CAPSULE REPORT: If you’ve ever sought something more exciting in a tea, but have been disappointed in blends, search no more. Nini Ordoubadi is a master at work, hand-blending artisanal teas with sparkling results. There’s a charming tea room and retail store in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and the teas are also available by mail. This is Page 1 of a four-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.
Founded by tea connoisseur Nini Ordoubadi in 2003, Tay Tea specializes in hand-blended signature teas that are 100% natural. Rather than selling individual styles of tea—Assam, Ceylon or Darjeeling, for example—all of Tay Tea’s teas are unique house blends.
There are two types of blended tea.
To Achieve Seasonal Adjustments. As with wine and olive oil, some teas are blended to achieve uniform flavor, aroma, character and price from season to season.
To Create Specific Flavors. Other teas are blended to achieve a certain effect, such as English and Irish Breakfast Teas. Also in this group are teas scented with flowers (jasmine, Chinese osmanthus, rose), fruit (cherry, apple), grain (barley, genmaicha with roasted rice, wheat), herbs (mint, citrus, such as Earl Grey), smoke (Lapsang Souchong, Russian Caravan), spice (chai, vanilla tea) and spirits (jagertee, flavored with rum).
Photo: Twiggy, an organic aged oolong, is paired with chrysanthemum flowers, used in homeopathy to relieve tension headaches. Oolong is used to reduce cholesterol and aid in weight loss. But for pure flavor, the tea is complex and refined.
Tay Tea’s blends are designed to captivate with alluring flavors, fragrances and names that usher you into a different mood, time or place. As you’ll see on the next page, no matter what your interest—black tea, oolong, green tea, rooibos or herbal (tisanes)—Tay Tea has worked its magic to create beautiful and enchanting blends.