How to Make English Breakfast Tea

Starting your morning with a refreshing cup of English breakfast tea is a tradition many cherish. This robust and flavorful beverage is an ideal companion for your breakfast, capable of uplifting your senses and kick-starting your day. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to make the perfect cup of English breakfast tea.

English breakfast tea

What Is English Breakfast Tea?

English breakfast tea, as the name suggests, originated in England and is a staple of traditional British breakfasts. This black tea blend usually consists of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenya teas. Its distinctive, full-bodied taste and dark color make it popular worldwide. Known for its strength, English breakfast tea is typically enjoyed with milk and sugar. However, it is versatile and can be customized to your taste preference.

How to Make English Breakfast Tea

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect cup of English breakfast tea:

  1. Boil water: Start by boiling fresh water. The ideal water temperature for English breakfast tea is 100°C or 212°F. Using an electric kettle with temperature control can be helpful. Avoid re-boiling water as it may affect the taste of the tea.
  2. Warm your teapot or cup: While waiting for the water to boil, warm your teapot or mug with a small amount of hot water. Swirl it around to warm the entire inside, then discard this water.
  3. Add tea: Use one teaspoon of loose-leaf English breakfast tea or one tea bag for each cup. Place the tea in your pot or cup.
  4. Pour hot water: Pour the freshly boiled water over the tea. This will allow the tea leaves to unfurl and release their flavor.
  5. Steep the tea: Let the tea steep for 3-5 minutes. The longer you steep, the stronger your tea will be. For a stronger, more robust flavor, go towards the upper end of this range. For a lighter taste, steep for less time.
  6. Strain or remove tea: Strain the tea into a cup or remove the tea bag. Your English breakfast tea is now ready to be enjoyed as is or with additives like milk, sugar, or lemon.

What to Put in English Breakfast Tea?

While English breakfast tea has a delightful flavor on its own, you can enhance it with various additions. Here are some popular options:


Milk is perhaps the most common addition to English breakfast tea. It can soften the robust flavor and add a creamy texture. Both dairy and non-dairy milk options work well.


For those who prefer a sweet touch, sugar is a great option. You can also use honey, which adds a unique flavor profile and sweetness.


Adding a slice of lemon to your English breakfast tea gives it a citrusy kick. This can be particularly refreshing, especially if you’re having your tea without milk.


A dash of cinnamon can spice up your cup of English breakfast tea. It’s a warming addition, perfect for a chilly morning.


Grated or sliced fresh ginger can add a bit of zing and depth to your tea. This is an excellent choice if you’re seeking potential health benefits, as ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

What Goes Well With English Breakfast Tea?

A cup of English breakfast tea is delightful on its own, but pairing it with the right foods can elevate your tea-drinking experience. Here are some options:


A classic pairing, the simplicity of toast complements the rich flavors of English breakfast tea. You can top it with butter, jam, or a spread of your choice.


From croissants to Danish pastries, these buttery delights are perfect with robust English breakfast tea.

Full English Breakfast

An obvious yet excellent pairing. The robustness of the tea cuts through the richness of a full English breakfast, which includes bacon, eggs, sausages, and baked beans.


In England, it’s common to dunk biscuits in tea. English breakfast tea goes well with various biscuits, from digestives to shortbread.


Traditionally served with clotted cream and jam, scones are another perfect accompaniment to English breakfast tea.

Best English Breakfast Teas for You to Try

We’ve sampled many English breakfast teas, from robust blends in convenient tea bags to premium loose-leaf varieties and even decaf versions. If you’re seeking some great options, these are the best English breakfast tea brands on the market.

Final Thoughts

Mastering the art of brewing English breakfast tea can enhance your tea experience. Don’t hesitate to experiment with steeping times, additives, and accompaniments to find your perfect brew.


Are You Supposed to Drink English Breakfast Tea With Milk?

Yes, it is traditional to drink English breakfast tea with milk. However, this is a matter of personal preference. You can enjoy your tea plain or add milk, sugar, lemon, or other flavorings to suit your taste.

Is English Breakfast Tea Healthier Than Coffee?

While both tea and coffee have health benefits and drawbacks, English breakfast tea typically has 40-70 milligrams of caffeine, which is less than coffee. It also contains antioxidants like flavonoids that can benefit heart health. However, individual health impacts can vary based on the amount consumed and individual health conditions. It’s best to enjoy either beverage in moderation.

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