English Breakfast

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Keemun Black Tea
Chocolate, Malt, Honey, Sweet, Wood, Toast
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet, Tea Bag
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Kelly
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 11 oz / 321 ml

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126 Tasting Notes View all

From Harney & Sons

Our English Breakfast has an ancient pedigree. Researchers have traced its heritage back to the black tea the English drank regularly in the 1800’s. 100% Keemun.


About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

126 Tasting Notes

2213 tasting notes

My tin is getting dangerously low, and I bought the one pound bag! It is almost gone…

It is finally a really cold morning here. I needed some warmth to look forward to after breakfast. Tea is almost always after, rather than with. This one is especially yummy today.

There is a taste and texture I get from some Keemuns and from Teavivre’s Fengqing Black Dragon Pearls. It is almost as if a dark cocoa powder is being dragged across your tongue, and that is a good thing! I guess it doesn’t sound that way, but it is, because it is a chocolate-y but dry but not an astringent feel that is going on. It catches your attention if you are distracted by other things and says, “Hey, appreciate me here!”

This is really hitting the spot this morning.


Do you think this one is similar to the HRP Royal English Breakfast, or is there another Harney which is most similar? Love the strength and flavor of the Royal, but would like loose :)


I feel that this one is smoother, Jacqueline. The Suoreme English Breakfast is more similar to the Royal Englsih Breakfast. This one is pure Keemun. I will get some on its way to you today! I am ordering another pound and a pound of vanilla black as well! Also, I want you to try Hugo Tea Organic Mornings Journey. I think it is right up your alley. Thomas would want you to have some.


Wow, I just looked back at this and saw all those typos. Where is autocorrect when you actually NEED it? LOL!


I will send you some Mountain Rose Herbals in exchange! xoxox


I need to find out if Hugo has a storefront, since they’re in my state. We don’t head that direction very often, but I’m sure I could find an excuse….


Check out their Facebook page! It says you can buy their tea at Mildred’s in the crossroads. Not sure if that helps, I am guessing it is in Kansas City.

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985 tasting notes

Second tea of the morning……

We will just call this “the parade of Keemuns”. I am trying to get an idea of which basic Keemun is the best flavor profile for me. I have three in a similar price range for around 4 ounces. One of them is organic. I might even add in my bargain basement Keemun from the Asian grocery if I am not floating away after the third cup. Unfortunately, I don’t have the one I liked the best on hand….I am out, and getting a refill was not in the cards for me, even though I tried.

This one is much lighter than the Keemun – Grade 2 from Teavivre. Ideally, I want something between the two. I am not adverse to mixing, but I would love to find an outright replacement for the one I really liked. This one just lacks complexity, even though it is a great basic Keemun. It is very smooth. No real notes of smoke (which I miss). No astringency (which I like that there is none!). Slight notes of chocolate, like is normal for this type of tea. Very mild.

Usual mug method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I was on a similar Keemun pursuit recently. Have you tried the Malachai McCormick blend by Harney? It’s a Keemun and Assam blend that is an absolutely perfect, well-balanced cup of tea, ideal for that morning cup.


I will have to get a sample of that sometime!


Jen, I think I have about a teaspoon of it left. I will check tomorrow, and if so, send it.


If not, I just got a tin this weekend, and I’d be happy to send some along!


ashmanra- Sounds good to me!
teaNsympathy- Will let you know! I so appreciate the offer!

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1183 tasting notes

Apparently I’m on a bit of a Harney & Sons sampling kick. I’d like to say I’m going to be methodical about it and stick mostly to these for a while but that would probably be misleading. I have just as much of an urge to go on an Earl Grey, Breakfast Blend, or oolong or pu erh or chai comparison kick, or to do a methodical French tea sampling. I can see myself doing a lot of H&S for a while, but I doubt we’ll be in an exclusive relationship. ;-)

100% Keemun. Hmm. Not sure I’ve had that before? In the sample packet the dry leaves have a dark and sultry smell. Not sweet, more earthy or planty, at least to me. There’s also an interesting sharp note that seems like …. vinegar and salt? Seriously I’m having a flash to potato chip seasoning. I’m getting that note in the steeped aroma as well. Pretty interesting and not something I’ve experienced before. I’m intrigued.

With that aroma I’d expected a sharpness to the taste, but that’s nowhere to be found. It’s incredibly smooth! There’s a sugary sweetness in the finish that follows a woody flavor. No salt or vinegar in the taste. There’s a fullness to the mouth feel, though I wouldn’t describe it as quite full-bodied. Closer to medium. There’s an interesting, almost smoky note in the aftertaste. The tea is a little drying, but I kind of like that so it doesn’t bother me.

Hmm. Not sure exactly how I feel about this. It’s good, but I think I need more Keemun experience before I pass judgment. I’m not sure I’d pick it over a richer, fuller breakfast blend. But you never know.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

So your last two tasting notes have pretty much guaranteed I’m going to have to place a H&S order soon!


