Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Rington’s Premium English Teas
Ringtons English Breakfast Tea is a superior black tea blend from Assam and Kenya, with a strong and refreshing taste. With a medium/high caffeine content, this bright and lively blend is strong enough to help wake you up in the morning.
Learn more about this tea here.
The first thing I have to say about this one is that it really surprised me. I don’t drink a lot of bagged tea at the moment, but it generally seems much of a muchness to me when I do. At least in the UK, the flavour profiles of “breakfast blend” style black teas seem very similar – sweet, malty, strong, and otherwise fairly nondescript. Until now. At first glance, Ringtons English Breakfast looks like your typical bagged black tea. It’s in a square paper bag, and is about half full with finely shredded leaf. The scent is typical “black tea”. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up a pretty strong-looking red-brown, so I added a splash of milk.
I wasn’t expecting much, except perhaps a quality black bagged tea – an everyday sort of experience, I thought. Not at all. It’s delicious! The first thing I picked up on is the strong baked bread flavour, which I’ve never before experienced except in fairly premium loose leaf varieties. It’s sweet and malty through the mid-sip, perfectly smooth with no bitterness or astringency at all. Right at the end of the sip, there’s the tiniest hint of milk chocolate. I don’t know what varieties of tea went into this blend specifically, but I’m guessing there must be an Assam, probably a Chinese black, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s not floral, exactly, although that was my first thought, so I don’t think it’s a Darjeeling. Maybe a Ceylon, or something Kenyan? It’s certainly intriguing!
I thoroughly enjoyed this cup. It has a real depth of flavour, and it’s almost completely unique amongst the bagged breakfast teas I’ve tried in my time. I’d happily drink this one again – I actually think it might be replacing my normal breakfast tea for a while. It’s just too delicious to pass up!
I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.
I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they're the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer -- their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.
I'm still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don't think they'll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don't hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I'm also beginning to explore pu'erh, both ripened and raw. That's my latest challenge!
I'm still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.