Teas are an essential part of all the cultures irrespective of their demographics. They are available in a plethora of variations in terms of aroma, color, quality, processing style and the list can go on and on. Tea drinkers have their specific kind of tea that they enjoy drinking; for example – some may like black tea while some may enjoy a warm cup of masala tea or premium quality earl grey tea.
A perfect cup of tea is like an elixir to the mind and soul that help you to get through a tiring day. Breakfast teas are one of the famous tea kinds that people love to consume in the morning for the excellent rejuvenating properties it has.
In this article, we will discuss best English breakfast tea brands, its origin, preparation, and storage techniques and review of the top 10 breakfast tea brands that I have tasted.
Table of Content
About English Breakfast tea
English breakfast tea is quite a popular type of tea that is traditionally a blend of teas from Assam, Ceylon, and Kenya. They are called breakfast tea as they contain a good dose of caffeine that helps to wake up your mind and body.
It is a black tea that is full-bodied, robust and blended well to go with milk and sugar. The reason why they are termed as “English breakfast tea” is that the flavors of this tea complement the continental breakfast that comprises of meat, eggs, bread, beans, and ale.
It is said that in the early 18th century on the request of Queen Anne tea became an alternative to Ale as a lighter drinking alternative. Since then Breakfast teas became a staple of the English breakfast.
The blending components of English breakfast teas vary across different places. In the United States, the English breakfast tea chiefly contains the expensive Chinese Keemun leaves as the first blending tea. The Keemun tea leaves are further blended with Kenyan teas for deeper color appearance.
Some English breakfast teas contain Ceylon brisk tasting tea that helps the body to get going in the morning. Though the English breakfast teas were initially made from Chinese black tea now, they are made from Ceylon, African and Indian teas.
Best English Breakfast Tea Brands Ι Our top 10 Best Picks
Watch this Video to know top 10 best English breakfast teas of the world.
Here you’ll find short reviews of 10 best English breakfast tea brands which I have tasted personally. This list includes both loose leaf English breakfast teas and tea bags brands of English breakfast tea. These tea brands are of premium quality and there is only slight difference in taste and flavor profile of each English breakfast tea brand.
1. Stash Tea English Breakfast Loose Leaf Tea
Type: loose tea
The origin of this tea is from Assam (India) and is full-rounded black tea with little bitterness and astringency that is an essential property of black teas. The flavor is smooth and released beautifully in the pot given the fact that you leave enough space for the tea to expand and release the aromatic flavor. In terms of quality and pricing, this tea is quite good. Given its affordable price, the quality is just up to the mark and satisfactory.
Use a generous amount of tea and steep it for 3 minutes for a flavorful cup. The tea leaves may appear to be small but good enough for flavoring and can’t expect more for that price.
2. Vahdam Original English Breakfast Tea
Type: loose tea
Vahdam teas are explicitly made by blending the black teas from Assam (India). They are characterized by reddish brown liquor, chocolaty aroma and dark brown-black tea leaves. The packaging of Vahdam teas is pretty good which keeps the aroma and flavor intact. If you follow the instructions carefully, you will get the perfect taste and aroma of the best English breakfast tea you ever had.
This tea is pretty smooth with a tinge of sweetness, and no sharp notes and tastes great with honey and milk. This tea variety of Vahdam teas is pretty impressive and is better than other English breakfast tea brands. The pricing is also not that expensive to the kind of flavor and aroma it offers. Other brands are quite costly while providing similar taste notes.
3. Twinings of London English Breakfast Tea
Type: loose tea
This twinning loose tea has a mild flavor as compared to other gray teas, and it is not something to complain about as this is what they tend to offer. If you want strong flavor, then it would be better to check for other brands. It comes in a reusable tin box which has an aluminum lining with no extra packet inside making it easy to use. This tea has a strong bergamot flavor that makes the cup of this black English breakfast tea even more invigorating and refreshing.
It can be consumed as black tea as well as with milk and sugar. Though the packaging says loose leaf tea it is more in powdered form so use something like a mesh filter to avoid any tiny tea particles. In terms of pricing, it is not that bad either and can be termed as good value for money.
4. Golden Moon Organic English Breakfast Loose Leaf Tea
Type: loose tea
It is a full-bodied, flavorful organic tea which is an excellent alternative to your usual Black tea. It is a perfect blend of Indian teas from the Nilgiris (South India), Assam, Darjeeling and the premium quality of Chinese Keemum teas. All these teas create a perfect blend that is well-suited for your iced as well as a warm cup of tea.
The flavor of the Golden moon is quite weak/mild as compared to its counterparts. The texture is quite smooth leaving a calming effect afterward. It is an affordable pick if you are looking for an organic option replacement for your caffeine cravings that also has the Keemum leaves.
5. Tea Forte English Breakfast Organic Loose Leaf Black Tea
Type: loose tea
Tea forte English breakfast tea is a full-bodied tea with concentrated malt flavors that is blended accurately well with milk and sugar. It is prepared from the Assam black tea and has an excellent taste which is slightly on a sweeter note and is not that harsh. The leaves are quite fine, so they might slip through the filter which may be a turn off for a few.
The price of this tea is on a higher end, and one can always find similar quality at a more affordable price range. If you are looking for an organic option, then it will fit the bill, but it has nothing special to offer that sets it apart from other breakfast tea brands.
6. Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea
Type: loose tea
Harney and sons is a 30 years old tea brand that produces medium full-bodied tea from Chinese Keemun tea leaves. It comes in a Tin box and has hints of floral but dominating earthy tones that you can feel as soon as you open the box. This English breakfast tea is strong and dark colored but still pleasing to the palate.
