5 Best English Teas – Tradition In Your Cup

  • Last updatedLast updated: May 12, 2020
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Have you been searching high and low for the best English tea bags and leaves on the market? If so, you’re not alone. Being one of the world’s most popular tea types, English breakfast tea is in high demand and a lot of the time inferior brands try to meet this demand with inferior products. In a flooded market, how do you—sometimes literally—sniff out the good teas from the bad?

Lucky for you, that’s where we come in. We investigated a variety of brands and narrowed our search down to four different English tea brands. To cut right to the chase: based on its flavor profile, value for money and sustainable packaging, we’ve dubbed Davidson’s Tea Bulk as our Editor’s Choice for best English breakfast tea.

Top 5 English Teas Review 2020

To make this choice we’ve considered everything from its origin to its weight, the type of tea it is and the flavor profile it promises. We’ve also made note of the packaging, because being eco-conscious is cool and being wasteful is not. We’ve pitted the best English tea brands against one another in an attempt to find out which is the best English tea on the market. In the English breakfast tea review you’re about to read you’ll find a table, in-detail reviews of each individual product and a buying guide to help you make the right choice. Let’s bring you one article closer to sipping on a tasty cup of English breakfast tea, shall we?

Editor’s Choice

This is your robust, full-flavored cup of tea warranty, and with one package you can prepare 225 cups, not worrying about the tea losing its taste due to the zip-locked package

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9.9
CookScoreTM
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CookScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each experts independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Value

This tea is sourced from five different regions, which results in a striking copper-red color and a soft, smooth taste

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9.7
CookScoreTM
?
CookScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each experts independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Budget Pick

This tea originates from a single estate and will offer you full-bodied flavor of English tea, but with fruity and floral hints of flavor

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9.5
CookScoreTM
?
CookScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each experts independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best English Tea in Tea Bags

These tea bags are manufactured of Abaca Hemp fiber paper that is free from dye, bleach, adhesives, strings and staples, and the tea itself is medium-strong

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9.2
CookScoreTM
?
CookScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each experts independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best English Tea in Tea Pods

These tea pots are designed especially for Keuring machines and will offer you bright and heady floral note that can be both smelt and tasted

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9.0
CookScoreTM
?
CookScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each experts independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
1.

Davidson's Tea BulkEditor’s Choice

Features
  • Type: loose
  • Origin: India, China
  • Weight: 16 oz

More features: USDA Certified Organic, Packed in a paper/kraft stand up pouch (SUP) with aluminum foil lining

If you’re after a caffeine kick, you’ll find 42mgs of it in these tea leaves! Davidson’s English Breakfast Loose Tea Leaves are one of the company’s bestselling products. Originating from the Darjeeling and Assam regions of India, you’re guaranteed a robust, full-flavored cup of tea. The flavor of this English breakfast tea has been described as “malty and musky”—and in a good way! The brown paper bag packaging Davidson’s uses is foil-lined and has a resealable zip-lock system so you’re able to store your leaves in the very packaging it arrived it. You’ll need to steep this tea for 3 to 5 minutes and it’s recommended that you use a tea infuser for best results. For some reason the brewing process doesn’t elicit aroma, which some people dislike. The 16oz of pure English breakfast tea leaves that Davidson’s provides results in approximately 225 cups of tea. Other than delicious pots or cups of English breakfast tea, these tea leaves also make for great kombucha batches. Davidson’s tea leaves are partial leaves as opposed to full leaves, but their leaves are so strong that you’ll hardly find a trace of leaf dust or residue along the bottom of the bag.

Pros
  • 100% USDA certified organic
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Large quantity of tea produced
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not aromatic
  • Partial leaves
Features
  • Type: tea bags
  • Origin: Kenya, Indonesia, India, China
  • Weight: 1.41 oz/ package

More features: 6 pack, 20 tea bags/package, smooth, flavorful, robust tasting notes, 3 out of 4 tea strength, decaf

If you struggle with consuming caffeine, that doesn’t mean your tea-drinking days are over. Twinings is one of the best English tea brands and has been for quite some time now.

