We were recently asked about blending essential oils in bulk tea leaves which got us thinking about the many varied uses of essential oils. Just as there is a learning curve for blending essential oils, there is also one for blending teas. For the most part, it is recommended to use herbs, spices, etc. in blending bulk teas but there are those connoisseurs who also dabble with the oils and natural flavoring extracts.
Marge will add a drop of Lemon essential oil to iced tea, around the holidays a tiny amount of Nutmeg hydrosol to coffee, or even peppermint hydrosol to make a cooling summer tea. Only the most minute amount is needed, remember the “less is more,” rule of aromatherapy blending! She also occasionally adds oils for flavoring in cooking or baking.
After doing some research, we read that Green Tea is more favorable for bulk tea leaf blending, as it is more likely to take on the essential oil components for flavoring. We can’t definitely confirm what we read about the Green Tea, other than to rely on the source. There is just not much information available about blending essential oils with bulk tea leaves and perhaps it is not even the best method. Some experimenting would need to be done but it sounds like fun if you are up for the challenge!
Marge suggests just a drop or two in your favorite tea, coffee, or cocoa. We did discover some advocate adding essential oils directly to the tea leaves, wearing powder free gloves and using a stainless steel bowl for the process…you can add the desired oils and toss together to saturate the leaves. Apparently some oils bind quicker than others or are a bit stronger (like Cinnamon) and would not need to “sit” as long.
However, Marge is thinking that maybe tearing off a small piece of paper towel and adding a couple of drops of essential oil to it, and closing it up tight in a small canister of tea or tea leaves might be a good starting point. (No need in wasting tea or oil on large amounts.) Starting out with just a drop or two would be best. You could always add more as needed. She does the same thing to flavor sugar with our Vanilla CO2 and sometimes adds a drop or two of Ginger EO to a jar of honey for flavoring. Yummy!
An interesting fact: Bergamot is added to commercial Earl Grey tea, a favorite of the Brits! But if using citrus oils, it is crucial to make sure you are selecting Organic citrus oils. Non-organic could likely be from a sprayed crop. No one wants to ingest that! We would also limit our exploration to the "foodie" oils, citrus rinds, gentle spices and herbs.
We would love to hear from you if you’ve “taken the plunge,” (couldn’t resist!) and experimented with food or beverages blended with essential oils, including your hints, tips, and recipes. Remember, all safety considerations should be followed, and cautions heeded about any particular oil you are using.
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift, Inc.