Tippy’s Tea Of The Month: English Breakfast

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Dearies, did you know that I just started a Tea Club? That’s right, I’ve recruited a few of my kitchen friends and we gather a few times a month to sit together and drink tea. Just like Kat and her friends do! Many of the appliances are unfamiliar with the various types of tea out there, so I decided that each month we are going to pick one type to focus on. We’ll taste different   varieties of the tea, and learn a little bit about it.

This month we are focusing on English Breakfast. This is a black tea blend, and the flavor differs based on what teas are included. Often you’ll see a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas. Sometimes Chinese Keemun or even Indian Darjeeling will be added. The blend is always made to be quite strong and robust in order to add milk and sugar (if you wish. Kat actually drinks hers straight up!).

The history of English Breakfast tea is a bit fuzzy. There are different accounts of how it came to be a popular breakfast staple. The name of ‘English’ breakfast may actually have originated in colonial America! I’ve also read that it could have originated in Scotland and became a popular morning ritual once Queen Victoria started drinking it.

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Whatever the origin, I just absolutely love a good cup of English Breakfast. It brings me back to my days with Kat’s Great Aunt Char. She used to start every morning with a good strong cup. She preferred a blend that had Ceylon, Assam, and Keemun. I can still remember the sweet aroma from the dry leaves as soon as she opened the canister.

 These days Kat has been drinking Newman’s Own English Breakfast to remind her of her Great Aunt. The dry leaves have a lovely raisin-like aroma with hints of malt and earth. Char used to say her day didn’t properly begin until she smelled her English Breakfast leaves! This tea brews up rich and bold and just like Char, Kat says her daily cup gave her a spring in her step. Kat shares my nostalgic love of English Breakfast as it reminds her of being in her Great Aunt’s kitchen, stealing sips of her tea.

Mixing Teas & Flowers

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Dearies, I know I’ve written quite a bit about spring time teas, but I’ve recently thought of one more way to get spring flowers in your cup. To actually put them in your cup! I know, it seems too easy to be true, right?

You’ll want to dry your flowers first, or you can purchase them already dried. The amount of flowers you use depends on how much tea you want to make. For a few servings I’ll blend one cup of tea and a tablespoon of flowers and adjust if necessary, but you’ll need to start experimenting and see what works best for you. You may also want to add a floral extract to your blend, to increase the flavor. But that’s entirely up to you!

To make a garden blend with just flowers, you can use equal parts of each flower. Kat likes to blend chamomile and lavender together for a soothing evening blend. She often likes to play around with the following flowers. You can find these already dried online for easy use: rose, jasmine, lavender, hibiscus, chamomile, and chrysanthemum.

Kat likes to create her own version of Rose Congou. This is a fragrant rose tea from China. She takes 1 cup of her favorite Chinese black tea, and 2 tablespoons of dried rose petals. Sometimes she’ll add in a couple drops of rose extract. Mix everything together and store in an airtight container for 1 week. Open the container and give it a sniff. If it smells like a rose garden, it’s ready!

Adding flowers to your tea blends is delicious and also visually appealing. Fill tea filters with your tea blend and share with friends and family. You could also put it in a pretty glass jar for gift-giving, although I wouldn’t recommend storing your tea in glass long-term unless you’re sure to keep it out of the light (see my previous post on properly storing teas!)

You can add your flowers to any of your favorite tea bases, or I also like to use rooibos as a caffeine-free base. You can also skip the tea base altogether and just blend the flowers together!

Now my lovelies, please note I’m not a master tea blender, I just know what Kat and I enjoy. These are just my recommendations to get your mind thinking about how to get creative with tea and flowers.

Fandom Teas

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A common sight in our house is Kat sitting on the couch with her laptop open, TV on, watching her favorite show. I sit at the little side table holding her favorite tea which she sips as she watches. She’ll often be chatting with friends around the country dissecting every little plot twist. Is there a particular movie, comic book, or TV show that is near and dear to your heart? One you’ll always clear your schedule to watch?

I’ve seen Kat grow up, and she’s always had a vivid imagination and a love of adventure and mystery. This has grown into a love for certain Sci-fi, mystery, and adventure shows. Dearies, you probably all know what a fandom is, but after I heard Kat refer to it a few times, I had to look it up. For anyone living under a saucer or old enough to remember life without smartphones, a fandom is a group of folks that share the same love of a particular thing, often something related to a TV, book, novel, comic, etc. You can usually find online discussion groups, social media groups, and people that even write their own fan-fiction based on their favorite characters. Wikipedia gives a detailed description if you’d like to learn even more about it.

Did you know you can bring the personality of your favorite fandom characters to life in a tea blend? Yes, you can combine your passion for tea with your dedication to your fandom! So instead of just drinking from your favorite Dr. Who mug, the tea inside can be a blend celebrating your Doctor of choice. If you think you know all there is to know about your favorite high-functioning sociopath, you can create a special Sherlock Holmes blend all for yourself.

Fandom blends can be found on Adagio Tea’s website. You can browse dozens of user-created fandom blends or create your own. You can even use your own artwork for the tea container. Some of our favorite of these tea blends are created by Cara McGee. Kat thinks her blends perfectly capture her favorite characters, and Cara’s artwork is fun to look at.This is such a unique way to show your creativity! Creating a tea blend for your favorite characters is a bit like writing fan-fiction in tea form.

Interested in trying your hand at a blend? It’s as easy as picking a fandom, a specific character, and imagining what flavors represent their personality. Of course, you need to make sure those flavors all work well together (or perhaps clash a little bit, if you are blending for a villain!).

I do love that you can try fandom blends created by people that are just as excited by the characters as you are. What do you think? Have you created a fandom blend? Would you try some of these?