I love your tea notes.
A great tea company which I love is David’s tea. Some really interesting great teas from there. I agree with Auggy, your tasting notes are really making me think I have to try myself some H&S !


Haha, well, I’m having fun trying them — I’ve had my order of samples since around the beginning of April and I’m just now getting to them. [sigh] Too much tea!


Too much tea? No such thing for me :P


Gotta agree with JonTea there – no such thing! Okay, so sometimes I tend to look at my pantry and have an OMG moment but I get over it. :)

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429 tasting notes

This is a nice Keemun with a peppery taste. This is a very smooth tea with a slight sweetness to it. It has a very slight smoky aftertaste. A nice cup of tea in the morning.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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292 tasting notes

Sweet and mild with some light malt and woodiness. No noted smokiness. An easy, tasty tea to drink by the potful.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

haha! I was finally able to post from my tablet, which has been impossible lately!

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140 tasting notes

This English Breakfast is really hitting the spot right now! I would have to say that for a Keemun there is not a noticeable amount of smokiness. I guess if tea were tobacco, then this would be a smokeless. :) Sorry, couldn’t resist.

The brew is semi-bold, more of a stronger medium fullness in the mouth. Very smooth, with very little bitterness. Has a lot of Ceylon qualities – taste more from a region in India than China. Still very satisfying!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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110 tasting notes

1 tsp for 6 oz

OK, now this is a pleasant tea! Been looking for something inexpensive that tastes decent for a daily morning tea, and this might be it!

It’s not as intense and smoky as the Hao Ya B. But, it does have some Keemun character in a lighter, smoother version. Brewed as I did, there is really not much astringency to speak of (just a little in the finish), but there is definitely flavor.

I think this Keemun is a great value. I’ll have to try a side by side comparison of all the ones I have soon.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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709 tasting notes

Wow, another I didn’t review. Whoops. SimplyJenW sent this my way probably a year and a half or two years ago. This is a prime example of why I almost never do swaps, I never seem to get around to drinking the things I get in return. I have had most of this one though, so I’m not sure how I managed to miss reviewing it.

I am not much of an English breakfast drinker as they tend to be bitter assams and other bold teas I don’t drink a lot of. They are nice for a treat though, and I will add a bit of sugar or honey if necessary. This one got the kid gloves treatment of a 3 minute steep so it should be good on it’s own. I get a lot of malt in the aroma, and it has a smell that frequently translates into bitterness. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s easy to recognize.

First sips are a bit lighter than I expected, and with a surprising level of sweetness. This tastes more like Chinese blacks than Indian. Wait a minute, I’ve finally read the description. This is a Keemun? Win! I get some sweetness that is almost lightly floral, not much of a smoke note like I sometimes get. This is a nice keemun and extremely affordable. I don’t see why they don’t just label it as a Kemmun, but whatever works. :)

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314 tasting notes

Unfortunately (and surprisingly), my sample tasted bitter, smoky, stale and very peaty.

It was smoky not in a good way. :(

Other than this, I love Keemun teas—my favorite so far was A&D’s Jackee Muntz!—and this did not compare. So, based on my sample, I have to give this a “meh” face. :/

It was drinkable with milk…maybe I should’ve added sugar too?

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

I never could see Keemun and milk as a good combination; in my mind, it’s a little too acidy to blend well.


I first drank this plain and didn’t like it—so I tried to doctor it up with milk which made it a little better (but still meh).


that’s awful. i expect more from H&S.

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1355 tasting notes

Thank you Sil for this sample.

Is there anyone better to sample an English breakfast tea than an English person? This would be my first cup of the day which starts my marathon off quite late today (it’s 10am). I do aim to post as many tea reviews as I can this weekend while dog/house sitting. May the 4th be with you all.

The pyramid bag is nice and see through so I can note the teas quality whilst raw. The Keemun looks to be of nice quality and consists of small, dark black leaves that have a few golden stem pieces amongst them. It has a malted fruit scent.

In true British style I have added milk and half a spoon of sugar to my tea. Once steeped this tea has a rich, dark malt aroma with a gentle floral tinge.

Sipping reveals a delicious dark Keemun with malt and floral tones and no bitterness. A little smoky but soothed by the milk and sugar which makes it easier to drink more quickly. The floral tones pick up further down the cup and it adds more depth and a slight dry perfume taste. That doesn’t really amount to much though, all in all I would say this is a nice ‘cuppa cha’.

When grading teas that claim to be British I always ask myself one thing… would my Grandad drink this? He is Welsh and in his 70’s, he does not drink anything other than traditional bagged black tea. If it would be good enough to serve to him then it must be a true British tea. And with that reasoning I have concluded that this is indeed a true British tea, not strong enough for me to be considered a breakfast tea but more of an all day, every day tea.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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