Breakfast Tea: English, Irish or Scottish?


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Breakfast Tea: English, Irish or Scottish?

Postby beforewisdom » Feb 11th, '12, 08:52

I recently bought two tiny bags of both English and Irish breakfast tea.

I liked them both. Usually when I am super tired and have to go to work I will get a tall diet soda to get a more significant stimulation than I do with tea. These teas seemed to be stronger ( is it because they are more finely ground? ) than the other teas I had. With a teaspoon full of sugar they tasted great with 2-3 teaspoons per cup, which gave me the same "emergency lift" as diet soda, but without the nasty frazzled thing later.

I was thinking of getting some breakfast tea to keep in my office for when I've had short nights.

I've read that the breakfast teas are mostly Assam tea. I've read that Scottish Breakfast is made for the "soft water" in Scotland.

I couldn't smell or taste any difference between the Irish and English breakfast teas. Is there a difference or is it the same tea adapted for regional waters.

If so, which tea would be better to keep in an office in the north east of the US, when a stronger pickme up is needed?

Thanks
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Re: Breakfast Tea: English, Irish or Scottish?

Postby nrstooge » Feb 11th, '12, 09:50

I love all 3 and they are my go to teas for taking to the office. Much better than a coffee or all those chemicals in the diet sodas. Please be aware, all English Breakfast blends are not alike. Some I prefer over others. Earl Grey is another where company and freshness of base tea matter. I find Scottish Breakfast tea much more malty than the others. Check out the samples on Adagio's site for English and Irish breakfast teas, and do make some without sugar or cream/milk. That is when the differences really come out IMO. Scottish Breakfast I get from either Uptons or Taylors of Harrogate (via Amazon). Both are good, but they are slightly different.

Either way you go, enjoy!
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Re: Breakfast Tea: English, Irish or Scottish?

Postby mbanu » Feb 22nd, '12, 00:23

Originally, English breakfast tea was a Chinese Keemun blend drunk without milk, which was supposed to help one digest their way through the heavy, fatty, meaty Full English Breakfast.

This sort of breakfast is not really popular anymore, as it is not especially healthy, and takes a very long time to prepare. So many English breakfast teas have modified their blends accordingly.

Blending tea specially for soft water seems unnecessary. Tea does best in soft water. My understanding has been that only in hard water must care be taken. Maybe this is the origin of Irish Breakfast tea? Many areas of Ireland have very hard water, so I would not be surprised if that was the case. However, you'd imagine that they'd specify like Yorkshire does with their Yorkshire for Hard Water tea...

Scottish breakfast tea might be a back-handed compliment. A tea heavy in Assam is perfect for making "Builder's tea", basically a strong black tea with milk and sugar that was popularized by the working poor, who did not have time for leisurely tea-times. (Of course, these days everyone lives a busy life, so this distinction is purely historical.)

New England has quite soft water, so no special tea should be necessary for it. As to which style to keep, it depends on your habits. Do you find yourself reaching for the tea after a heavy lunch? Then English Breakfast might be the best. Is it more for a quick cuppa during a 10 minute break? Scottish Breakfast with milk would probably be your friend here.
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Re: Breakfast Tea: English, Irish or Scottish?

Postby AlexZorach » Apr 9th, '12, 18:15

I find that most modern Irish Breakfast blends tend to be heavier on the Assam. English breakfast blends are similar, but tend to have an overall character more similar to a Ceylon, at least, to me.

The individual composition varies hugely though. I find the character of the tea is more consistent than the nature of it (ingredients in it). You can still get the traditional all-Keemun English Breakfast teas from some sources (I think Harney and Sons sells one).

I don't know as much about Scottish breakfast; some of them have a hint of smokiness (not all though). I also think they tend to be stronger than the modern English breakfast blends.
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