Breakfast Tea

All Tea, No Shade: Creating the Best Breakfast Tea

Working late at night and having to wake up early the next morning has its challenges, and energy is one of them. Coffee and energy drinks are fast and intense boosts for energy, but there are so many negative effects that discount them as a healthy option. In my attempt to try and treat my body kindly, I have been searching for some alternative drinks I can have in the mornings. The best option I’ve found is tea, specifically breakfast tea. 


What are breakfast teas? 


They are usually a blend of different black teas, paired with milk, sweetener, and any other add-ins your heart desires. I would like to state that the modern “breakfast tea” originates from England, however, these resources were only available to the Europeans through imperialism and colonization. This issue is important to take into consideration when discussing the history of teas and the wonderful countries that continue to provide these drink experiences. 


The five most common black teas found in breakfast blends are Keemun from China, Darjeeling from India, Assam from India, Ceylon from Sri Lanka, and the earl grey blend (black tea and citrus) from England. 


So, why am I talking so much about these teas? 


It was my goal for this article to create my own perfect breakfast blend. The requirements I set for myself were all of the products used had to be $5 and under, no cane sugar would be used, and the tea had to be filling enough to get me through my mornings. 


How I created the perfect breakfast blend


I decided I would use Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Keemun as my black teas. I went to my local grocery store and picked up some Irish Breakfast (a pre-made blend of orange Ceylon, Darjeeling, lapsang souchong, and a few English blends) and PG Tips (Ceylon). The Keemun was a little harder to find, so I had to order a bag of loose-leaf from Amazon. For my add-ins, I bought oat milk and lactose-free milk, honey, and light agave nectar. 


As you would in a proper experiment, I did a control test of each tea where I brewed them and drank it black, following all of the suggested times for steeping. I found that the Irish Breakfast has an alarmingly orange color, but the taste is quite mellow with minimal tartness. The tea didn’t have a bad after-taste and I felt warm and cozy, which is always a good sign for a morning tea. The Ceylon was a pleasant golden honey color that had strong umami (buttery and smooth in the throat) similar to an oolong tea. The Keemun was most definitely the strongest out of the three, packing a punch of bitterness. The best way I can describe it is biting into a peach pit that wasn’t quite ripe yet. 


Now that I had my guidelines, supplies, and initial thoughts down, I could finally start mixing together the teas. This whole process was chaotic trial-and-error. I probably drank about four cups of tea every day, tweaking little things each time. I found that the agave nectar was extremely sweet so a little went a long way, and the honey was usually overpowered by the black tea taste. I stuck with the lactose-free milk rather than the oat milk as it had a better consistency for my tea and the oat milk’s flavor didn’t mix well with the other elements. 


After days of too much caffeine and so many tea leaves, I found the best ratios that perfectly fit my taste. I have three different versions for three different amounts of water:

  1. 8 ounces of hot water: 1 bag of PG Tips, ½ bag of Irish Breakfast, and about ¼ tablespoon of Keemun. 

  2. 10 ounces of hot water: 1 bag of PG Tips, ½ bag of Irish Breakfast, and ⅓ tablespoon of Keemun.

  3. 12 ounces of hot water: 1 bag of PG Tips, 1 bag of Irish Breakfast, and ⅓ tablespoon of Keemun.

The amount of milk and agave nectar was different each time I brewed the teas, following whatever my heart was telling me in the moment. 


I really enjoyed learning about the history of some of my favorite teas as well as getting to experiment with different blends. I prioritized listening to what my body was telling me it needed for the day, and getting to fulfill those needs made me feel even more energized and content. Taking just a few minutes out of your morning routine to focus on brewing the perfect tea for you is such an easy act of self-care that truly helps.