Tea and fruits – which fresh fruits are yea, and which are nay for steeping with black tea?

Tea and fruits

Every cup of tea you drink should always taste great. With or without condiments. Maybe you have a strong you don't really like, or maybe you need to add some kick to it. Or maybe you just feel adventurous and want to try new ways of steeping tea. It's no secret that tea and fruits are a good match. Brewing black tea with fresh fruits is a great way to add a dose of flavour or freshness to your regular cup of tea or for preparing a tasty, tea base.

Tea and fruits – which fresh fruits are the best?

We tried brewing simple, strong black tea with 6 different fresh fruits to see which ones give a great flavour, and which ones are better avoided.

This flavour test should give you an idea what to expect when brewing black tea with fresh fruits. It can't tell you what pre-made blends with the same fruits taste like. Premade blends are made with dried fruits and usually many ingredients and flavourings.

1. Black tea with banana

Banana teas are steadily gaining in popularity over the last several years. While it may sound strange to give a banana flavour to tea, banana blends taste surprisingly good. But how does a simple black tea steeped with fresh banana slices taste like?

We added 3 slices and waited. First, the colour of the tea changed a little. It became a slightly less attractive, which may be discouraging. But the flavour changed for the better. Fresh banana slices added delicate banana flavour, and a honey-like sweetness to black tea. This would be a great fruit to add when steeping tea for making lattes and if you like adding honey to tea.

Yea or nay? Yea!

2. Black tea with apricot

Apricot teas are less popular than peach teas, which is a real shame. Apricots are usually more tart than peaches, but when ripe, they are super sweet and juicy. We added ½ of fresh apricot, thinly sliced. And just how nice it was! The colour turned to beautifully intense orange and apricots gave a nice acidity to black tea and light apricot flavour. This tea was a bit lighter on apricot flavour than expected, but it was quite nice. Steeping tea with fresh apricots would be great for flavouring black tea for tea drinkers that like hibiscus teas, sour fruit teas or lemon teas.

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Yea or nay? Yea!

3. Black tea with blueberries

Blueberries are sort of classic. Among dozens of berries, they are one of the most popular choices for baking and making smoothies. We added some blueberries and waited. The scent was wonderful, just like a should be, but the flavour was delicate. Who might like it? Tea drinkers that enjoy pure and only lightly flavoured tea. To intensify the flavour, crush them before steeping them with tea.

Yea or nay? Yea!

4. Black tea with red currants

Red currants are not everyone's cup of tea. They are pretty, but have a very unique acidic taste. They are less sweet than blackcurrants or blueberries, but sweeter than cranberries. When added to black tea, they change the colour and make it brighter and pretty, but the flavour is disappointing. They alter the flavour, and not really in a good way. There's acidity, but the flavour is missing.

Yea or nay? Nay ☹

5. Black tea with apple

is not only one of the most popular types of – apple tea is the fruit tea. Many fruit teas contain dried apple pieces. Homemade apple and cinnamon teas are just as popular as a pre-made blends. But what do thin slices of fresh apple do to a black tea? They chance the colour to an orange-brown and give a dose of acidity and reduce astringency. However, it would taste better if the tea was simmered, rather than steeped, and enhanced with some cinnamon. Who would like it? Tea drinkers that like fruit and apple teas and like acidity in tea.

Yea or nay? In between.

6. Black tea with mango

Mango is a synonym for a tropical flavoured tea. Mangos are sweet, juicy, and super tasty. We had very high expectations from this one. Mango brightened the colour of tea, but not as much as apricots did. It did almost nothing to the flavour. Flavour was so disappointingly weak, especially since the mango was ripe, sweet and juicy. It only reduced astringency and added some undefined sweetness. To get a stronger flavour, you would need to use quite a lot of fruit.

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Yea or nay? Nay ☹

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