Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
For this blend, we paired a hearty Assam with a smooth and flavorful Yunnan, for a cup that is highly enjoyable. The invigorating liquor has a full mouth feel, subtle spicy notes, and a lingering aftertaste. While milk is recommended, it is enjoyable plain.
I don’t drink many breakfast blends. That is because, for the most part, many breakfast blends (with the exception of my own breakfast blend) seem to be all the same to me. Assam and Ceylon. Smooth, brisk and malty. Usually tasty, but after trying one or two, they are also quite ordinary.
Occasionally I might come across a *different* breakfast blend. Like this one from Upton Tea Imports. The Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend starts out with a brisk, malty Assam. But what makes this blend really different is the addition of Yunnan: bright, golden, with hints of peppery spice.
The result is a delightfully unique breakfast blend.
I tried it first without any sweetener or milk, and it’s quite good like that. Bold with a pungent edge that will get you going on those days that you need it. It has a slight wine-like quality to it – I can taste hints of black currants! – with a deep, woodsy note and a subtle spicy low note. It has a tannic quality to it – not overly bitter, but more like a good, dry red wine.
But, this tea really excels with the addition of milk and something a little sweet (I added raw honey). The transformation in my tea cup is amazing. The wine-like taste is less evident but is still present in the finish. The woodsy note seems to have taken on a more molasses-y characteristic, and the spices are more defined now.
This is a great tea for breakfast, but, as it is 7:30 pm, I am also learning that it’s quite nice in the evening too (although, if caffeine is an issue for you, I wouldn’t recommend drinking it in the evening). It would be quite tasty paired with a plate of scones or perhaps some shortbread cookies!
I recommend paying close attention to the brew time on this one… when brewed just a few moments too long can result in a bitter tasting tea. I kept it at 2 1/2 minutes for the first infusion, and then 3 minutes for the second. Both infusions were flavorful and invigorating; tannic, but not bitter. This tea would be a very pleasant way to start your day!