Nepali Breakfast/Nepal Tea

When prepping breakfast, I learned that I can’t use my toaster oven and kettle at the same time. That was an interesting discovery that made for a two-step breakfast: bagel first (since the toaster oven was already on) and tea second.

Another discovery: Nepali Breakfast by Nepal Tea is not a straight black tea like I thought it was. When I opened the package, I immediately got a big whiff of masala spices which surprised me. Upon closer inspection of the package, it turns out the package says black tea + spices so I guess this confusion is just on me. Oops.

Anyways, when brewing this up, I did so according to the company suggestion on the package which is to steep the tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. That is against my usual steeping parameters but hopefully Nepal Tea knows best.

After steeping the tea I brought up the Nepali Breakfast page on the Nepal Tea website only to notice that the site says to use not quite boiling water for 4-5 minutes. I also noticed on the Nepal Tea website they recommend steeping this with milk and/or sugar. Again, I did not see this until after I steeped the tea so I did not do this.

Trying the tea, the first thing I noticed is how much sugar probably would have helped this tea. I normally don’t add anything to my tea (unless I am having a latte or smoothie, etc.) but this tea is more bland than the scent of the dry leaf would have you expect. I think perhaps sugar might coax out those spices nicely since nothing really stands out. With that said, despite the fairly harsh steeping parameters, there is no bitterness or astringency here. Mostly just some cinnamon, a touch of clove, maybe a little pepper and a smooth black tea that doesn’t really impart much flavor.

I think this tea has potential but for me it fell short. The smell of the tea really had me thinking I was in store for a punch of spice but barely got a tap on the shoulder.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Nepal Tea

Description

Start the day the Nepalese way with our unique Masala Chiyah.

A blend of Orthodox, CTC teas and our special masala spice mix. Experience the color of CTC, flavors of Orthodox with the ‘zing’ of the home-made spice mix.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Power Breakfast/Stash Tea. . . .

I received this sample a few months ago and honestly I put off trying it. I just don’t use caffeine to wake up in the mornings. I had mate once or twice before and didn’t care for it much, and I am afraid that if I drink a lot of caffeine at any time besides breakfast I won’t sleep for days.

Today was the day. I had a sweet breakfast planned and an early work schedule. It seemed the perfect time to try it and I figured I could always sip it and toss it if I didn’t like it.

Then I smelled it while it was steeping and said, “Oh, baby!” It smelled like coffee at first and I don’t even drink coffee, nor I am particularly attracted to the smell of coffee. But this was calling my name. Another sniff or two and finally I pulled the bag out and gave it a sip.

Lapsang! That was what my first thought was on tasting it. And I love lapsang as long as the base is nice and strong, instead of smoke laid over weak and watery tea. And this had a solid breakfast tea base.

Maybe a real coffee drinker would not agree, but I get a hint of coffee, lots of lapsang-like smoke, a little toasted nut, and definite breakfast tea aroma.

This was really good, smooth, and very drinkable with no additions but able to take milk and sugar if you like it.

While this isn’t a highly nuanced cup with layers of different flavor notes to tease out, it is a really good, serviceable cup of tea that gets down to business and satisfies.

Because this seems to be unavailable at present on the Stash website, I am linking to a vendor who still has this available. You can still find it here and there online.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black/Mate

Where to Buy:  Stash Tea

Description

Wake up with this tasty brew. The bold, rich flavor of premium black teas is complemented by the smooth taste of yerba mate. Delicious iced or hot, plain or sweetened.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

French Breakfast from Fava Tea. . .

Picture this: you’re sitting on the banks of the Seine, sipping a hot beverage and eating a buttery, flaky croissant. Gentle French music is playing in the background (from where? who knows!) and cute dudes in berets are slowly strolling past. Oh, and the world is also lightly sepia-toned and everything is in bloom, 24/7, 365.

This is what I picture breakfast in France to be like, friends. SO REALISTIC, I know.

