The classic English Breakfast tea has been enjoyed for decades for its comforting, smooth taste. We take a look at what makes this delicious tea so special.
What is English Breakfast tea?
English Breakfast is a traditional blend of black tea the exact recipe for which varies from maker to maker. However, most often the tea leaves are sourced from different estates in East Africa, Ceylon and Assam and then combined to produce a characteristically full bodied brew.
The richness of English Breakfast means that it can be enjoyed with milk and sometimes sweetened with sugar, although a good quality English Breakfast tea can be so smooth that it is best enjoyed on its own.
Why 'English Breakfast'?
Strong and moderately caffeinated, an English Breakfast style blend is designed to give a good boost in the morning and to compliment the traditional hearty English breakfast.
Its origins lie in the late 19th century, a time when tea clippers were racing across the ocean trade routes and tea-drinking was becoming ever more popular. One theory is that in 1892 a Scottish tea master called Drysdale decided that tea-drinkers needed a stronger brew and marketed his new blend as ideal for breakfast time (rather than just for the afternoon), calling it "Breakfast tea".
Although exactly when this tea became known as "English Breakfast" is vague, it has been said that Queen Victoria tried a Breakfast tea while visiting Balmoral in Scotland and enjoyed it so much that she took a box home with her to England. It then became known as "English Breakfast tea" and is now a staple of kitchen cupboards throughout the country.
What are the benefits of English Breakfast Tea?
English Breakfast tea has traditionally been thought of a great morning booster thanks in part to its caffeine content and a good soothing pick-me-up throughout the day. Black tea contains on average about half the caffeine levels of coffee and also offers a slower caffeine release which can keep you alert for longer without the sharp peak and subsequent dip you might get from a strong coffee.
There are many on-going studies looking into the health benefits of tea; the UK Tea and Infusions Association reports various investigations looking into black tea's benefits for blood pressure and weight loss as well as osteoporosis and certain types of cancers. As research to support these claims continues, we look forward to discovering more about the exciting health properties of our favourite brew.
At Dragonfly we offer two delicious English Breakfast teas; our organic Traditional English Breakfast is made with pure organic leaves and makes a smooth and rounded cup with a malted finish. Our large leaf English Breakfast tea from the Tea House Collection is made using carefully sourced black tea leaves from the finest tea gardens. It is bright and satisfying with a hint of sweetness.