“She raised her hand to cut me off. “I am aware of your epistolary flirtation. Which is all well and good–as long as it’s well and good. Before I ask you some questions, perhaps you would like some tea?”
“That would depend on what kind of tea you were offering.”
“So diffident! Suppose it was Earl Grey.”
I shook my head. “Tastes like pencil shavings.”
“I don’t drink beverages named after beheaded monarchs. It seems so tacky.”
“Might as well sip butterfly wings.”
“You can’t be serious.”
The old woman nodded her approval. “I wasn’t.”
“Because you know when a cow chews grass? And he or she chews and chews and chews? Well, green tea tastes like French-kissing that cow after it’s done chewing all that grass.”
“Would you like some mint tea?”
“Only under duress.”
I clapped my hands. “Now you’re talking!”
― David Levithan, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Whether or not you agree with the above sentiments, these are teas to get to know better. Breakfast teas are a blend of several plain black varietals, and while the blends vary from blender to blender, there are a few consistencies to expect from them.
History of Breakfast Tea
While no one can settle on how English Breakfast tea came to be, it does seem to have been created in America rather than England. The facts/story say that in 1843 a tea merchant out of New York, named Richard Davies, created a blend of three black teas. His customers loved it, which led to other tea merchants creating their own breakfast tea blends. Queen Victoria tried it and loved it so much she took some back home to England with her, then it became known as English Breakfast. After time, other countries came up with their own breakfast teas.
Types of Breakfast Tea
Breakfast teas are blends of three or more black teas. They are fairly hearty and can stand up to milk and sugar well. They are bracing teas to start your day with, though they’re good at any time.
- English Breakfast – Usually full-leaf in form, but can be broken leaves.
- Irish Breakfast – Usually made of broken leaves, but can be in full-leaf form. Tend to be stronger than the English blends and made up of a fair amount of malty Assam.
- Scottish Breakfast – The strongest of the breakfast blends, said to be formulated for the softer water of Scotland.
Take some time to travel the globe without leaving your home, and give breakfast teas a whirl. You might be surprised by what you find.