English Breakfast

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Keemun Black Tea
Hot hay, Malt, Tea, Wood, Chocolate, Honey, Sweet, 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 12 oz / 369 ml

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132 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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.” Read full tasting note

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.

132 Tasting Notes

425 tasting notes

I only have two posts logged for this, and yet I’m almost out. Whoops.

I wouldn’t mind more, though. This is rather nice in the morning. Keemun nutty. I will have to get more. Except that the Chapters that I got it from only sells the tins of the bagged stuff, and I’d really rather NOT start collecting Harney and Sons tins. If only they took paypal, god damnit.

I have also, since, finished off one or two teas… Downsizing my cupboard a bit.

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583 tasting notes

1 sachet for 300mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

I’ve ordered this tea loose from Harney and Sons but have yet to receive a shipping notice… been almost a week since I ordered … a bit concerned.

Meantime, I found it in sachet form at a big-box bookstore. A Canadian-law-mandated bilingual instruction label covered up the side if the tin that would tell me WHERE the tea is from … I was pleading with the rainy sky this would be the same Keemun blend as is sold online. Peel … peel … peeeeeel … got the label off. “Ingredients: China black tea.”


The leaves in the sachet are tiny and wiry, with maybe one gold tip in the whole bunch. That’s fine. I am desperate for some Keemun, for some toasty Keemun, and so far, everything’s looking good.

The dry sachets give off a faint grapenuts scent, and a classic China black tea scent.

FINALLY steeped.

It’s got Keemun. Toasty gorgeous Keemun!

And as I was typing this note, I got the shipping notification for my Harney and Sons order. UPS says I’ll have my order Nov 12th. Hmm. We’ll see.

I’ve read this is a 100% Keemun blend. It certainly seems to be. Toasty and woody notes, a tiny bit of smoke — like a charred casket, not like a roaring fire — plus bread and flower notes. Lovely. Very comforting.

Michelle Butler Hallett

A sweet finish, too.


I never received a shipping notice in my last two orders, both of which were recent, so hopefully your tea is on the way and will arrive soon.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I got the shipping notice last night, almost a week after I placed the order. Is that normal for Harney & Sons?

Michelle Butler Hallett

Sorry, ashmanra, I misread you.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I find this morning I wish the tea was heavier and stronger. I might try brewing two sachets at once. It does give a lift.

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251 tasting notes

I finally finished the 4oz tin I had of this today. I honestly won’t miss it much. Since I’ve tried more flavorful Keemun teas from other vendors (I really like Keemun from Teavivre in particular), I don’t feel the need to keep this around. This tastes kind of like toast on steroids, but isn’t particularly full-bodied or complex to my palette. It was a good and inexpensive starter breakfast tea, but I’d prefer Scottish Morn any day of the week.

Flavors: Toast

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I like Scottish Morn, too. It’s a nice breakfast tea.

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786 tasting notes

Almost forgot about this one. We went out for a nice brunch last Sunday at Lydia’s (really, really good Italian). I asked for hot tea, expecting Lipton, hoping for Twinings, and they brought a box of Harney & Sons! Bagged, sure, but at a restaurant that isn’t tea oriented, I’ll take it!

I actually don’t drink English Breakfast much at all. This was good. A nice well rounded black. Smooth and hearty. My palate is not so advanced as to be able to pick out Keemun vs Assam vs Ceylon so I can’t speak much to that. All I know is that it was a bagged tea at a restaurant that exceeded expectations.

If I could have kept the server from wanting to refill my cup with coffee it would have been a perfect brunch. :) She actually did it once. I thought maybe she was bringing more hot water so I didn’t stop her. She remembered about the time the coffee hit the cup that I had tea, even though it looked like their coffee! She almost did it once more, but caught herself in time. It was actually kind of funny.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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217 tasting notes

Aaaah. This is my kind of Monday! I’ve finally got a new tea to taste and review. I’ve been so busy getting married and keeping up with work tasks that I’ve had to push new teas down on my priority (and financial) list. It’s been a while since my last tasting note so my typing fingers and brain are a little rusty. But, here we go anyhow…

I’ve wanted to try Harney & Sons teas for quite some time. I’ve heard and read great things about their products. But, until this weekend, we didn’t have a local outlet from which to purchase them. I thought their on-line shipping charges were a little steep (no pun intended) so I didn’t buy any from their website either. Now, thanks to our local Fresh Market, we can purchase Harney & Sons English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas at discount prices.

