For so many people around the world, the morning just wouldn’t be the same without a cup of breakfast tea. Discover all the global nuances and traditions behind this delicious way to start your day!
What is a Breakfast Tea?
Breakfast tea is one of those things that seems so natural that we rarely stop to think about just what it is or where it comes from. This drink is so paramount to so many people, but what type of tea is it and where does it come from?
Traditionally, breakfast tea is made with black tea. Usually, tea makers will blend a variety of different black tea leaves and sometimes floral or fruity additions. This tea is typically darker in color and higher in caffeine than other teas.
The flavor of an average breakfast tea is strong enough to add some dairy into it and has a strong earthy and malty taste. The black teas that make up these blends are grown around the world but some areas are better for tea cultivation. Those countries are Africa, India, and Sri Lanka, and these names will often be seen on tea packaging as the country of origin.
Although breakfast teas are a morning staple, they are truly enjoyed all day. The bold bittersweet flavors in breakfast teas almost make them great at all temperatures. These black tea blends make invigorating and smooth iced teas as well as hot teas.
What is English Breakfast Tea?
For many, English Breakfast tea is the first to come to mind in the world of breakfast teas. It is the quintessential classic that so many enjoy once or more a day. This breakfast tea is produced by major manufacturers and small artisans alike, making it very easy to find around the globe.
This breakfast tea blends black teas to make a smooth and malted cup of tea. Common varieties of black tea used for English Breakfast are Ceylon and Assam. Most Brits enjoy this tea with milk and sugar and it's said this tea is best when brewed with hard British water!
English breakfast tea tradition has been steeped into British culture for centuries. The exact origin of the title “English Breakfast,” remains up for debate, but Queen Victoria is accredited for its rise in popularity. She enjoyed a blend that was labeled “English Breakfast” so much that served and drank it often.
What is Canadian Breakfast Tea?
Many commonwealth countries (former and present) have adopted their own variations of breakfast tea and made the drink their own. Canadian Breakfast tea is one such variety. It is a bold and caramel tea that is sure to delight.
The Canadian take on breakfast tea has plenty of bold flavors. Canadian breakfast tea blends always include at least two different types of black tea and they often feature an Assam tea. These blends tend to highlight the sweet caramel and floral notes in the black tea leaves.
Canadians, like the Brits, enjoy drinking their robust breakfast tea with milk and sometimes sugar. This tea is enjoyed both at breakfast and later in the day as a pick-me-up drink.
Select brands of Canadian Breakfast tea include locally inspired additions, like maple. This is a unique touch, but more of an oddity than an authentic Canadian cup. Most locals enjoy their breakfast tea simply with a touch of milk and sugar.
Other Notable Breakfast Teas
So many people around the globe enjoy breakfast tea that it is no wonder that every country has put its unique stamp on the drink. Around the world, you will find many local blends of breakfast tea, each with its own special characteristics.
In Scotland, locals enjoy Scottish Breakfast tea. This is a bold blend of black teas typically from India or Sri Lanka. This breakfast tea tends to land near the top of the caffeine meter for black teas.
Irish Breakfast is the choice in the Emerald Isle. This breakfast tea is a wonderfully strong blend of black teas with a flavor that is heavy with malted notes. This tea tends to brew with a reddish hue thanks to the Assam tea favored for this blend.
Both of these local breakfast teas are brewed strong and enjoyed with dairy and sugar or sometimes honey. These extra touches help mellow the bold flavors in these brews.
With so many rich and full-bodied breakfast teas available there is bound to be a smooth and exciting breakfast tea out there for you!
How to Brew Breakfast Tea
A great cup of breakfast tea all comes down to the brew. Every tea manufacturer will provide their own specific instructions for brewing, but there are some general rules that pertain to all breakfast teas. Here’s everything you need to know about the basics of brewing the perfect breakfast tea.
A great cup of tea all comes down to the water. The quality and temperature of the water make a huge difference to the final cup of tea. Many people in the U.K. argue that their hard water actually compliments the flavors of their favorite breakfast teas.
This tea is meant to be simple, though, so start with whatever water you have. Heat the water to a temperature of about 205°F to 210°F then you’re ready to pour. Gently pour the water over a tea ball, strainer, or bag. Allow the tea to steep for three to five minutes before removing the bag or ball.
Enjoy breakfast tea hot with sugar, milk, or cream. Some like to twist up the tradition by opting for honey or agave instead of sugar. No water what you add to it, a perfectly brewed cup of breakfast tea cannot be beaten!