The Good: Tastes good, Nothing detrimental in the nutrition department, Caffeinated
The Bad: Nothing at all distinctive from the flavor.
The Basics: Twinings English Breakfast is a flavorful basic tea . . . if flavorful is all about tasting like tea and nothing else.
There are some teas that I am surprised that I have not yet reviewed. A few weeks ago, I was at the discount store and I was absolutely thrilled to see that they had a giant tin of Twinings English Breakfast Tea for only $1.99! Given that these tins are regularly $7.99 and started at the discount store for $4.99, the huge discount on the tin made it an irresistible buy for me.
English Breakfast is a good tea for anyone who has to define what tea tastes like. I found mine as a loose-leaf tea, though it comes in tea bags as well.
English Breakfast Tea is a black tea from Twinings of London. Black tea is made from mature tea leaves that are dried on the tea plant. Twinings has its English Breakfast tea available year round and it is one of the brand's staple teas. English Breakfast is what I call an adjective tea; the flavor is its own, the name does not hold it to any standard other than to represent what is generally accepted as that flavor. Twinings has been making this tea since the early 1700s.
English Breakfast comes in a 7.05 oz. tin that holds something like fifty or more pots worth of tea.
Ease Of Preparation
As a black tea, English Breakfast is ridiculously easy to prepare. A single tablespoon of the loose leaf tea will make a full 32 oz. teapot full of tea. I have found that I can use the same tea leaves three times with no loss of flavor as long as I don’t let the tea brew for more than three minutes the first time. Indeed, this is one of the best teas for those who like to reuse tea. The second cup often comes out about at least as strong as the first (3/4 - 7/8 as strong), provided the first steeping was not over the recommended time. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot and that works well, though in this method, the second brewing is - at worst - about 3/4 strength and a third brewing may be done as long as one leaves the tea leaves steeping for over five minutes.
To prepare English Breakfast tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea leaves (once they are in the steeping chamber. For English Breakfast, roaring boil is just fine! This tea takes only three to five minutes to steep according to the directions. In my experience, it gets no stronger after five minutes and as a rather strong tea, it does not truly need to be stronger than it naturally is.
English Breakfast tea has a strong black tea aroma to it. This tea smells very much like the tea I’ve had at virtually every Chinese restaurant ever. The scent of the tea is tea, without any embellishments or surprising flavor insinuations in the steam.
On the tongue, the English Breakfast tea tastes just like it smells. This is a tea-flavored tea. That means, it tastes like earthy water, bitter and strong. This is a tea that is not at all watery or overbeating in the flavor. Unfortunately, because this is a tea flavored tea, it is hard to describe in particularly graphic or interesting terms.
English Breakfast has no aftertaste, at least not the Twinings brand of it.
With a teaspoon of sugar, English Breakfast loses the bitterness one expects from a strong, black tea. The tea continues to have no aftertaste, but the primary taste does not get diminished by sugar. Milk overwhelms this tea’s flavor.
The ingredient to this tea is quite simple: Black Tea. There are no other ingredients or flavors, nothing that cannot be pronounced.
In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar, which I recommend), no fat, sodium, or protein. There is caffeine, but how it relates to other beverages remains a mystery; Twinings does not put a scale on their boxes of tea. This tea is rather caffeinated, though and it will wake the drinker up.
English Breakfast tea is very easy to clean up after, provided one does not get it on fabric. The tea may be disposed of in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. The tea itself will stain a mug a faint brown if it is left there for days on end, but otherwise may be cleaned up easily by rinsing out the vessel.
English Breakfast is a rather dark tea and as a result, it will stain any light fabrics it comes in contact with. As a result, it is highly recommended that one not let it linger on anything they wish to protect and not have stained. It may be cleaned off if the spill is caught quickly, but if it lingers, it is not at all easy to wash out of clothes, linens or other fabrics.
Twinings English Breakfast is a very good, very basic black tea that might not be exciting, but is a baseline for what tea should be.
For other Twinings tea reviews, please check out:
Spiced Apple Chai
Herbal Revive Lemon & Ginger
For other tea reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Index Page for a complete list!
© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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