Now, though my delusions are certainly of grandeur, this tea certainly isn’t very far off. Gently maple-y with subtle pastry notes and a beautiful sprinkling of cornflowers, this tea is hearty and bold while still being the tiniest bit floral and unassuming. Kind of like what I picture the French to be, in my most stereotype-y imagination. This brew is a nice counterbalance to its heartier European friends, English and Irish Breakfast respectively. And while I generally find teas from Fava to be a bit on the weaker side (unfortunately– I want to love this local-to-me company, but much of their offerings leave something to be desired), this brew is a bit stronger than others of theirs I’ve tried, and thus, it made it an easy choice to reach for in my morning-sip-down.

Now, if anyone wants to fund my ACTUAL, hypothetical trip to Paris, I’ll be over here in my daydreaming, sipping away.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Fava Tea
Description

A superior blend of vanilla, and sweet, smooth black tea. This blend is accompanied by tiny bits of pineapple and cherry to add a distinct flavorful sweetness and burst of character! An excellent choice anytime of the day that takes cream and sweetener well. French Breakfast Superior has been described as a cup of relaxation in a world of chaos. We hope you enjoy as much as we all do.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Caramel from Kusmi. . . . .

I am taking a wee break from work to enjoy Mardi Gras cookies – delightfully almond flavored and sweet – and a hot cuppa. This new-to-me caramel struck my fancy, and I am delighted with the pairing.

You might think sweet with sweet wouldn’t be awesome together, but this black tea from Kusmi is from China, lacking the lemon/citrus notes one gets from most Ceylon tea and the caramel is not overly sweet but instead is almost a burnt caramel. Honestly, if I hadn’t prepared this myself and someone had told me it was a tea from China with natural caramel notes, I would have believed them.

Put together, it makes for a wonderful tea to pair with sweets or to drink on its own. As usual, I have added no milk or sugar and it is smooth and delicious, but I would say that this tea would handle milk and sugar VERY well for those who prefer additions.

I have the muslin tea sachets, and I have steeped twice and literally forgot I was drinking a second steep. There is no sourness, but a mere hint of briskness and the flavor of the black tea is lingering. I think this would make an excellent breakfast for folks like me who are not looking for a big brown boot of a builder’s tea to kick start them in the mornings. This has all the strength I need for a day starter or an afternoon refreshment.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Kusmi 
Description

With its delicious aroma, this black tea from China flavoured with caramel is the perfect drink to enjoy a quiet moment. It goes wonderfully with pastries.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast from The Virginia Tea Company. . .

There are so many teas called English Breakfast, and they can be quite different. The original English Breakfast tea is said to have been pure 100% Chinese Keemun. This is the exception rather than the rule today, and you are more likely to find a mix of black tea from Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya. Modern tea tastes in the UK overall run to strong black tea that not only holds up to, but almost requires, milk and sugar – a nice, boot-you-out-of-bed tea.

Having a tender and sensitive tummy, I am cautious with breakfast blends as I don’t add anything to my tea, and with no milk to smooth my morning beverage the day can go dicey if the tea is too astringent. Also, once awake I am generally ready to go and don’t need to kick in the pants.

This fair trade tea is a blend of Ceylon, Kenyan, and Assam teas. I have put them in the order I believe them to be represented in the blend based on the taste. Far and away the top note for me is the lemony taste of Ceylon tea tingling on my tongue. This high citrus note is almost enough to make you think it is flavored! This often indicates that the tea was grown at a higher elevation of Sri Lanka. I put Assam last because I am not getting a huge amount of malty or bready flavor.

I am quite able to drink this without milk and sugar, enjoying the dry tingle of the briskness of the tea without the almost instant stomach ache some breakfast teas give me. I do believe that if milk and sugar is your thing, the tea could withstand it and wouldn’t wimp out under the additions.

If you love a good, black breakfast blend and want to upgrade to fair trade and organic tea, give it a try!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The Virginia Tea Company
Description

This organic tea is perfect for pairing with your morning meal. The full-bodied flavor can be blended with milk and sugar to create an even better drinking experience.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!