English Breakfast Tea Vs. Earl Grey: How Do They Differ?

This article describes the most prominent features of English breakfast tea vs. Earl Grey tea and the personal tastes suitable for each one.

English breakfast tea vs. earl grey
English Breakfast Tea vs. Earl Grey

English breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea are two of the most popular tea blends in the world. While tea in general, is commonly associated with England, the custom did not take root in the country until the late 17th century. The wife of King Charles the Second, who was from Portugal, made drinking tea fashionable, and it has been so in the country ever since.

If you like to have a cup of tea every once and a while, then you should know what you are getting before you make your purchase. There are similarities and differences between English breakfast and Earl Grey tea. Here are some of them:

What English Breakfast Tea And Earl Grey Have In Common

A kettle and a glass of black tea with a sliced lemon.
The two types of teas are both made from black tea

Both teas are made from black tea. They are high in caffeine, and they are the most popular brands in the United Kingdom and Ireland. English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea are in fact intertwined with the food and drink culture of both countries.

Twinings English Breakfast Black Tea Bags
$11.42 ($0.11 / Count)

One box of 100 English Breakfast Black tea bags. Complex, full-bodied, lively cup of tea that is perfect any time of day. Steep for four minutes for the perfect cup of english breakfast tea.Made without artificial ingredients.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/08/2024 05:00 am GMT
Twinings Earl Grey Black Tea Bags
$14.55 ($0.15 / Count)

100 bags in a pack of 1. Tasty!

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 02:06 am GMT

English Breakfast Tea Vs. Earl Grey: The Differences

There are, nevertheless, differences. One is the aroma. The scent of bergamot is distinct from Earl Grey tea.

Earl Grey can be made with only one variety of tea leaves. English Breakfast tea is always a blend.

English Breakfast tea has a stronger flavor. Earl Grey is milder in taste and smoother in texture.

English Breakfast tea tends to have a bit more caffeine in it than Earl Grey. A drop of milk is almost always required to moderate the strength of English Breakfast tea. Earl Grey can be drunk without any condiment. If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our Lipton Tea vs. English Breakfast Tea guide.

The Features Of English Breakfast Tea

Lipton tea vs. English breakfast tea
English breakfast tea has no flavored additives

English Breakfast tea has a very strong flavor. It is a blend of two or more black teas, without any flavored additives.

The black teas used differ from season to season. Assam, Ceylon, Keemun, and Kenyan are some of the tea leaves used to make English Breakfast tea.

The Features Of Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey tea has a milder and softer flavor with a citrus fragrance—bergamot orange. The extracted oils from bergamot are what go into Earl Grey, endowing it with its distinct scent and taste.

Almost all Earl Grey tea is made from black tea leaves. At present, Ceylon leaves from India are the most popular leaves used by manufacturers. It is a mellow black tea that does not normally require milk to moderate its flavor and taste.

Who Should Drink English Breakfast Tea?

If you like your tea strong with a great deal of caffeine, then you should drink English Breakfast tea. It is also the tea of choice for those who take milk with their tea and coffee. If you are someone who cannot have a hot drink without the addition of milk, dairy, or non-dairy creamers, then English Breakfast tea is perfect for you.

On the other hand, if you do not like dairy or non-dairy condiments in your hot drink, you may find the bitterness of English Breakfast tea untakeable.

You might also enjoy our round-up of the best Earl Grey tea brands.

Who Should Drink Earl Grey Tea?

Those who like fruity teas in general will like the taste of Earl Grey. Although it does not have a strong fruit taste, the citrus overtones will make drinking the tea—with a squirt of lemon—a pleasant experience.

Not all Earl Grey tea has the same taste. You should try different brands until you find the one you like.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.