Though it is not very cheap, the reason being the use of Keemum leaves that are costlier compared to the Assam teas, the quality of the tea is pretty good so one can surely invest in it overlooking the price tag. Unless you are not a tea connoisseur, you will not have any qualms after buying this tea. It is one of the best English breakfast tea brands that you should surely try if you appreciate the Chinese black tea.
7. Steep by Bigelow Organic English Breakfast Tea
Type: tea bags
Many people try to avoid caffeine because of their diet commitments or health. It is one of the few best English breakfast tea brands that are free from caffeine. The taste is quite balanced, so if the tea bags are left for a more extended period, the tea doesn’t get bitter. It is full-bodied with a nice aroma and flavor. They are available in several flavors, so you have a wide variety to choose from. It is a brilliant pick for the people who are looking for an organic caffeine-free alternative for their morning cuppa.
Bonus: It is eco-friendly and comes in biodegradable packaging.
8. Teapigs English Breakfast Tea
Type: tea bags
It is regarded as one of the best English breakfast tea varietiers available in the market which is a well-rounded, robust and mellow-bodied mix. It is a blend of Assam tea, Ceylon and Rwandan teas. It is not bitter and doesn’t leave a dry aftertaste, unlike other black teas. You can consume it as black tea and also with milk and sugar. It doesn’t need a lot of sugar as the flavor has a tinge of sweetness with mellow earthy flavor. It is a perfect tea for those lazy mornings when you need a good kick of caffeine. The price is a bit high but is value for money product.
9. Tazo Awake English Breakfast Black Tea Filterbags
Type: tea bags
A full-bodied, aromatic black tea is refreshing at any time of the day. It is quite a strong black tea but is not bitter at all. Many people want black teas to be strong enough but shouldn’t be bitter and Tazo awake checks all these boxes. A cup of this black tea is calming and sufficiently strong to give you the required kick of caffeine and replace your morning coffee.
When you think about the price, then it is also perfect and doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. If you are looking for a tea that is strong yet not bitter and reasonably priced, then Tazo is the best English breakfast tea pick for you.
10. Taylors of Harrogate English Breakfast
Type: tea bags
This classic tea is a blend of two teas coming from India and Africa. It is full-bodied, refreshing with an inviting color to complement your breakfast meals. The flavors are smooth and velvety and perfect to wake you up in the morning. It is high in antioxidants and goes well with both milk and lemon. The packaging of this tea is quite impressive making it a lot of fun to unpack.
The tea bags are individually sealed and packed that ensures that the teas remain fresh for a more extended period. The one thing to keep in mind is that it brews really fast so you can get a strong cup in just 2-3 minutes. It is quite powdery in texture the prime reason why it brews fast. The tea bags do not have strings attached to them, so this tea is primarily meant for teapots and are travel-friendly too.
Best ways to drink English breakfast tea
Breakfast teas are the best option to drink in the morning to kick start your day. They have twice the caffeine as a cup of green tea. It tastes best when it is served hot with a dash of milk and sugar.
Why add milk and sugar?
It is said that adding milk to tea creates a comforting aroma that is quite similar to toast and honey and subconsciously calms your mind. Sugar is an energy booster, so a bit of sugar is not bad but do not overdo it that it makes your taste buds numb.
How to prepare the best English breakfast tea?
Loose leaves always taste better but not as much that they overweigh the convenience of a tea bag. Here is how you can make your perfect cup with both tea bags and loose tea
If using tea bags then take two tea bags and let them steep for 3-4 minutes in a teapot. Add some low-fat milk and sugar (optional) to your cup.
Add one tsp of tea leaves per person to the teapot and one extra tsp for the pot. Follow the same process as for tea bags.
P.S: You can also consume it as black tea and avoid adding any milk or sugar.
Why is English breakfast tea still the best blend across the world?
English breakfast tea is a strong tea with a gentle splash of caffeine making it the preferred choice for the morning. They can also be consumed with or without milk that makes it a flexible option for tea drinkers. It is popular in the West and is regarded as a classic as it blends with the milk and goes well with hearty English breakfast. Black tea is the main component of breakfast teas that is known for fruity sweetness with a bit of astringency and is richer than all other tea types. They are available in a number of variations to suit different palates.
How to store English breakfast tea?
What happens when you leave your wine uncorked or your spices unpacked? It loses flavor and their true essence. The same goes for teas as the two most important properties of tea that make it so valuable is aroma and flavor. If these two are gone, then Tea is deemed worthless. So, it is essential that it be stored correctly to keep the flavors and aroma intact. Teas should be stored in cool dark places to keep them fresh.
The average shelf life of the best English breakfast tea is generally two years given the fact that they are appropriately stored. You should always stow your loose leaf tea in an airtight and light-blocking container. If they are sealed in a packet then you can put them in the open also but once the seal is broken repack them in another container.
Use a ceramic or steel pot that has airtight lids. The light should be avoided as it speeds up the process of tea degradation. Any temperature between 60 degrees F to 80 degrees F is suitable for storing your tea. Keep them away from temperature changes to increase the shelf life and keep them fresh longer. On a lighter note if you are storing tea for two years then you are not a true tea lover.
So, we come to an end on our reviewing of the best English breakfast tea brands and hope it will be a great help for you to find the one that suits your taste preferences. Tea tasting is quite a personal affair and varies from person to person.
It will not be surprising if your friend finds a particular tea flavorful and you find it awful. Before you conclude on what your favorite tea is it is essential that you understand your palate well and then find the one for you. When you are trying a new tea always start by brewing your tea for the least possible time and gradually increase the steeping time. It will help you to determine the perfect tea strength that you enjoy.