Tea For Two: English Breakfast Tea Vs. Orange Pekoe

This article gives the general features of English Breakfast Tea vs. Orange Pekoe tea to help you choose the right tea for your needs.

English breakfast tea vs. orange pekoe
Read on to learn more about English Breakfast tea vs. Orange Pekoe

There is nothing like a hot cup of tea to soothe your nerves or quench your thirst on a warm afternoon. I am particularly fond of this hot drink and have at least one cup every day. Although English Breakfast tea is a favorite among coffee drinkers like me, Orange Pekoe is gaining a popular following.

There are differences and similarities between English Breakfast and Orange Pekoe tea. Here are some of them:

What English Breakfast Tea And Orange Pekoe Have In Common

English Breakfast and Orange Pekoe are both black teas. The former is associated with the United Kingdom, while the latter has gained popularity in Ireland. However, it is common to find both served in the cafes and tea houses of Britain and Ireland.

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
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 02:54 pm GMT

English Breakfast Tea Vs. Orange Pekoe: The Differences

Perhaps the most significant difference between the two brands is that Orange Pekoe is a tea classification, not a specific blend. It has its origins in India and Sri Lanka and is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Orange Pekoe also has different grades that are categorized by size and the quality of the tea leaves.

Orange Pekoe is medium strength black tea. Some blends have a hint of dark honey, while others are imbued with a malted grain aroma and taste.

English Breakfast tea is a blend of various tea leaves with a strong yet bitter flavor. It also has more caffeine than Orange Pekoe tea. A splash of milk is often required to neutralize the bitterness of English Breakfast tea, while Orange Pekoe can be drunk without any condiments.

The Features Of English Breakfast Tea

a cup of black and sliced lemon on a table - how to drink english breakfast tea
English breakfast tea is a blend of black teas

English Breakfast tea has a powerful flavor. It is a blend of two or more black teas without any flavored additives. While the black teas used differ from season to season, Assam, Ceylon, Keemun, and Kenyan are some of the more common tea leaves found in English Breakfast tea.

The Features Of Orange Pekoe

Orange pekoe tea
Orange Pekoe tea has a classification system

Orange Pekoe tea is best understood as a classification system, which is broken down into the following grades:

FOP—Flowery Orange Pekoe

GFOP—Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

TGFOP—Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

FTGFOP—Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe

Given the name, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that there is orange in the tea. However, this is not the case. It is simply a marketing tool, derived from the House of Orange, the ruling Dutch Royal Family that brought this tea to Europe in the 18th century.

At the time, the highest quality black tea was reserved for the royal family. The name stuck and has been attached to the tea ever since. You might also be interested in our Irish Breakfast Tea vs. English Breakfast Tea guide.

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 too much for your palate.

Who Should Drink Orange Pekoe?

People who like smoother, milder, and aromatic teas will like Orange Pekoe. If you prefer to take your tea without a condiment, then this is the drink for you. 

It is also a great choice for health-conscious individuals. Orange Pekoe has a range of health benefits including the promotion of a healthy heart and digestive system.


  • 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.