Should You Mix Different Teas? Do Not Make These 3 Mistakes


Mixing teas has become a common practice to make teas which you have not been drinking for a while interesting. Combining teas of the same type or different types can yield a more complex flavor if the teas are complimenting each other.

When I considered mixing my teas together, I was wondering whether the types of tea I chose were compatible with each other or not. Furthermore, I needed to learn how to properly choose the temperature, times and ratios of the teas.

In this post I share my findings and the mistakes I have made to help you not make the same. As always, I highly recommend experimenting with tea yourself because that is the only way to really learn.

Mixing Different Teas Together

SHORT ANSWER – Can You Mix Different Teas?

Yes, teas can be mixed. Mixing and combining teas can create new teas with unique flavor profile and complex taste. For good results, the steeping time and brewing temperature need to be adjusted properly. Some teas are not compatible with each other and the results will vary with the ratio chosen.

So the biggest mistakes you could do are related to the brewing of your tea, the ratio between the teas and the compatibility of teas. Below you will find an in-depth guide to avoid making these mistakes when mixing teas yourself.

 1. Forgetting To Adjust The Brewing Parameters

Different teas have different brewing parameters. Most teas will contain some instructions on the amount of leaves, water temperature, and steeping time you need to choose to yield yourself a good cup of tea.

But how does this translate into the mixed teas if you choose to mix a tea that should be brewed at 160 °F (70 °C) with a tea that is made with boiling water? How do you decide how long to steep the mixed tea for?

Choosing The Wrong Temperature For The Teas In The Mix

The temperature at which you choose to brew your teas has a high influence on the outcome. Many teas such as black tea, most oolong teas or Pu Erh tea are not as sensitive to high temperatures as green teas or white teas often are.

By choosing tea types with different ideal water temperatures, you create the problem of choosing the correct one. The problem with higher water temperature is that bitter compounds and other undesired compounds will be extracted far more easily.

That is the reason why green teas and other delicate teas are not brewed at such high temperatures. With green tea especially, a water temperature around 160 °F (70 °C) is about right for most of them.

Black teas, darker oolong teas and most Pu Erh teas will require much higher water temperatures. With boiling water, you will be able to extract all flavors that make these teas special and without those high temperatures, the tea will be less complex.

Steeping For The Wrong Amount Of Time

How long you steep the mixed teas for has about the same effect as higher temperatures. Bitter compounds will not be extracted as quickly with lower temperatures, but over time they will be.

So again, if you choose longer steeping times or higher temperatures with more delicate teas, the resulting tea will not be good. This applies to mixed teas containing delicate teas, too.

With shorter steeping times, the flavor of more oxidized and/or roasted teas such as black or oolong teas will be less full and complex. These teas depend on a strong flavor and both roasting notes and the tannins in black tea will be less noticeable in the resulting tea.

How To Decide How Long And How Hot To Steep The Tea

So how do you determine what steeping time and water temperature you need to choose? The best practice is to choose the brewing parameters for the most delicate tea in the mix you have created.

That means, that you will need to brew the mixed tea like green tea if you choose to mix green tea and black tea. If you mix teas that share their ideal temperatures and steeping duration, you will not encounter this problem at all.

The following table gives you the most commonly suggested brewing temperatures and times for each tea. Some teas are more or less delicate than others of the same category, so these are not definitive for all teas.

Type Of TeaSteeping TimeTemperatureTemp. °C
White Tea2 – 5 min155 – 165 °F68 – 74 °C
Yellow Tea2 – 3 min165 – 175 °F74 – 80 °C
Green Tea1 – 3 min170 – 180 °F77 – 82 °C
Light Oolong2 – 4 min170 – 185 °F77 – 85 °C
Dark Oolong2 – 4 min190 – 212 °F88 – 100 °C
Black Tea3 – 5 min195 – 212 °F91 – 100 °C
Raw Pu Erh1 – 3 min180 – 212 °F82 – 100 °C
Cooked Pu Erh2 – 4 min190 – 212 °F88 – 100 °C
Herbal Tea5 – 7 min195 – 212 °F91 – 100 °C
Rooibos5 – 7 min195 – 212 °F91 – 100 °C
Table Of Recommended Brewing Parameters For Different Types Of Tea

2. Choosing The Wrong Rations Of Teas To Mix

Teas are processed and brewed differently. Green tea, yellow tea, and most white tea is quite delicate and requires mild brewing and will result in a tea with more aromatic taste and high notes.

Darker oolongs, black tea, and Pu Erh tea are stronger and heavy on the body with heavy flavors. The combination of strong and dominant teas with the complex high notes of more delicate teas is desirable but you need to choose the rations properly.

Some Teas Are Too Dominant When Mixing Teas

Teas with high oxidation levels or strong roasting will be much more dominant than lightly processed teas. Most oolong teas, black teas and (post-)fermented teas have quite strong flavors.

If you choose to mix these with delicate teas like green and white tea, you will need to choose the ratio accordingly. With high ratios of strong and dominant teas, the delicate ones are overshadowed and will not be able to contribute to the resulting flavor of the mixed tea.

Highly oxidized teas such as black tea, which is fully oxidized, will have some tannins and darker or earth flavors that are dominating. The same goes for heavily roasted teas, which both greener and more oxidized oolong teas often are. 

Whether you choose highly oxidized or heavily roasted teas for your mix does not make much of a difference when choosing the ratio, as both of these types of tea are quite dominant.

How To Determine The Ratio Correctly

So how do you choose the correct ratio? The more dominant a tea is, the lower its ratio needs to be to allow the more delicate tea to contribute to the mixed teas tase.

