6 Easy Steps to Make English Breakfast Tea Properly

Whether hot or iced, English breakfast tea is one of the most popular teas in the world. See how to make this tea properly.

English Breakfast Tea

Bold, full-bodied, and strong, English breakfast tea is a great choice in the morning to start your day. Ahem, it is called breakfast tea after all.

  • There’s caffeine in English breakfast tea.
  • It’s a black tea blend usually made up of 2-3 different black teas.
  • Made to be robust and strong so that it’s to be had with milk and sugar.
  • There is no ONE English breakfast tea blend that everyone uses. Tea companies make their own blend using any combination of Assam, Ceylon, Keemun, or Kenyan black tea.
  • English breakfast tea with Keemun is usually more expensive.

The origin story of English breakfast tea varies, but the most common story is that it was created by the Scottish tea merchant Robert Drysdale in the late 19th century in America. Robert wanted a more affordable tea option and created his own using a blend of inexpensive black teas.

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Brewing Guide

BREW IT HOT
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose English breakfast tea
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
208°F
STEEP TIME:
5 minutes

BREW IT COLD
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose English breakfast tea
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
12 hours

My English Breakfast Tea Pick:

Other Breakfast Teas

English breakfast isn’t the only Breakfast tea but it’s definitely the most popular.

English Breakfast Tea

Questions You May Have

What does English breakfast tea taste like?
English breakfast tea is full-bodied and robust with a slightly sweet note. It should be strong without tasting bitter and bold enough to retain its flavor even after adding milk and sugar.

Is there caffeine?
Yes, there is caffeine in English breakfast tea since all black teas have caffeine.

Are there any calories?
There are NO calories in the tea itself but there are calories once the milk and sugar is added to the tea. 

I don’t have loose tea, how many tea sachets or tea bags can I use instead?
Use 1 tea sachet (contains about 1.5 teaspoons of tea) or 1 tea bag (contains 1 teaspoon of tea).

What’s the difference between loose tea, tea sachets, and tea bags?
Loose tea is the highest quality of the three since they’re mostly whole tea leaves. Next in quality is English breakfast in tea sachets which are a mix of whole and broken tea leaves. Tea bags are the lowest in quality since the tea leaves are just tiny bits and tea dust.

Is English breakfast tea a real tea?
Yes, English breakfast tea is a real tea. For a tea to be a real or pure tea, it has to come from the camellia sinensis plant. Since English breakfast is a blend of black teas, it is a real tea.

English Breakfast Tea Tips

  • Use loose English breakfast tea instead of tea bags.
  • Since different English breakfast teas use slightly different blends, sample a few to find one you like best.
  • Always begin with fresh water in the kettle, since reboiling water changes the mineral composition of the water and affects the flavor of the tea.

RELATED: Peach Iced Tea with Earl Grey and English Breakfast


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English Breakfast Tea Ingredients

What You’ll Need

How to Make English Breakfast Tea Properly

How to Make It

STEP 1: Boil water.

To make the best tasting tea, start with filtered water instead of tap water. A strong, clear brew depends on using the proper water.

The most reliable way to boil water is using an electric kettle with a temperature setting. I set the water temperature to 208°F.

Boil a bit of extra water for warming up the teapot, which is the next step.

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6 Easy Steps to Making English Breakfast Tea

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.

Pour some of the hot water into a teapot and swirl the water around. Throw out the water.

Warming up the teapot is an important part of brewing tea properly. Doing so keeps the boiled water hot so that there isn’t a big temperature drop when brewing the tea.

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Easy English Breakfast Tea

STEP 3: Put English breakfast tea into teapot and add hot water.

The formula is 1.5 teaspoons of English breakfast loose tea for every cup of water.

English Breakfast Tea Made Easy

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.

For all black teas, I steep for 5 minutes. 

Be careful not to brew it for more than 5 minutes since overbrewing can make your tea bitter. 

Keep the teapot covered so the water stays hot while the tea brews.

English Breakfast Tea

STEP 5: Strain English breakfast leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

You’ve got yourself a hot cup of English breakfast tea! But we’re not done yet.

STEP 6: Add milk and sugar.

English Breakfast was blended to be had with milk and sugar, unlike most other teas.

RELATED: Decadent Milk Tea

Iced English Breakfast Tea

How to Make Iced English Breakfast Tea Properly

I’ve found that cold brewed tea makes for the best iced tea so I make all my iced teas this way — and you should too!

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

How to Make English Breakfast Tea

STEP 1: Put English breakfast tea and water in a pitcher or glass container.

Put cold or room temperature filtered water into a pitcher and stir in the English breakfast tea.

The formula is 1.5 teaspoons of English breakfast loose tea for every cup of water.

Use filtered water for the best tasting cold brewed tea.

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How to Make English Breakfast Tea Properly

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

You can leave it to steep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Cold brewing creates a much mellower, smoother cup than brewing it using any other method.

Making English Breakfast Tea Properly

STEP 3: Strain English breakfast tea leaves and pour tea into a cup.

The tea is already chilled so ice is optional.

STEP 4: Add milk and simple syrup.

Simple syrup (half water, half sugar) is the easiest way to sweeten iced tea. Make simple sugar at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

 
 
 
English Breakfast Tea

English Breakfast Tea

Yield: Makes 1 serving

How to make hot & iced English breakfast tea properly.

Instructions

  1. Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 208°F. Boil more water than needed for a serving so it can be used to warm up the teapot.
    (Filtered water is best.)
  2. Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit to warm it up. Discard the water.
  3. Put English breakfast tea into teapot and add hot water.
  4. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Strain English breakfast leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.
  6. Add milk and sugar.

Notes

To make cold brew iced English breakfast tea:

  1. Put English breakfast tea and cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container.
    (Filtered water is best.)
  2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  3. Strain English breakfast tea leaves and pour tea into a cup.
    Ice is optional since the tea is already cold.
  4. Add milk and simple syrup.


You can easily make simple sugar at home by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

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