Breaking Breakfast: Irish vs English Breakfast Tea

Breaking Breakfast: Irish vs English Breakfast Tea

English and Irish Breakfast teas have been staples in many a home’s tea cupboard for generations. Its strong shot of caffeine and bracing tannins are an excellent companion to a hearty morning meal. But what, exactly, constitutes a breakfast tea, anyway? And what’s the difference between the varieties? Here’s the lowdown on the Irish Breakfast Tea vs English Breakfast Tea showdown.

Breaking Down Breakfast Tea

Breakfast tea is really any blend of black teas from India, China, and Africa. All companies have their own blend, and there is no standard formula for either Irish or English Breakfast tea. Breakfast teas are often made with leaves processed in the CTC method which results in faster, stronger brewing. Tea made via CTC (which stands for cut, tear, curl) is different from fannings (particles of tea leaves, twigs, and dust leftover from the tea making process) in that they begin as whole leaves which are then cut down into a uniform size.

Despite the name, breakfast teas are not just for breakfast. They are, however, high in caffeine, which makes them ideal for your morning get-up-and-go.

What Is Irish Breakfast Tea?

Irish Breakfast tea is heavy toward Assam and may also include tea from Ceylon and/or Kenya. It is stronger and more robust than English Breakfast Tea, with a reddish hue and malty flavor. In Ireland, this tea is traditionally drunk strong with lots of milk. It pairs wonderfully well with Wheat and Honey Scones as well as Carrot Cake Scones.

What Is English Breakfast Tea?

English Breakfast tea was originally a blend of China black teas. Today, it is often heavy toward Ceylon but may also include tea from Assam and/or Kenya. It, too, is strong and robust, and lends itself well to traditional preparation with milk and sugar. The Plum Deluxe House Blend is a delightful version of English Breakfast tea with hints of creamy vanilla. It's brilliant with Apricot Chocolate Chip Scones or the always comforting combo of tea and toast.

Wait… What About Scottish Breakfast Tea?

Yes, there is a less-known Scottish Breakfast variation as well — and you can find it here at Plum Deluxe. Our Heritage Blend Scottish Breakfast tea is an invigorating combination of Assam, African, and Darjeeling teas, all of which have been processed with the CTC method for quick, uniform brewing. It has a lovely reddish hue similar to an Irish Breakfast, but with a hint of real maple syrup extract to balance the malty tannins. It’s perfect with Krista's Maple Pecan Buckwheat Tea Loaf and healthy Pumpkin Breakfast Muffins.

Ciaran Keast

Ciaran Keast loves art, semicolons, books, cats -- and all the tea, ever. When they're not posting tea photos on social media, you'll catch them at almost every Plum Deluxe event.
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