The perfect ratio will strongly depend on the specific tea you use, but with green tea and black tea a good ratio is 10% to 20% black tea with 80% to 90% green tea.

To determine the right ratio for your teas, testing must be done. Filling different tea filter bags with 10%, 20% and 30% of a dominant tea of your choice and 70%, 80% and 90% of the delicate one is a good setup to find what you want.

If you are mixing two dominant teas or two delicate teas such as Pu Erh and black tea or green tea and white tea, the mixing ratio does not need to be that different. Starting with 50% of each can be viable and you will quickly notice whether you need to add one or the other.

3. Take Care When Mixing Incompatible Teas

Some teas are more compatible with each other than others. Mixing delicate teas will not cause any problems with overly dominant flavors or brewing parameters being off.

The same goes for the mixing of stronger and more dominant teas. Mixing these will aösp be fairly straight-forward without any problems. Teas being incompatible does not mean that you can not make a good mixed tea from them, though.

How Incompatible Teas Ruin Your Mixed Tea

What makes teas incompatible is the difference in ideal brewing temperature and steeping time. You can easily adjust the ratios and amounts of each tea but not the brewing.

If two teas require different temperatures and steeping times to get the best outcome, you will not be able to brew them together perfectly. Some difference is okay, but a black tea and a green tea require very different brewing parameters to taste well.

Choosing such different teas will result in the delicate tea becoming bitter or giving other unwanted flavors while the other tea will not be brewed to its full complexity. This concept can still work, but it is not as easy to get good results from that.

However, mixing very different teas will yield you the most unique taste. With some effort and testing, you can get a tea that might be better than either of the teas you have mixed are themselves.

Which Teas Can Be Mixed With Eachother?

Teas that should be considered compatible are teas of the same category. Essentially, you can split teas in two groups that do not work perfectly together or at least require more effort to make them work.

First you can define delicate teas that require low water temperatures and are not steeped as long. These delicate teas are green tea, yellow tea, white tea and can include some light and lightly roasted oolong teas.

On the other hand, you have strong and bold teas that are made with high water temperatures and longer steeping times. Black tea, dark and/or heavily roasted oolong tea, Pu Erh tea and most herbal, fruit and rooibos teas are included in this category.

As long as you mix delicate teas with delicate teas and dominant one with other strong teas, there should be no problem with the mixed tea. If you want to add one group to the other for additional flavors, you need to take more care.

Compatibility Chart With Brewing Temperature And Steeping Times

The following two charts contain all the brewing temperatures and steeping times you may need for all combinations of teas. Both the steeping time and brewing temperature is adjusted to the most delicate tea.

Further, the teas that could be considered compatible are marked by bold time and temperature. This will give you an oversight of which teas you can mix and which you should be careful with. Incompatible teas are marked with bold temperature and time.

White TeaYellow TeaGreen TeaLight OolongDark Oolong
White Tea2-5 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
155-165°F
1-3 min,
155-165°F
2-4 min,
155-165°F
2-4 min,
155-165°F
Yellow Tea2-3 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
165-175°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
Green Tea1-3 min,
155-165°F
1-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
Light Oolong2-4 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
Dark Oolong2-4 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
Black Tea2-5 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
Raw Pu Erh 1-3 min,
155-165°F
1-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
1-3 min,
170-185°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
Cooked Pu Erh2-4 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
Herbal Tea2-5 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
Rooibos2-5 min,
155-165°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
Mixing Tea Compatibility, Temperature And Steeping Time Part 1 Of 2
Black TeaRaw Pu Erh Cooked Pu ErhHerbal TeaRooibos
White Tea2-5 min,
155-165°F
1-3 min,
155-165°F
2-4 min,
155-165°F
2-5 min,
155-165°F
2-5 min,
155-165°F
Yellow Tea2-3 min,
165-175°F
1-3 min,
165-175°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
2-3 min,
165-175°F
Green Tea1-3 min,
170-180°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
1-3 min,
170-180°F
Light Oolong2-4 min,
170-185°F
1-3 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
2-4 min,
170-185°F
Dark Oolong2-4 min,
190-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
Black Tea3-5 min,
195-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
3-5 min,
195-212°F
3-5 min,
195-212°F
Raw Pu Erh 1-3 min,
180-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
Cooked Pu Erh2-4 min,
190-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
Herbal Tea3-5 min,
195-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
5-7 min,
195-212°F
5-7 min,
195-212°F
Rooibos3-5 min,
195-212°F
1-3 min,
180-212°F
2-4 min,
190-212°F
5-7 min,
195-212°F
5-7 min,
195-212°F
Mixing Tea Compatibility, Temperature And Steeping Time Part 2 Of 2

Should You Mix Tea After Steeping?

Lastly, there is an option to make mixed teas without running into the problems of teas having different brewing parameters and turning out differently. 

If you choose to brew each tea separately how it is intended to be made, the result will be a perfectly fine tea. These teas can be mixed without the risk of incompatibility or the effort of mixing and testing.

Choose whatever method works best for you, but keep experimenting with your teas. Mixing teas will enable you to understand the reason behind the temperatures and steeping times chosen for the teas and get a feeling for these.

Further, you will get to know the flavor profiles of various tea types better which in turn allows for a more developed taste. Knowing how to brew any type of tea to perfection is an invaluable skill.

Jens Friis

I am the author and editor of TeaSteeping.com, chemist and tea enthusiast. For many years I have been obsessed with tea, teaware, and tea culture. Always hunting for the next tea experience and learning more about this most delicious and diverse beverage.

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