This decaffeinated English breakfast blend is sourced from five different regions. The usage of tea from Kenya and Malawi results in a striking copper-red color while the tea from China and Indonesia makes for a soft, smooth cup. Each tea bag is individually wrapped, which is effective for ensuring freshness but seems incredibly wasteful which we don’t like at all.

These tea bags only need to steep for four minutes, but the flavor is so delicate that you could leave it to steep for as long as 10 minutes and never worry about a bitter flavor developing.

Twinings decaffeinated English breakfast tea can be sipped on at any time be that lunch, dinner or, of course, breakfast! Plus, the fact that this tea is decaffeinated means you can even drink it right before bed if you’d like to, free from worries of spending the night tossing and turning.

Pros
  • Decaffeinated
  • Individual packaging keeps tea bags fresh
  • Unique red coloration
  • No artificial ingredients
Cons
  • Might be too weak for some people
  • Excessive use of packaging
3.

U.S. Wellness NaturalsBudget Pick

Features
  • Type: loose
  • Origin: Sri Lanka, packaged in USA
  • Weight: 8 oz

More features: crisp, rich, aromatic well-rounded flavor, single estate tea

Do you want to enjoy an English breakfast blend from a sole source? Then try the U.S. Wellness Naturals English Breakfast Tea Leaves. All the tea found in this blend comes from a single origin: the Harrington Estate. This estate is found in the Dimbula region of Sri Lanka and the teas are grown at different elevations within the same property to produce this blend.

This English breakfast tea blend possesses the typical full-bodied flavor of English tea, but with fruity and floral hints of flavor. Because of its strong floral and fruity taste, it doesn’t impart too much of the typical English breakfast tea flavor you may be expecting. If you’re craving a soft, gentle, mellow and subtle English breakfast tea flavor U.S. Wellness English breakfast tea is for you.

During its five-minute brewing time, it fills the air with a beautiful, hearty aroma that is much stronger than its actual taste. It’s also worth mentioning that the high level of customer support provided by the U.S. Wellness team is truly remarkable.

Pros
  • 100% USDA certified organic
  • Whole leaves
  • Aromatic
  • Unique Ceylon flavor profile
Cons
  • Need leaves if you want a strong flavor
  • More expensive
4.

FGO Organic English Breakfast Black Tea BagsBest English Tea in Tea Bags

Features
  • Type: tea bags
  • Origin: India, China, packaged in USA
  • Weight: 5.3 oz

More features: 100 tea bags, 100% organic, refund guarantee, certified USDA Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)

Are you all about living an eco-friendly life that is as green as can be? Extend that mentality to your tea-drinking habits too with FGO Organic English Breakfast Black Tea Bags. These are some of the best English breakfast tea bags available. Just pop an FGO English breakfast tea bag into an 8oz teacup and after 4 or 5 minutes of steeping your beautifully blended cup of English tea will be ready for you to enjoy.

Full-bodied, fragrant and thirst-quenching—this FGO Organic English tea blend can be enjoyed both hot and cold. It’s medium in strength, so if you like your tea very strong you might need to consider using two tea bags at a time. But this isn’t cost effective and could result in the consumption of too much caffeine.

This product is the definition of organic from its organically sourced tea blends to its Abaca Hemp fiber paper that is free from dye, bleach, adhesives, strings and staples. If the FGO English breakfast tea blend isn’t your cup of tea, reach out to their customer support team and they’ll issue a full refund—just like that.

Pros
  • 100% USDA certified organic
  • Abaca Hemp fiber paper
  • No strings, staples or extra waste
  • No questions asked refund policy
Cons
  • Too weak for some people
  • More expensive
Features
  • Type: tea pods
  • Origin: Kenya, Java
  • Weight: 2.6 oz/ package

More features: 96 K-Cups (24 pods/package); Keurig 2.0 compatible; full bodied flavor

If you have a Keurig Single-Serve coffee maker, you’re going to want to keep reading. These Celestial Seasonings English breakfast pods have been specifically designed to be used in Keurig machines—even the newer 2.0 model brewers.

