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!

Honey Bee Black from Pekoe Sip House. . . .

Today has been a bit of a lazy day spent inventorying my teas. I can get quite overwhelmed at times and for some reason it is calming to go through my stash, note which teas I still have in large quantities, which are almost done, which have maybe aged past their prime, and so on. It just helps me wrap my head around what’s hiding in my tea drawers and gives me a sense of control for some aspect of my life. Of course, no tea inventorying would be complete without a cup of tea to keep me company.

Honey Bee Black by Pekoe Sip House is today’s companion. It combines black tea, honey, honey bee pollen, vanilla, and caramel flavor. I brewed this per the recommended steeping parameters, letting the tea steep for 3 minutes in boiling water. I gave it a little time to cool and then got to sipping…

The scent of the steeped tea has a clear honey aroma and though that comes through in taste, it is a bit more subdued than the scent would suggest. That is probably because there is more than just honey happening in this cup. The black base comes through loud and clear with a malt that acts as the perfect foundation for the honey flavor. Together, they do bring out notes of vanilla caramel nearing the end of the sip.

What surprises me here is that this is not as sweet as you’d expect. The flavors are all there but none really jump out. On one hand that makes for a smooth tea that is easy to drink while trying to do other things and on the other hand, it can also be a bit boring.

Ultimately there is nothing wrong with this tea. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable. However, it is not something that stands out to me or something that I need to have again and again. It is a solid honey black option that I could see resteeping well but solid isn’t great and when you have the amount of teas I do, great is what you want


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Pekoe Sip House
Description

An unparalleled combination of sweet and malty black tea with honey and honeybee pollen. Sweet and satisfying on the palate for an afternoon delicate or robust enough to enjoy as a morning cup. Add a sweetener and milk of your choice to make it your own perfect cup. We recommend serving hot and tasting with multiple infusions.

Ingredients: Black tea, honey, honey

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Austin Breakfast from Zhi Tea

Austin Breakfast is an organic Indian black tea. I have the sachets and – BONUS! – they are biodegradable. I love the company’s vision statement.

“We’re a homegrown Austin, Texas company composed of a few die-hard tea freaks, lovers of fine foods, stewards of sustainable agriculture, and passionately dedicated to the human experience.”

I made this for my daughter and myself to have with breakfast. I noted that the website says this will offer some good resteeps, and not to toss the bag until it has given up all of its goodness, so that is what I intend to do.

First steep – My word, this is a super aromatic black tea. At this point, I had noted that the tea was from India as stated on the packaging but I had not looked up the specifics of origin. No matter, there is no mistaking right off the bat that this is a Ceylon tea from the aroma alone.

And it is one of the more aromatic I have tried. There are lovely, deep round dark raisin notes, a nice middle creamy thick feel, and swirling higher notes of orange and lemon. While eating my oatmeal, I detected no astringency at all. After my bowl was empty, I held the tea in my mouth and swirled it around, and there it was! The classic Indian tea briskness.

I take my tea sans additions, and I have a very dodgy stomach that often rebels at tea of Indian origin, kicking me in the gut as revenge. Nicer Indian teas do not have this effect. Dodgy ones get smoothed with milk if I drink them at all.

Happily, my stomach is quite at peace with this tea. Not so much as a burble. I feel like I am drinking a high quality Irish breakfast tea. No milk nor sugar needed, but if that’s how you roll, it can take it.

Steep 2 – While it is piping hot, I think that the low notes have utterly disappeared and the brisk, high lemony notes are mostly what remains. After a couple of minutes cooling time, I find this tea to have its thick and creamy body restored and the briskness is now slightly muted compared to the piping hot sip. Still a good cup of tea, though different from the first steep. I will definitely be trying a third steep.

This would be a great morning tea at work, with the first bracing cup preparing one for the day and tasks ahead, and the remaining cups serving as an easy peasy resteep as you simply add hot water to continue through the morning,


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea
Description

Our Austin Breakfast honors the intensity and laid-backness of Austin. The Ceylon black tea is at once bold and smooth. It has a deep character and clean finish like a great Irish Breakfast tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Russian Caravan from Tea Queens. . . .

I usually reserve my smokier teas for cool or cold weather since I find them very comforting, but cloudy, rainy days spent gazing out the window qualify, too!

Tea Queens sells through consultants, and you can host a tea break or a tea party to learn about tea and to taste some of their offerings. If there is no consultant in your area, the website instructs you to call customer service, so I assume you can order directly from them.

This Russian Caravan is a blend of Assam, Keemun with lychee, and Lapsang Souchong. There are no steeping instructions on the website so I went with 200F and four minutes just to pamper the Assam a bit.

The resulting tea is so light I thought perhaps I had made a mistake, but I have another Lapsang blend that comes out a similar color.

This went very well with our breakfast of blueberry scones. The company sells scone mix, too, by the way! And teapot cookie cutters and colorful decorating sugars.

There is a touch of briskness from the Assam, and it is nicely smokey. I like smoke, and a few Russian Caravan blends have disappointed me by being a bit too tame, but this one was just right. I really don’t taste much lychee, even the cups I drank after the scone was long gone. I think mainly I pick up a general fruitiness from the the Assam and lychee together.

I have made a lot of new friends by having people over who want to learn about tea, where it is grown, how it is processed, how to prepare it, why to drink. I think the idea of hosting a party where an expert comes to conduct your own personal tea flight is marvelous! Especially since it gives you a discount on your tea, and real teaheads know how outrageous the tea budget can get!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Queens
Description

A blend of Assam and Keemun with Chinese lychee tea imparts a wonderful fruitiness. Lapsang Souchong adds a gentle touch of smokiness to this one of a kind blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast Black Tea from We Are Tea. . .

I couldn’t wait to try this breakfast tea, an Assam that promises not to leave a bitter aftertaste. A lot of breakfast Assam teas leave not only a bitter aftertaste for me but a stomach ache as well. I don’t take milk or sugar in my tea, but I will make an exception for Assam tea that is too strong for me. A little splash of milk will usually make it a pain-free breakfast beverage for me.

This teabag (made of biodegradable cornstarch!) says to steep for only two minutes, and guess what I did? That’s right! I tried to multitask and ended up oversteeping it! I have no idea for how long. I added a bit of hot water just in case and still was left with a deeply rich red/brown cuppa. Bracing myself, I took a sip to wash down my scrambled eggs and summer sausage. (Come on, you really have to have good, strong black tea with a breakfast like that!)

The good news is that it IS a strong and hearty, malty and bready English Breakfast, almost what I would consider an Irish Breakfast. The great news is that even with all the hefty body and strong malty flavor, I had no heartburn whatsoever. No stomach ache. No regrets about my morning beverage choice.

I am looking forward to trying some more of their blends!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  We Are Tea
Description

The nations favourite for a reason! Our full bodied breakfast blend of the finest Assam is perfect for those who love a malty and smooth cuppa. Our blend is packed each June in India’s lush Assam region. A cup of this whole-leaf tea is great for any mood at any time of day, promise. Our English Breakfast provides a smoother brew with no bitter aftertaste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!