The Delights of English Breakfast Tea

English Breakfast Tea

English Breakfast Tea is a beloved and traditional blend of back teas which has well and truly stood the test of time. Renowned for its rich and full-bodied character, it is certainly one of the most popular teas consumed in the UK. In this piece, we will take a deeper look at English Breakfast Tea to establish why it still remains so popular to this day, while finding out how it’s made its way around the world. 

The flavour and qualities of any given form of tea are defined by its blend. English Breakfast Tea consists of a mixture of black teas, specifically; Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas which are known for their full-bodied nature, deep colour, and strong flavours. When combined together the blend forms a tea which can be described as having a depth and boldness which exudes a strong character. 

Assam Tea Leaves

Assam tea itself, which forms the backbone of English Breakfast Tea, originates from the fertile soils of the Assam region of India. Assam leaves possess a wonderful depth and complexity, with a hint of malt which results in a comforting taste that can be enjoyed with a large English breakfast, or as mid-morning, or mid-afternoon treat. 

Ceylon Tea Leaves

Ceylon tea (also referred to as Sri Lankan tea) was historically grown in the highlands of Sri Lanka. The combination of fertile soil, ample rainfall, and varying elevations of between 2,000 and 4,000 feet is an ideal environment for tea cultivation. Ceylon tea leaves are of exceptionally high quality and tend to have a rich and bold flavour, often with hints of chocolate and caramel.

Kenyan Tea Leaves

Kenyan Tea is frequently added to premium black tea blends such as English Breakfast Tea, as Kenyan tea leaves add colour and richness to the overall flavour profile. Tea growers in Kenya choose locations for their plantations in the highlands due to their abundantly fertile volcanic soils, high rainfall, and perfect temperature conditions. The taste of Kenyan tea can be described as brisk and assertive, with a depth and complexity which makes for an invigorating drink.

The Perfect blend

When Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas are all combined, the resulting English Breakfast Tea is a blend which has an incredibly invigorating aroma. For anyone who’s brewed a cup of this fine tea, they can’t help to have been captivated by the earthy, floral, and vaguely sweet smells emanating from their teapot. Indeed, the smell of Breakfast tea alone is enough to satisfy and delight any who choose to brew a cup!

It should be noted too that another factor which has contributed to the pervasiveness of English Breakfast Tea is the fact that its so versatile. Whilst some tea drinkers may choose not to add milk for a stronger brew without allowing the tea's robust flavours to emanate through, others do indeed choose to add a dash of milk for a more mellow and smoother experience. Certainly not all black teas work as equally well with, or without, additives in the same way that English Breakfast Tea does.

We should also address the heritage of English Breakfast Tea as an essential ingredient to its long-standing success. Dating back to the 19th century in Great Britain and a time when it became a quintessential component of British culture, at this point in time tea blending became a refined art as tea connoisseurs uing its praises, helping to promote its virtues around the world.

So the next time you decide to brew up a pot of delicious English Breakfast Tea, and you begin to smell that seductive aroma, remember that the success of the blend is no accident. With its distinctive flavours and rich history, English Breakfast Tea is the very embodiment of good taste and elegance, one which holds a special place in our society to this very day. It’s a drink which satisfies, comforts and delights in equal measure. It can be uplifting and invigorating, and its the result of decades of refinement from tea specialists, growers and connoisseurs around the globe.