English Breakfast isn’t technically the heartiest of all the teas (I reserve that title for single origin Assam teas) but it definitely has the most heart. It’s a truly comforting and warming tea blend. So, is Whittard English Breakfast tea as good as the best English Breakfast teas I have tried?
I am planning to find out.
In my full review below, I’ll take you through what this tea tastes like, how best to brew it, whether it can be consumed without milk, and a little extra info about the origins and brand behind it. Don’t forget that you can follow me on Instagram @izzysden for regular tea updates!
Whittard English Breakfast Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Black tea from West Java, Indonesia
- Flavour: Rich, thick and malty black tea with a subtle bitterness
I reviewed this tea with and without milk – it’s great either way. It has a smooth body and malty rich notes. There’s a little bitterness when drinking it black, but it’s still very pleasant.
Full Review – English Breakfast Tea by Whittard of Chelsea
- Type: Tagged paper filter teabag
- Tea: Black tea
- Origin: A variety of tea gardens in West Java, Indonesia
- Flavour Notes: Rich, thick, malty, satisfying, bitter
- Aroma: Malty, tannins, rich, bold
- Milk or Lemon: Milk and/or sugar
- Where to Buy: Amazon or Whittard Official Website
I’m reviewing the limited edition teabag version, in the Alice in Wonderland packaging. As far as I know, the loose leaf and standard teabag versions contain exactly the same tea. I always recommend and prefer loose leaf when I can, so you’ll find my affiliate links take you straight to the loose leaf caddy. Enjoy!
The aroma from the dried tea leaves is already malty and rich, with bold tannin notes that let you know how satisfying and refreshing the cuppa will be. It brews darkly and quickly, like many English Breakfast blends do. The final colour is dark but clear – a red-maroon-brown shade.
Once brewed fully, this tea is still drinkable without milk! I tasted it black first, noting rich malty notes and a subtle bitterness that isn’t at all overpowering. Adding milk really draws out the tannins and malt, while smothering that bitterness completely.
The mouthfeel is sleek and wet, slightly thick but not overly hydrating. It cleanses and dries your mouth – the perfect accompaniment to a substantial breakfast. I prefer toast in the mornings, as you can see in my photographs. Sourdough or tiger bread, all the way!
How to Brew English Breakfast Blends
English Breakfast tea is designed to be consumed with milk, so it will go very dark and rich, very quickly. Use 100°C water and brew your Whittard English Breakfast tea for 3-5 minutes. Stick with 3 minutes if you plan to drink it black but go up to 5 minutes if you like a generous splash of milk.
I used 1 teabag (2g) in 250ml of water. If your mug is a little larger, then adjust the brew time. If you’re using loose leaf, this is equivalent of 1 generous teaspoon per mug.
As for what to eat while you drink this tea, any breakfast food will suffice. Biscuits and cakes are also a good choice. This tea was made to wash down heavy carbs and sticky sweet foods.
Why Whittard of Chelsea?
Whittard are a very British brand, so in that sense, this is an authentic English Breakfast Tea. What’s unusual, however, is that this blend verges on being single origin. The mix of black tea leaves are from various tea gardens in West Java, a very specific region of Indonesia.
Usually, an English Breakfast tea is a blend from Kenya (or other strong African tea), with leaves from China, India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This creates a really rounded flavour that single origin teas can’t always compete with.
That’s why I’m impressed with Whittard English Breakfast tea. The carefully selected Indonesian tea leaves create a brilliant full flavour, even though the quality in the teabags isn’t great. This is another reason to select the loose leaf option – the quality is far greater.
How could I not recommend this tea to you? Whittard English Breakfast tea is a staple, so I recommend always having a box of teabags or caddy of loose leaf stashed away in your kitchen. When you’re hit with a craving for breakfast, whether it’s a full English or stack of pancakes, make sure you brew a pot of this tea to go along with it.
The affiliate button below will take you straight to this tea on Whittard’s official website. You can also find it on Amazon (for fairer international shipping costs) using the links above.
My recommendation this week is T2’s French Earl Grey. Unlike this Whittard blend, T2 have taken a classic and put their own spin on it. I am fussy with my Earl Greys, but I found this one to be truly marvellous. Check out the review!