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:  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!

Bold Breakfast from Dunkin Donuts

I love getting donuts at Dunkin Donuts, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you a flavor of donut that I didn’t like.  On occasion, I’ll get an iced coffee or an iced tea, but usually my focus is solely on the donuts. But this is a tea blog not a donut blog!  This time, I tried Dunkin Donuts’ Bold Breakfast black tea at home.

Like the best tea companies, this sample came in a silk pyramid tea bag, and there were visibly whole leaves of tea in the bag- no crushed tea powder here.  I brewed it following their instructions to use boiling water and steep for 3 minutes.

The resulting brew was dark and gently fragrant.  It looked like tea, smelled like tea, and guess what?  It was a completely serviceable breakfast tea. It had the traditional black tea tartness and crisp mouthfeel, with plenty of flavor and caffeine to wake you up.  The flavor was a bit one-note though, missing the malt or complexity of other loose leaf breakfast blends, but its one flavor is perfectly capable on its own.

Like many breakfast teas out there, when brewed black, this tea could be a tad bitter.  If served iced with slices of lemon and sugar, or served hot with milk or honey, it would easily turn this tea into a more refreshing or comforting brew.

Serve this tea in a teapot on a tray, and your guests won’t suspect your tea purveyor is Dunkin Donuts. Sweeten the tea tray with some donuts and it might just be the best way to serve this tea yet.  Hmm, maybe I just need a frosted donut to dunk into my mug and then this brew will be perfect!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Dunkin Donuts

Description: A blend of full-leaf black tea for a full bodied flavor

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast Black Tea by Steeped Tea

I steeped this tea for two minutes at 212 degrees, with one heaping teaspoon per cup of water.
So this is another tea company I haven’t tried before, how exciting! Let’s get right to the details of this tea. I guess it’s a blend of black teas, since that ‘s how english breakfast teas are generally made.  It has a nice, hearty, strong fragrance, which is of course exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from a breakfast tea (after all, it’s meant to help you wake up in the morning, right?).
It smells a smidge bitter while steeping, but mainly you notice that strong, robust tea flavor! After steeping, it doesn’t look super dark; instead, there’s a cedar-like, chestnutty color, and it’s very clear rather than opaque. The smell fortunately is less bitter after steeping has ended, and I can detect some malty notes.
The tea itself isn’t noticeably viscous/thickened. At the first sip I notice plenty of astringency combined with a tad of bitterness, but not a lot. It’s not too bitter (not as bitter as you’d expect from how it smelled while steeping), so I’m sure people who like really strong tea (or coffee) would love it, or it would be perfect for if you’re planning to have it with milk and sugar. Or, to avoid the bitterness, I’d consider steeping it a tad cooler next time.
While sipping this I can detect plenty of tannins–it seems to be a highly oxidized tea, which is just what black tea is supposed to be, but it also has an extremely tangy flavor, which I find quite helpful for waking up in the mornings (or even in the afternoons if I’m having a hard time staying awake after lunch).
There’s not much in the way of floral or cocoa notes, although there may be a touch of maltiness deepening the flavor here and there.
Of course I also had to add milk (to test my it-would-be-great-with-milk theory) and discovered that this tea is indeed lovely with milk, and that the milk takes out the bitterness just as I was hoping. With milk this tea has a strong, creamy, and excellent flavor, and I find it to be exactly the sort of tea I enjoy the most. <3

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Steeped Tea
Description
This classic breakfast tea is fresh, full and flavorful. Traditionally served with milk.
Ingredients: Black tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!