Mornings are slow for me. Having two kids with a third on the way will do that to you. So I jump from bed to the kitchen, and fire up a cup of something black – a strong breakfast tea, perhaps a spicy chai or I will admit sometimes even coffee. You know the drill, I am not alone. Every day tea fans around the world tame their mornings and energize with tea rituals ranging from tea cups of English Breakfast with a spot of milk to mugs of earthy Rooibos. The question arises then as to what exactly constitutes a breakfast tea?
Everyone has their breakfast tea and you could craft quite a list of potential favorites. I am going to focus on some of the classic blends and single origin teas that not only help kick start your morning but that also pair well with breakfast.
English Breakfast: Popular in the United States, a full bodied and robust black tea blend that can stand up to milk and sugar is the classic English Breakfast. The actual black tea blend varies, but is often made with Assam, Ceylon (Sri Lankan) Chinese or Kenyan black teas. Different origin stories exist, but one account claims that the English Breakfast tea blend was invented in New York during the early 1800s by Richard Davies who came to the U.S. via Hull, England. At Mighty Leaf our take on the classic English Breakfast is called Organic Breakfast.
Irish Breakfast: The Irish drink lots of tea and Irish Breakfast is a popular blend. Traditionally, the blend has an Assam black tea base from the Assam region of India. With a rich, malty flavor profile it adds a full body to the blend. Irish Breakfast usually also contains a variety of other black teas that might include Chinese black tea or Darjeeling tea.
Scottish Breakfast: This blend can vary but often contains a blend of strong Indian or Chinese black teas with the addition of smokey Lapsang Souchong.
Russian Caravan: Russian Caravan is a blend that can include a variety of black teas including Assam and Chinese blacks, but usually also contains a hint of Lapsang Souchong. Historically, chests of this tea would travel via horseback or camelback from China to Moscow.
Assam: Used often as the base tea in many of the world’s finest tea blends, Assam also makes a delicious breakfast tea when drunk plain. I am a big fan and think that it makes a nice alternative to coffee with a full-bodied brew and deep flavor. This is one of those teas that you want to have in your cupboard as a standby for anyone who might want a good, basic cup of black tea.
Ceylon: Celyon or Sri Lankan teas are another favorite of mine for breakfast. Often referred to as self-drinkers because they are unblended, Ceylon black teas can yield a medium body with a delicate flavor that is biscuity and honey-like.
What are some of your favorite breakfast teas?