Tea has been an integral part of English culture for centuries, and the country has given birth to some of the most iconic and beloved tea blends in the world. From the elegant tradition of afternoon tea to the comforting ritual of a morning cuppa, classic English tea blends hold a special place in the hearts of tea enthusiasts worldwide. In this blog post, we'll explore the history, characteristics, and enduring charm of these timeless tea blends that continue to be cherished today.
1. English Breakfast Tea
Perhaps the most famous of all English tea blends, English Breakfast Tea is a robust, full-bodied black tea that's designed to kickstart your day. It's typically made from a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas, resulting in a strong, brisk flavour with a rich, malty undertone. Traditionally, it's enjoyed with a splash of milk and sometimes a touch of sugar, although some prefer it plain or with a slice of lemon.
2. Earl Grey Tea
Named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey and British Prime Minister in the 1830s, Earl Grey tea is a classic English blend distinguished by its distinctive bergamot flavour. Bergamot, a citrus fruit, lends a fragrant and slightly floral aroma to the black tea base. This blend has an elegant and refreshing quality that makes it perfect for afternoon tea. Many variations, such as Lady Grey and Cream Earl Grey, have emerged over time, offering subtle twists on the classic.
3. Darjeeling Tea
Darjeeling tea, often referred to as the "Champagne of Teas," is grown in the picturesque Darjeeling region of India. This tea is renowned for its delicate, floral notes and a muscatel grape-like flavour. While it might not be native to England, Darjeeling tea has become a staple in English tea culture, particularly during afternoon tea gatherings. It's best enjoyed without milk or sugar to fully appreciate its nuanced flavours.
4. Assam Tea
Hailing from the Assam region of India, Assam tea is known for its bold and malty character. It's a popular choice for English Breakfast Tea due to its strength and robustness. Assam tea is often enjoyed with milk and sugar, making it a comforting and hearty morning brew that pairs well with traditional English breakfast foods.
5. Afternoon Tea Blends
Afternoon tea is a cherished tradition in England, and the teas served during this elegant affair are typically lighter and more delicate than breakfast teas. Blends like Afternoon Tea and Darjeeling often take center stage, accompanied by a delectable array of sandwiches, scones, and pastries. These blends are meant to be enjoyed without milk and are known for their bright and refreshing profiles, perfect for complementing the variety of treats served during afternoon tea.
Classic English tea blends are a testament to the enduring charm of tea culture in the United Kingdom. Each blend carries a unique history and flavour profile, catering to a wide range of tastes and occasions. Whether you prefer the robustness of English Breakfast Tea, the fragrant notes of Earl Grey, the delicacy of Darjeeling, or the comforting warmth of Assam, there's an English tea blend for everyone. These timeless traditions continue to bring comfort and joy to tea lovers worldwide, proving that the love for tea is indeed a universal language.
Explore our wide range of tea gifts, which include English Breakfast, English Afternoon and Earl Grey blends, sourced ethically from some of the finest producers in the Assam region of India, and from Sri Lanka (Ceylon).