By Mary Koselke of blackbird café
Teas are a big part of our day at blackbird café, with English Breakfast being a mainstay. This traditional black tea is a great alternative to your morning cup of coffee. English breakfast tea is a full bodied caffeinated tea, very rich in flavor with a robustness that allows it to stand up to adding milk and sugar or honey. blackbird café also uses it in making their iced tea due to its deep, rich flavor.
A recent article I read about this tea questioned how it got its name, as the leaves for this tea generally come from China. One story cites that an innovative coffee roaster in England, Richard Davies, was the first to produce this blend in 1843. Over time, he was able to popularize this blend throughout England. Other roasters saw its popularity and began to copy the blend, eventually becoming the most common tea of England. Many have also written that this tea gained in popularity due to its ability to aid in digestion, a great assistance to those fatty English breakfasts of eggs and sausages, although it goes just as well with yogurt, cereals and fruits.
Want an alternative to a cup of coffee? Try a steaming cup of English Breakfast. Black teas steep best at higher temperatures, so use water that is approximately 200 degrees. Use a teaspoon of leaves per cup and allow it to steep for only 2 to 3 minutes. Steeping longer than this will cause the tea to become bitter. You should be able to get more than one cup of tea from this teaspoon of leaves – you may even notice that each steeping brings out different flavors. To keep the tea hot, fill your cup with hot water and allow it to sit for a few minutes prior to pouring the tea. If you are making a pot of tea, try this same trick.