This tea is sourced from Java and Kenya. A bright and heady floral note can be both smelt and tasted in this tea while that typical English breakfast flavor is evident in every sip. A sharp lemon-note can be easily detected, in both scent and flavor, making Celestial Seasonings English breakfast pods a great tea for hot drinks or a refreshing iced-tea for hot days.

This tea is often described as smooth and silky by its drinkers and can be enjoyed with milk or cream, a squeeze of lemon or on its own.

Just be very mindful of its concentrated strength, some people find it too strong for them and complain of a bitter aftertaste if it is let to sit for too long.

Pros
  • Strong, concentrated taste
  • Free from trans fats and gluten
Cons
  • Pods are an environmental burden
  • Too strong for some people
  • Lemon flavoring can be overpowering

Buying Guide

Need a little help picking the best English breakfast tea for your taste? We’re here to help. We’ve put together this buying guide that will provide answers to the questions you’re asking—and those you don’t even know to ask.

English Tea Benefits

One of the reasons why English breakfast tea is so popular is because of the benefits that come along with its unique taste. Its list of health benefits is a long one, so we’ve singled out the most impressive English breakfast tea benefits:

  • English breakfast tea is a great tool that aids in the promotion of healthy weight loss. When drank plain, English breakfast tea is a calorie-free thirst quencher that can suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism.
  • The tea leaves that make up English breakfast blends are natural sources of fluoride. This helps strengthen and harden teeth thus making them more resistant to sugars & acids.
  • English breakfast tea leaves are also full of antioxidants and are particularly loaded with the antioxidants the aflavins & the arubigins.
  • An abundance of the amino acid L-Theanine is present in English breakfast tea. This amino acid is known to improve memory, reaction time, focus and concentration.

Features to Consider While Choosing English Tea

Picking the perfect English breakfast tea blend is not as straightforward as you may think. There are actually many features and factors that need to be considered in order to select the right type of English breakfast tea for your needs. Let’s dive right in and find out what these features are.

Type

5 Best English Teas - Tradition In Your CupThe type of tea you select will largely determine the outcome of your tea. You have two types of English breakfast teas to pick from: tea bags or tea leaves.

If you’re after a strong, punchy cup of tea then opt for tea leaves, for example Davidson’s Tea Bulk. Bear in mind that the process of making tea with tea leaves is a little more time consuming and demands the usage of special equipment such as an infuser or strainer.

If your needs are simple and convenience is important to you then your best bet is to go with tea bags. The traditional English breakfast tea flavor is still there, it just won’t be as strong which some people actually prefer, but if you want a decaf option you should go with Twinings of London Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea.

And lately there is one more tea type – tea pods, they have been specifically designed to be used in Keurig machines, and the drink will be quite strong and the flavor really concentrated. So, if you want to try this type, we highly recommend Celestial Seasonings English Breakfast Tea Keurig Single-Serve K-Cup Pods.

Origin

The teas that make up English breakfast tea blends are grown all over the world. The bulk of black teas found in English breakfast blends originate from tea gardens in Sri Lanka, Kenya, China and India. These specific places are incredibly efficient at tea-growing because of the climates in the regions.

Flavor

In our best English breakfast tea review, you’ll have noticed that we put a great deal of emphasis on the flavor profiles as this is one of the most important factors to consider. Some blends are fruitier and taste more floral than others so if you don’t like an acidic taste to your tea, you’ll want to avoid those flavor profiles.

5 Best English Teas - Tradition In Your CupAll English breakfast teas are complimented by the addition of milk or cream as well as honey, sugar or sweetener. Another popular option is to add in a squeeze of lemon or an entire lemon wedge to bring out the flavors of the blend.

