What is English Breakfast Tea?

Strong, malty and infinitely tasty, Breakfast Tea is a British favourite.


It’s up there with cucumber sandwiches and saying ‘sorry’. Maybe even tops them. But wait, what actually is English Breakfast tea?


An open loose leaf tea infuser beside tea dish and red mug



What is English Breakfast Tea?

English Breakfast tea is a boldly flavoured blend of black teas. It’s quite strongly caffeinated and ideal for the morning, although just as delicious any time of day.

The blend of black teas in English Breakfast usually come from Assam in India and Ceylon in Sri Lanka. A blend might feature leaves from other parts of India and parts of Africa, China, and Indonesia, too. Because there’s no one supreme Breakfast Tea blend! Each one is differently flavoured and deliciously unique!


where does english breakfast tea come from




Sooo… What is Black Tea?

Black tea is one of those things we hear about but never really understand, right? And, us Brits being so impeccably polite, don’t like to ask.

Wonder no longer! Let’s find out what black tea actually is. You can pretend you knew all this already, if you like. We won’t tell.

So, black tea leaves start off life growing on the Camellia Sinensis plant. This is the same as green and white tea – the tea leaves could become any tea at this point. They’re full of potential, bless ’em.


Cup of breakfast tea with metal infuser, loose leaves and green leaves


Various stages come next:

  • Picking
  • Processing
  • Oxidation
  • Drying

We need to focus on the oxidation stage here because it’s what makes black tea… black.

Oxidation involves exposing the tea leaves to controlled amounts of oxygen. Black tea leaves are leaves the coffee producers have oxidised for longer; this gives them a darker colour (black!) and distinctive flavour.

And there you have it: black tea leaves for your breakfast brew!


Loose leaf breakfast tea with Two Chimps tea label and steel infuser




What does English Breakfast Tea taste like?

You already know that there isn’t one single English Breakfast tea recipe. Each tea maker has their own special blend. But there are flavour every good Breakfast Tea blend offers…

Strong, punchy taste

Sip English Breakfast, and you’ll enjoy robust flavour and a bold, full body. It’s got to get you up in the morning, right? They’ll be a lovely maltiness, too, from the Assam leaves. This is what makes English Breakfast tea so scrummy with toast and jam!

…but still refreshing

They’ll be some lush floral undertones complementing the strength. Because we’re drinking tea here, not head-banging on a night out. These undertones will bring a lovely aromatic freshness to your brew.

… but nothing too flowery

Flower power shouldn’t dominate, however – this isn’t the time for a wander in the flower garden. English Breakfast tea is heartier than teas like Earl Grey and Darjeeling and satisfies your palate (and soul…) with it’s classic taste.



Should you drink English Breakfast Tea with milk?

Brits have been adding milk to their English Breakfast tea for centuries. And with good reason: it’s probably the best way to enjoy your lovely Breakfast tea.

Your Breakfast Tea’s got welly, meaning it pairs perfectly with creamy milk. Stir in a splash, and you’ll take the edge off the bitterness to create one very harmonious mug.

If you’re drinking English Breakfast tea with milk, how much should you add? A splash? A dash? A little dribble?

It really is up to you!

However, one study showed that the average milk ‘splash’ is 5ml. Give it a go and see!

And can you drink English Breakfast tea without milk? Of course! Most go for milk, but tea without milk certainly isn’t madness!


Two Chimps loose leaf english breakfast tea beside blue mug, teapot and sugar cubes



English Breakfast Tea benefits

Breakfast brews are about so much more than flavour! Just take a look at these English Breakfast tea benefits

Gives you a boost in the morning

English Breakfast tea contains about 37mg of caffeine per 100ml. This is about half the amount that’s in coffee but slightly higher than the caffeine in white tea (27mg per 100ml). Breakfast Tea’s in-betweenness makes it just right for sleepy mornings. You’ll be up and at ‘em in no time!

High in antioxidants

Antioxidants are super important for health as they help to protect cells against damage. Black tea is high in polyphenols such as catechins and theaflavins.

Antioxidants work magic in your body. They do lots of important things like lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cholesterol and some cancers. Gold star!

Calorie free

Breakfast Tea is calorie free (ohh, that rhymes) when you drink it without milk.


Two Chimps English breakfast tea label on a table at an angle



Why is it Called English Breakfast Tea?

The name English Breakfast has its origin in… breakfast! No surprise there. The robust flavour of your English Breakfast brew is designed to work well with a hearty breakfast, while the decent caffeine content gives you a boost each AM.

We can’t pinpoint the exact date when English Breakfast tea came to be (there we go again, writing rhymes…), but the late 19th century is a good shout.

According to one theory, a Scottish tea merchant called Drysdale is the inventor of English Breakfast tea. He wanted to give tea lovers a strong tea to pair with their meaty/toasty/marmaladey English breakfasts. And he called his new blend ‘Breakfast Tea’!


How to Brew Loose Leaf Tea



Buy Loose leaf English Breakfast Tea Online

Have we tea-ickled your taste buds? Are you feeling the need for a brew-tiful cup of proper English Breakfast tea?

You’re in the right place! Here at Two Chimps, you can buy artisan loose leaf English Breakfast tea online. Simply choose your bag size, place your order and look forward to luxury loose leaf English Breakfast Tea popping on your doormat.


loose leaf tea delivery on doormat


We source our lovely English Breakfast tea from Assam in northeast India. Assam is the largest tea-growing estate in the world, with conditions ideal for strong, malty tasting leaves. Just superb with a splash of milk (or not)!

We only source carefully picked whole leaves for your English Breakfast blend. You won’t find any low-grade ‘fannings’ – the dusty bits that end up in teabags – here! Just beautiful whole leaves for a fabulously flavourful brew!

Try a cup and see!


woman with grey jumper holding a red mug of tea



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