When I opened the big black tin, the aroma that burst forth was like that of pipe tobacco in a tobacco shop. It was sweet and rich.

I steeped the short black leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees as recommended on the tin. I didn’t notice any particular smells wafting from the teapot during this process. The color of the liquor was a bright golden amber.

At first sip, the flavor was sweet and a tad earthy. The taste intensity was medium. The flavor remained mostly consistent after subsequent sips, but I did notice slight twinges of malt and the tell-tale woody and leathery flavors of keemun later on. There was no bitterness present in this brew.

Although this tea does not have bold flavors, it is, nevertheless, a smooth and pleasant beverage for those mornings when you don’t need something shouting at you to wake you up. There is still plenty of good flavor to get your morning off on the right foot.

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Congratulations on your recent nuptials! I wanted to drink this tea today, but my water is turned off while hubby moves our washing machine and that means no tea! Please look at my cupboard and see if there are any Harney teas you would like to try. It can be my wedding gift to you! I think I have forty or fifty on shelf right now,


Wow! Thanks, ashmanra! That is extremely kind of you! I will check out your cupboard! I hope you get your water and tea operation back up and running again soon!



Happy Wedding Stoo, I didn’t know that’s why you disappeared. I thought WE were going to elope…oh well. I’ll just have to keep looking!


Thanks, Bonnie! I guess I never got the memo about you and I eloping. :-) I hope you find a great one like I did!

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294 tasting notes

My new place of work has maybe 20 selections of Harney & Sons in bag form. I will take advantage of this. First up is their English Breakfast. I brewed this for just over 2 minutes. The result is a good strong eye-opener. It’s smooth with mellow cocoa notes. I really should steep it longer next time to fully extract the flavor and strength that a good breakfast tea should posess. I know I have written some bad words about their customer service and total lack of communication but they do have some very nice tea.


sounds like a nice benefit! :)


Yes they do, and agree on CS.

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110 tasting notes

I received a sample of this tea from a swap with an acquaintance on Ravelry.

My dogs often wake me way too early in the morning, and they are not patient about waiting when they want/need to go out. So, many, many mornings I stumble blindly out of bed, let the hounds loose, and grope my way blearily towards the tea kettle. When I am in that state, I want a good, stout breakfast tea that will stand up to a bit of sugar and milk. Something that will metaphorically kick my arse into motion, and not something that is necessarily refined or subtle.

This tea fulfills that requirement for basic stimulation, but adds to it a smoothness, and a sweet caramel smokiness that makes those 5:00 am wakeups into something almost pleasant.

Almost. I’d still rather sleep late, to, say, 5:45 am.

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Wow you must be a morning person. 5:45am is still pretty early for me. I only get up that early to catch the World Cup games.


I know exactly the feeling you mention. I call it “waking up frumpled.” This is a great tea for days like that, and if one day you wake up extra frumpled you might like to try Queen Catherine by H&S. It is just a tiny bit stronger and a tad smoky, though a real lapsang drinker would laugh that I called it smoky at all! It is great for kicking my arse into the day!

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259 tasting notes

A solid tea that brings to mind 400+ year old hard wood furniture and tapestries, an old stone home, a comforting fire in the fireplace. Aged? Classic? Vintage? Historic? Maybe all these things, maybe not. A tea that tastes from another time, and takes you there.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Yes, please :)

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44 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this tea almost every morning for a while now. I was really excited to try this tea when I first got it, for I was lacking a good Keemun for quite some time. Initially I thought it was very thin and light. Somehow, over time, I’ve grown to like it quite it a bit.

There isn’t a whole lot that stand out about it per se. It’s slightly sweet, peppery, and delicately smokey. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to analyze flavors (the dreadful morning hours)- I just want that reliable, familiar friend to wake me up.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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2978 tasting notes


205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Actually, I added a bit of RoT’s vanilla honey, and a splash of almond milk. Desperately need caffeine to make it through the first monday morning of DST!


The “spring forward” is BRUTAL on my system!!!!!! Everyone is happy to have more daylight, but I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus! I love “fall back” and gaining the extra hour :) :) :)


I’m a “fall back” girl too! :) I had to make an extra cup of mate this morning to kick start my system too.

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