Absolute Tea

Sunday, February 19

A Week of Black Tea

This week, which starts Sunday according to blogger archives, is devoted to that staple of all teas - Black Tea.

To kick things off and set the mood for this first topic-driven week, I feel a review is necessary of the most basic and popular black tea drink of them all. So without further ado, I present to you...

English Breakfast Tea

Image courtesy of Adagio Teas

The coffee of tea as I like to think of it. Like the name suggests, this tea is incredibly popular in England, especially at breakfast time. The reason for this is because the English like to have a heavy meal for breakfast and the zest of this blended tea compliments it well. For those newbies who have never tried any kind of tea at all, this would be the one to start with. I say this because most Americans are coffee fiends, and it is an excellent transition-tea to start developing taste buds with a real culture. It is also very versatile in that you can add cream, milk or sugar and still have the original flavor come through.

So what does it taste like? Well, when brewed right English Breakfast Tea...
  • is tart and full bodied.
  • can have a slight spicy aftertaste.
  • provides a brisk punch.
  • is very aromatic.
  • has a hard, good bite.
  • can remind you of coffee.
  • is sometimes referred to as coppery.
The unique flavor is made from the collection of different leaves, which when put together right, create this wonderful pungent brew. There are many varieties of English Breakfast tea depending on where you buy it. The most common ingredients found in this blend tend to be broken Ceylon and Assam leaves as well as other leaves from India. These leaves are all from the same plant, but they are grown in different regions of the world. Names like Ceylon and Assam are just describing the region where the leaves have been cultivated. For more information check out Wikipedia.

Absolute rating: ( * ) ( * ) ( * ) ( * ) ( * )

Giving this tea 5 out of 5 stars is nothing to be taken lightly. I am a very picky tea drinker and if I am putting this tea on a pedestal then you absolutely must try it yourself. I highly recommend English Breakfast tea because of its ability to replace coffee in every facet. There is just enough caffeine in it to get your morning pick-me-up without draining your body later in the day, unlike coffee. It also has associated digestive benefits as well as antioxidents. Most importantly though, English Breakfast tea tastes great. It has the ability to satisfy anyone's preference of sugar, cream, milk, honey, or whatever else is used to flavor drinks while retaining its basic qualities. In fact, this tea holds its flavor so well that you could even buy it in off-the-shelf boxed brands and lose very little of the brisk punch. I don't suggest you do this though as tea in bags is a detriment to the entire tea industry.

Suggested Brewing Method

To get the full experience of English Breakfast tea, there is a proper way to make it. Everyone will have a different preference when it comes to tea, but this guide will allow you to adjust it accordingly.

-What you will need-
  1. At least 1 ounce of loose leaf English Breakfast tea.
  2. 4-6 cup teapot with a large and deep strainer.
  3. A teaspoon devoted to tea only (for consistency).
  4. Automatic shut-off, electronic boiler
  5. Purified water or water filter
  6. A digital timer
  1. Fill boiler with purified or filtered water and start the boiling
  2. Rinse teapot with hot water until the entire teapot is sufficiently warm
  3. Place 1 level teaspoon of tea in the strainer for every 1 cup of tea (4-6 teaspoons)
  4. Start timer immediately when pouring water into teapot
  5. Let it steep for 2-3 minutes (do not over steep)
  6. Remove strainer and loose tea
  7. Pour into a wide, 6 ounce cup and add sugar or milk or any other desired flavors
  8. Allow cup to cool to a lukewarm temperature
  9. Savor and enjoy with a hearty breakfast
Add more or less tea during the steeping process to suit taste, as well as increase or decrease the steep time. I must caution you at this though, as allowing any black tea to steep for too long will cause it to taste very bitter. This is caused from the tannins, which although good for you do not taste very pleasant in strong quantities.

If you don't have the time for this (it really doesn't take that much time) or you are simply lazy, I would recommend to try the tea bags from Adagio Teas. Better yet, make your own tea bags from loose leaf tea. It's cheaper and you don't have to lower yourself to floor sweepings.

3 comment(s):

AWESOME BLOG! I love the tea leaf bullets and the color scheme. Very cool, Michael. A great compliment to yr. article.

By Blogger JJ, at 10:58 AM CST  

My mom would love this blog, really. The first word that comes to my mind is neat, as in tidy. And level, too. It seems like it's going to be hard to blog like this for long. A posting like this must take a lot of energy... Bullets, step-by-step instructions and need lists.. it's very full. Good job. And don't be weirded out if I send my mom over to read it :)

By Blogger Sweetandsourgoth, at 6:23 PM CST  

English Breakfast Tea is actually one of my farourite types of tea!

By Blogger Aspen, at 7:56 PM CST  

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