Happy Independence Day for all my American readers! Stromboli might seem like an odd breakfast choice for the 4th of July, but if I’m already reviewing an English Breakfast tea, then why not throw in a little Italian too?
Today I am sipping Twinings Strong English Breakfast, which is the stronger version of their very popular English Breakfast blend (both feature on my Best English Breakfast list). Like always, I’ll be taste testing the tea and explaining the quality of the leaves and more.
I am reviewing the individually wrapped teabag version, but you can find larger boxes of this tea at Twinings (links below).
Twinings English Breakfast Tea (Strong Blend) at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea from Assam India, Sri Lanka, and East of the Great Rift Valley in Africa
- Flavour: A solid, bold English Breakfast tea with a silky-smooth texture and drying tannins
This English Breakfast tea is strong, but no stronger than any other tea that’s been brewed long and hot! Nonetheless, it’s a very good tea with a very satisfying flavour, texture, and overall sensation.
Full Review – Strong English Breakfast Teabags
- Type: Tagged paper filter teabag
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: Assam (India), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and Africa
- Flavour Notes: Solid, malty, sweet, tannins, drying
- Aroma: Rich, dark, tannins, malt, cream
- Milk or Lemon: Plenty of milk
- Where to Buy: Twinings or Amazon
I don’t usually like to start a tea review with an expectation in mind, but Twinings literally label this tea as “strong” so that’s what I was expecting. The initial aroma doesn’t give much away, however. It’s rich, dark with tannins, and has a good malty note – all the usual hallmarks of an English Breakfast tea. The aroma isn’t overly strong, but that doesn’t mean the flavour won’t be.
Once brewed and a generous splash of milk is added (this is the best way to drink this tea), it turns into this gorgeous terracotta tea colour that’s quite unusual. This is far brighter and more vivid than other Twinings black teas I’ve tried!
The flavour is… great, actually.
It’s a solid tea, with a little malt, a little sweetness, and just enough tannin flavour to create a drying aftertaste. The milk softens it a little, but it’s still bold. I found it to be harder on my stomach than on my tastebuds, strangely.
That’s my biggest criticism of this tea.
Yes, it is strong… but no stronger than an ordinary English Breakfast tea. I’ve had similar experiences with other English Breakfast blends from other brands. I’ll explain my theory about this further on in the review.
Overall, Twinings Strong English Breakfast tea is delicious and bold, but perhaps not as strong as you’d be expecting. Let me put it another way: it will hit the spot, but it won’t blow your socks off.
How to Brew Strong English Breakfast Tea
Twinings instructions for this tea are to brew for 2-3 minutes in 200ml of boiling water, then add milk to taste. This is a faster brew than average, which is usually 3-5 minutes for an English Breakfast blend.
Now, my theory is that most people don’t time their brewing like I do. It’s a tea-geek kind of thing to do. So, I would assume that most people only brew their standard English Breakfast tea for a couple of minutes. If you compare Strong English Breakfast Tea with standard English Breakfast Tea that’s been under-brewed, the strong version will certainly taste strong in comparison.
However, if you brew your standard English Breakfast tea for 5 minutes, you’ll find it’s just as strong as this blend. Perhaps this is why I am left dissatisfied.
For the average tea-brewer, this tea provides a strong cuppa in a shorter timeframe. If you’re passionate about tea, then you might be left wondering what the point in this tea was when you can just brew your standard version for a few minutes extra for the same results!
Why Twinings Tea London?
Twinings are a well-known tea brand that’s popular in the UK and numerous countries around the world. They’re associated with an “upper class” vibe, but I’ve ranted about the issues with that before (check my Earl Grey review) so I won’t repeat those here.
Instead, I want to talk about the origins of this tea. Twinings use a traditional blend from Sri Lanka, India and Africa – this is what has been used to make English Breakfast tea for over a century. The Indian tea is from Assam, which contributes that malty note. I’d hazard a guess that the Ceylon/Sri Lankan tea adds much of the tannin flavour too.
The African tea used in this blend is sourced from “East of the Great Rift Valley” which a quick Google search tells me runs from Lebanon to Mozambique. Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia are all bordering this geographical feature, so Twinings are hardly narrowing down their origins.
I do take issue with this. I really like when tea brands share the origins of their teas with me, and this is not the first time that Twinings have been a little too vague. Transparency would be appreciated.
Nevertheless, once the tea leaves are harvested, they are blended and packed in Hampshire. The quality is subpar but brews reliably – exactly what you’d expect from a teabag brand.
Twinings Strong English Breakfast tea, which is sometimes marketed as the 1706 tea, is a bold and utterly delicious tea blend. It’s got a good flavour and can be strong when brewed correctly. Despite the minor flaws that I’ve pointed out throughout this review, I would absolutely recommend you try it.
It may not be as strong as I was expecting, but it certainly was as satisfying as a good cup of English Breakfast tea should be. You can find it on Twinings or Amazon (link above).
The best way to drink Twinings Strong English Breakfast tea is with your favourite breakfast foods. To make it extra special, make it breakfast in bed! I recently sourced some beautiful mosaic-decorated wooden trays that are perfect for a bacon sandwich or stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning.