Everyone set for New Year’s Eve? I started our with a strong cup of Scottish Breakfast Tea from Taylor’s of Harrogate, who are one of my favorite Tea Sellers!
A visitor to my tea room asked me Exactly what is the difference between English, Irish, and Scottish Breakfast Teas? Aren’t they all the same? Well, let’s find out.
First, what is a breakfast tea? Breakfast Teas are black tea blends intended to accompany a hearty, rich morning meal, or as the English say a fry-up. Because they are so strong and robust they do well with milk. Also a higher caffeine level.
English Breakfast Tea would originally have been a China black tea. Jump ahead to the end of the 19th century and tea was beginning to be produced in Sri Lanka. You started to have a stronger Ceylon component in English breakfast tea.
Irish Breakfast Tea has a strong Assam component which gives it a more robust, malty flavor and reddish color. There is a theory that the use of tea was growing in popularity in Ireland at the same time that the British East India Company was producing tea in Assam.
Scottish Breakfast Tea tends to be the heartiest of the bunch, possibly due to Scotland’s soft water. Back in the day teas were blended specifically for the water conditions in the areas in which they were marketed and consumed.
Important to note that at no time has there been a standard formula for any of these blends. One’s English breakfast could be another companies Irish breakfast. So it really is a matter of personal taste and preference.
Personally I like the Irish and Scottish blends in the winter and the English blends in the spring and summer. I don’t know why. But with a glug of Almond Milk they are all warming and comforting in the cold.
Happy New Year y’all! Grab the Prosecco and let’s go!