Think about it.
If you put “English” in front of anything it pretty much sells itself – English Scones, English Cashmere, English Blog Post. *see what we did there*
But irrespective of this [marketing] trick of the trade, the tea itself is quite spectacular and has gone on to become one of the world’s best-selling tea blends.
Claim to fame: A rich blend and a royal endorsement
Some historical accounts from early 19th century suggest that it was actually Keemun – a Chinese black tea – that enjoyed the title of the ultimate breakfast tea for the tipple-obsessed English back in the day. But once trade ties with China were broken, sometime around the mid-1800s, these folks had no choice but take up Indian and Ceylon teas.
Sometime around 1843, the English Breakfast blend came into existence, and surprisingly enough it isn’t credited to an Englishman or woman. One account suggests that the blend was in fact developed in New York (USA) by an apothecary who had migrated from a small village in England. Others attribute the blend to a Scottish tea merchant who marketed it as a “Breakfast Tea”. Queen Victoria happened to stumble upon this concoction, and given her love for all things Scottish, instantly took to the tea. With a royal endorsement now in place, this blend went on to be marketed as “English Breakfast tea” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Add a spot of milk
The original blend had Assam black teas with mellow Ceylon black teas. Over the years many variations have been introduced – some going as far as including teas from Kenya, Indonesia and Malawi. Even so, ask any English Breakfast tea fan and they will all agree that it’s the warm toast-like quality about this tea that makes it just the perfect breakfast accompaniment. It accommodates the addition of milk as perfectly as bread does butter, making it one hearty indulgence.
In fine company
If you are a fan of the English Breakfast, you are in hallowed company, with the likes of Queen Victoria, John Lennon (he had his own tipple ritual when it came to English Breakfast) and just about half of all Teabox customers.
Illustration by Handmade by Radhika