There’s something about English Breakfast tea that’s like coming home to me. It hasn’t always been that way– in fact, let me take you on a brief history of Mary’s Experiences with English Breakfast Tea (abridged).
5th grade: to celebrate the end of a history unit on the Boston Tea Party, Mary’s teacher throws a traditional British cream tea party, whilst wearing a giant pink satin hoop-skirt-dress and powdered wig. Mary tries to sip black tea with milk and sugar and promptly gags. End of attempts at caffeinated black tea for many years to come.
(brief interlude, in which Mary begins to drinks herbals and green teas and becomes obsessed, but still won’t touch black tea with a ten foot pole. Ah, such wasted time!)
Junior year of college: Mary goes to England to study abroad. On first full night in town, students are treated to a traditional cream tea welcome party. Mary eats finger sandwiches. (Verdict: delicious.) Mary tentatively pours a cuppa. Mary adds milk and sugar because monkey see, monkey do. Mary takes a sip. Decides nope, still not a fan. Two days later, Mary starts her internship, and boss makes her a cup of tea during break because this is what all Brits do, right? And who is Mary to buck tradition? Sip. Sip sip. Siiiiip. WHOA. This is really good. PROMPTLY OBSESSED. Never goes back.
I know. Great story, yes? All of this to say, my past with English Breakfast tea is storied and vast. And every time I try a new good one, I’m brought right back to those formative moments. This one from Rishi is no exception– rich and malty, it takes milk and sweet perfectly, it’s well-balanced and rounded out, with no obvious acidity. Is it a life-changer? Probably not. But is it comforting, reminiscent of good things, warm and delicious and just what I hoped it’d be? Yup. Just like home.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Rishi Tea
What makes a great breakfast tea? Our buyers have spent years studying tea bush cultivars that present the most robust character, bright red cup color and awakening aromatics. Through extensive travel and tasting, we have found some of the very best in the Assamica gardens in Thailand’s remote northern mountains. This unique origin yields an English Breakfast that is full-bodied, lively and brisk with accents of raspberry and lingonberry. Perfectly balanced on its own or gratifying when smoothed out to taste with milk and sugar.
Tasting Notes: Lively, robust red cup with a brisk flavor and sweet caramel undertones.
Ingredients: Organic black tea
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Grantham Breakfast Blend is one of the Downton Abbey themed teas from The Republic of Tea. This blend is built from a strong assam base with added ginger, meant to be masculine and just a touch fiery. The ginger came to life right as I poured hot water on the leaves, surprising me with an almost-chai smell for a moment. As the tea steeped and cooled, the assam really took the lead, providing deep and malty black tea tones.
This tea echoes Lord Grantham, pictured on the tin, clad in upper-class white-tie attire. Both the man and the tea are strong enough to help you power through an early morning of managing accounts, spicy enough to manage bold daughters, and warm enough to provide comfort during a family tragedy.
After trying this flavor, I had to take a look at the other Downton Abbey blends on Republic of Tea. They have several options, a few of which include Miss Patmore’s Pudding, black tea with vanilla sponge cake flavors, English Rose hibiscus tea for the lady-like sisters, and Downton Abbey Estate Earl Grey, for your more traditional tea outings.
These teas would be great for a Downton-themed tea party of your own!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Republic of Tea
Full-bodied, malty, organic Assam black tea is infused with the spicy flavor of organic ginger root. Try with a splash of warm milk and sweetener for a flavor reminiscent of sticky ginger pudding. This energizing tea is perfect for an early morning foxhunt or preparing for the dramas of the day.