What is the English Breakfast Tea?

What is the English Breakfast Tea?

Much like a hearty breakfast spread that’s got a bit of everything, the English Breakfast tea is a blend of the best black teas from India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi and China.

Claim to fame: A rich blend and a royal endorsement

Some historical accounts from the early 19th century suggest that it was actually Keemun – a Chinese black tea – that enjoyed the title of the ultimate breakfast tea for the tea-obsessed English back in the day. But once trade ties with China were broken, sometime around the mid-1800’s, there was no choice but take up Indian and Ceylon teas.

Sometime around 1843, the English Breakfast blend came into existence, and surprisingly enough it isn’t credited to an Englishman or woman. One account suggests that the blend was in fact developed in New York (USA) by an apothecary who had migrated from a small village in England. Others attribute the blend to a Scottish tea merchant who marketed it as a Breakfast Tea. Apparently, Queen Victoria happened to stumble upon this concoction, and given her love for all things Scottish, instantly took to the tea. With a royal endorsement now in place, this blend went on to be marketed as “English Breakfast tea” and the rest, as they say, is history.

Add a spot of milk

The original blend had Assam black teas with mellow Ceylon black teas. Over the years many variations have been introduced – some going as far as including teas from Kenya, Indonesia and Malawi. Even so, ask any English Breakfast tea fan and they will all agree that it’s the warm toast-like quality about this tea that makes it just the perfect breakfast accompaniment. Many have questioned if it’s alright to put milk in the English breakfast tea. Well, it accommodates the addition of milk as perfectly as bread does butter, making it one hearty indulgence.

In fine company

If you are a fan of the English Breakfast, you are in hallowed company, with the likes of Queen Victoria and John Lennon who had his own ritual when it came to English Breakfast.

Read more: English Breakfast – the Baseline Black Tea

English breakfast tea benefits

According to research, it is said the English tea has a lot of health benefits apart from being refreshing. A few benefits include slowing down the adding process, lowering cholesterol levels and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, combating cancer and kidney stones and more.

What is the difference between English breakfast and Earl Grey?

Although both teas are black, the difference is in the flavor, intensity, and the added ingredients. The most important difference is that the earl grey is lighter in flavor and is a blend of Chinese and Indian black tea with bergamot from Italy. The English breakfast tea, however, would include a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas. The English breakfast tea can also include lemon or milk to give it a different flavor.

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