For ice tea I like to blend English breakfast, green tea, rooibos, peppermint and spearmint. With hot tea I tend more toward plain black teas. I was in the mood, so collected a tea treasury on etsy while nursing the last of my orange spice with Assam. (They changed the blend, I don’t like the new one as much. Grr.)
What’s interesting is that all tea proper-be it white, green, black or oolong comes from the same species of tropical/subtropical evergreen-Camellia sinensis. There are different varieties and subspecies, but for the most part the difference comes from how the plant is treated after it is picked. (And of course, what flavors and scents it is blended with.)
The rooibos and mints that I like to add to my ice tea are technically not teas at all. That’s why sometimes herbal teas are called tisanes or infusions to avoid confusion.
But still, such variety due to what seems like a minor thing compared to the whole *same plant* aspect kind of amazes me. (Especially given how much I adore some teas and loathe others.)
Though I suppose it’s like a grapes and wine thing. I don’t think we normally eat the same breeds of grapes that most wines come from…I’m not much of a drinker (or any sort of gourmand) foodies want to weigh in on this one?