The Subject: English Breakfast Blend No. 1 from The English Tea Store.
Water temperature: 212° F
Steeping time: 5 minutes
Tea type: Black
Scents, flavorings, etc.: No added scents or flavors
Aroma, dry: Good, strong black tea aroma
Aroma in the cup, plain: Light scent, a bit smoky
Taste, plain: Mild, hint of an edge, smoky, hint of sweet
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: Slightly woody
Taste, enhanced: Slightly woody/earthy, natural sweetness
2nd Infusion: Weaker than first (typical of bagged tea)
Chilled: Didn’t try
The Little Yellow Teapot kept bugging me to review this tea, thinking that it would be a good option for Christmas breakfast tea. He was right, as always! On Christmas morning you’ll forget all about the presents under the tree and rush to the kitchen to brew some of the English Tea Store’s English Breakfast Blend No. 1 first thing. It’s that good!
Breakfast tea is one of my staples. I have several brands, some bagged like this one, and some loose (my preference). Breakfast teas tend to be fannings or dust, occasionally pieces. Therefore, they tend to brew up darker and stronger than other teas, making them ideal for enhancement in the cup with milk and sweetener. These smooth out the tea’s rough edges, especially the bitterness. However, the English Tea Store has managed to blend a breakfast tea that can stand on its own, with no enhancers, while still giving you that morning eye-opener — caffeine.
Hubby was quite pleased with this tea, finding the taste mild, smoky, and with only the merest trace of bitter edge. He has this one pegged as a great tea to drink plain. I found the dry tea to have a slightly woody scent that accurately presaged the taste plain in the cup. Adding milk and sweetener enhanced the smokiness and obliterated the trace bitterness. Hubby cautions that if you add milk and sweetener, use them sparingly. Too much can overwhelm the delicate and interesting flavor that fills you mouth with every sip. I totally agree.
Some good food “go withs” for this tea: pancakes and/or waffles with butter and syrup, crispy bacon or sausage links, chilled orange juice, etc., etc.,… in other words, breakfast! Oh, yeah, and chocolate (did I really have to say it?).
Just because this tea is great for Christmas breakfast doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it all year long — and all day long!
Since the tea is bagged tea, I had to deduct a half teapot. The taste was so intriguing, that I was tempted to deduct another half teapot (but didn’t) for the fact that I am now totally spoiled. How can I ever drink Twinings English Breakfast again?
Disclaimer: The tea reviewed here was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective.
Check out the Little Yellow Teapot’s blog for more great tea reviews!