Weight

Always consider the weight of the product before deciding on which one to buy, especially when looking at tea leaves. The weight of a bag of tea leaves is an important factor because it directly correlates to how many cups of tea you’ll get out of the bag.

With English breakfast tea bags weight isn’t as much of a concern as you’ll know from the get-go if you purchase a pack of 20 tea bags, you’re guaranteed 20 cups of tea.

Price

Not all teas are created equal and oftentimes a tea’s price tag will highlight this fact. In saying that, your tea addiction shouldn’t bankrupt you. Naturally, you’ll pay more for organic English breakfast tea blends but it’s worth the extra cost in our opinion. It undoubtably works out cheaper to purchase English breakfast tea in bulk, so consider this if you’re restrained by your budget.

How to Make English Tea – Tips and Tricks

5 Best English Teas - Tradition In Your CupThe process of making English tea consists of the same steps involved in making regular tea. If you opt for FGO Organic English Breakfast Tea, Twinings Decaffeinated English Breakfast Tea or any other type of bagged tea, here’s the process:

  • Boil water in an electric kettle or on a saucepan on the stove.
  • Pour the boiled water into a teapot.
  • Allow the water to reach a temperature of 96°C (205°F) which is best for black tea brewing.
  • Place your tea bag into a teacup and fill it up with the hot water. If you’re in a rush, add tea bags directly into the teapot.
  • Check the packaging for steeping time, however most often you’ll need to allow four to five minutes for adequate steeping.
  • Remove the tea bag and, in FGO Organic’s case, add the bag to your compost heap.

If you’ve opted for Davidson’s English breakfast tea leaves or U.S. Wellness English breakfast tea leaves, the process you’ll have to follow will be a little different:

  • For every cup of tea that you wish to make, load the infuser up with 1 teaspoon of tea leaves.
  • Place the infuser into the tea pot, following the same temperature guidelines as listed in the process for making English breakfast tea with tea bags.
  • Remove the infuser once the steeping time is up and enjoy your cup of tea.

Here are a few important aspects to keep in mind when brewing English breakfast tea:

  • The longer the tea steeps, the stronger it will be. Keep this in mind if you like your tea on the weaker side.
  • Loose tea leaves result in a stronger, more enhanced tea flavor that allows every note of a tea’s flavor profile to sing.
  • It is quite common to find small twigs and sometimes even insects in loose tea leaves, so be on the lookout for them.
  • If you don’t own an infuser, you can add the loose tea directly into the teapot of hot water and allow it to steep. Use a strainer when decanting the tea into teacups.

FAQ

English tea is a term used to describe traditional blends of black tea such as Ceylon, Kenyan and Assam teas that are distinctly rich, robust & full-bodied in flavor. Its full-bodied flavor is likened to the fullness of an English breakfast and coincidentally this tea pairs exceptionally well with this dish. As the name suggests, this tea is the beverage of choice in Britain and Ireland, although it is enjoyed all over the world.

Because English tea contains caffeine, children can enjoy it in moderation, as is the case with all caffeinated beverages. Drinking English tea in moderation can actually promote the growth of healthy teeth, improve concentration levels and aid in social development. However, when too much is consumed, children can experience hyper-activity, stained teeth and decreased iron absorption. As they say, everything in moderation.

Our Verdict

And there you have it: the low-down on the best English breakfast tea brands available on the market. While all of these English teas are fantastic, we recommend trying Davidson’s Tea Bulk, Twinings of London Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea or U.S. Wellness Naturals. Davidson’s Tea Bulk is ideal for serious tea-drinkers who are after the most robust of cups, Twinings of London Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea is perfect for those dipping their toe in the world of English breakfast teas and U.S. Wellness Naturals English breakfast tea leaves if you want to taste something that breaks slightly away from the typical English breakfast tea mould. No matter which one of the best English tea options you pick, you’re taste buds are in for a treat.

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