English Breakfast Tea

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English Breakfast Tea was originally a blend of black teas from China, including Keemun tea. This was a much lighter and less astringent black tea than current breakfast teas. Nowadays, English Breakfast teas are generally blended from stronger African and Indian teas, often from CTC teas rather than orthodox leaf teas. These give a much brighter coloured and brisker tasting drink.

English Breakfast teas are a vigorous blend, giving a dark red liquor. Good English breakfast teas have a taste that is brisk, clean and malty with some top notes from Darjeeling, but overall a light astringency that goes well with a dash of milk.

Infusion

  • Quantity: 1 teaspoon (2½ g) per cup or person, plus 1 teaspoon (2½ g) for the pot
  • Water: 95oC (200oF)
  • Brew time: 5 minutes

Iced Tea Method

To make 1 quart / 1 liter pitcher:

  1. Quantity: 6 heaped teaspoons loose tea or 6 teabags into a teapot or pitcher.
  2. Water: 1¼ cups / 315 ml freshly boiled water.
  3. Infusion time: 5 minutes.
  4. Iced tea: Pour brewed tea into 1 quart / liter pitcher, straining tea or taking out teabags. Add ice and top up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.

To make individual serving:

  1. Quantity: 1 heaped teaspoons loose tea or 1 teabag into a teapot or mug.
  2. Water: 175 ml / 6 oz freshly boiled water.
  3. Infusion time: 5 minutes.
  4. Iced tea: Fill 12 oz / 375 ml cup with ice. Pour in brewed tea, straining tea or taking out teabags - not all tea will fit in. Garnish and sweeten to taste.

Rule of thumb: increase the strength of the tea compared to normal hot tea, because it will be diluted by the ice and cold water added.

Further Reading