How to Drink English Breakfast Tea

Learn how to make and enjoy English Breakfast tea: traditional, iced, latte, or for your afternoon tea.

a cup of black and sliced lemon on a table - how to drink english breakfast tea
English Breakfast tea has no citrus to achieved a rich taste

English Breakfast tea is a blend of black teas that come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Usually, it will have a combination of Assam, Kenyan, and Ceylon (present-day Sri Lankan) blends. Very high-quality or expensive versions of it may also include Keemun tea. 

Many people confuse English Breakfast with Earl Grey tea. However, the difference is that Earl Grey is black tea with bergamot oil. English Breakfast tea has no citrus; it has more black teas for a rich taste.

Any classic tea lover should know how to prepare a traditional British cuppa. So, first, we’ll show you how to make it the conventional way. Then, you can read for extra tips on how to drink it in creative ways: as iced tea, a latte, or even how to make it a chai.

Table Of Contents

1. Load the Tea

If you have loose tea leaves, you can load a teaspoon of it in a tea ball. Since loose leaves have room to expand in water, the flavor will tend to be of higher quality than bags. Still, it can take a bit more effort to prepare it that way. 

If you don’t have the time to prepare it for a long afternoon tea, tea bags will do. As a rule of thumb, match the number of tea bags you put to how many cups it will serve. Then, add an extra tea bag to the pot for extra measure.

2. Steep With Boiling Water

For your tea to brew correctly, you need boiling water. Avoid using simple hot water that won’t bring out the nuances of its flavor. In a perfect cup of tea, you should be able to see the colors instantly leak from the bag when it meets the boiling water.

Bring your water to a boil, and then pour it over your cup with a teabag. Or, if you have a teapot, you can pour it there with a tea ball inside. Then, let it steep for three to five minutes.

3. Flavor With Milk Or Snacks

Cup of english breakfast tea with cookies for break time
English breakfast tea can be paired with cakes, bread, and jams

In traditional British customs, you would pour the cream into your cup first. Then, you’d add the hot tea. Finally, combine it with your favorite sweetener or sugar, and enjoy!

Are you looking to have an Afternoon Tea? Then consider pairing your drink with sweets like cakes, bread, and jams. You’ll have the perfect cup of tea and the perfect refreshing meal.

How To Drink It Iced

Tea drinkers on the go may appreciate having a cold brew version of this drink. To make this cold brew breakfast blend, you would have to budget for a longer prep time. Still, it’s easy to make and has a light, delicious flavor.

Put loose leaf tea in a glass pitcher, and let it sit in the refrigerator. You can steep and store it for up to four days. If you steep it without heating the tea first, you’ll have a lighter version of English Breakfast. 

In the morning, simply use a strainer to pour the tea into your cup. Add extra sweeteners or syrups if you want to try something new.

How To Drink It As A Latte

This is another easy variation for how to drink English Breakfast tea. For this variant, you would fill your cup halfway with boiling water. Put two bags to steep at the bottom of it since you’ll want the flavor to be noticeable through the milk.

On the side, start steaming the milk. You can use a traditional espresso machine steamer to make it hot. If not, you can make it in a French press or do it on the stovetop. 

You want to make the milk warm so that it forms a soft froth at the top. Then, pour the milk over your tea, and enjoy.

How To Drink It Chai-Style

Chai may have come from the Chinese word for tea. In many shops, though, it’s a drink with a unique blend of spices and black tea. Luckily, you can try making it with English Breakfast tea at home.

Combine cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves. Grind them in a mortar and pestle. Then, grind pieces of ginger too. Boil these ingredients in hot water, and then add brown sugar and English Breakfast tea. 

When it’s done, you’ll have the best tea to wake up in the morning. Click here to learn more about Chai tea.

How To Drink English Breakfast Tea FAQ

Are you a new tea lover? Read below to learn about what makes this tea blend unique.

Which black tea has the most caffeine?

A cup of Earl Grey or English Breakfast tends to have some of the highest caffeine content compared to other teas. It can contain upwards of 47 mg per cup. Compare that to green tea, which usually has about 30 mg per cup. 

Is drinking English Breakfast tea good for you?

It may have health benefits for your heart by reducing your cholesterol levels. It also contains antioxidants and minerals like potassium, magnesium, folate, and more. Finally, it has flavonoids, which help reduce inflammation that leads to heart disease. 

Is it the same as Irish and Scottish Breakfast tea?

No. Irish Breakfast tea tends to have a more potent Assam flavor than the English variant. So, it can taste malty. Meanwhile, Scottish Breakfast tea is stronger than both of those. People describe it as having an oaky, intense flavor. 

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