English Breakfast Tea is a distinctive and superior tea, with a bright, clear colour, medium strength and an invigorating flavour. It is a black tea described as full-bodied, robust, rich and blended to go well with milk and sugar in a style traditionally drunk with a cooked English breakfast in order to fortify and set one up for the day ahead!
Traditional London Blends have used differing teas originating from as far away as Assam in North India, Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and Kenya in Africa to create an historically associated blend which has been popular in British Tea Culture for more than 150 years.
The black teas included in these blends vary, with Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas predominating, and China Keemun occasionally included in the more expensive blends.
Accounts of Traditional London Blends origins vary considerably. Drinking a blend of black teas at differing times of the day is a longstanding British custom. The practice of referring to such a blends appears to have originated not in England though but in the USA around the 1840’s .
A New York English immigrant tea merchant called Richard Davies started to blend differing teas with a base of China Congue to which he added some Pekoe and Pouchong and sold it cheaply to increase his turnover. It worked and became popular which led to others following suit and many imitations appearing which started to popularise even further these blends, English Breakfast being one of the first and most popular of all.
There are other accounts of the origins of course, as one might expect, with Scottish origins being a popular one in which Queen Victoria is said to have liked these blends so much she popularised them on her extended stays in Scotland.
It doesn’t matter really where the origins lay, these Traditional London Blends have become a firm favourite over the decades, not just in Britain but all over the world.