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 / 340 ml

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127 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.

127 Tasting Notes

871 tasting notes

This was a free sample from Harney and Sons.

It was a bagged tea.

I am not a big fan of breakfast teas, but I found Harneys version to be quite pleasant. I find a lot of breakfast teas can be very strong and quite bitter. I brewed this tea for a shorter period of time, just because I was scared it could get bitter. I prefer not to add any milk or sweetener to my black teas. Harney’s version of English Breakfast is a smooth tea, no bitterness noted. It is creamy with a very slight sweetness to it. I love that it is 100% keemun and not a blend. There is a very slight, kind of sweet aftertaste.
I would most likely not purchase this tea for drinking, but I am happy I had the chance to try it.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Rachel J

I drank my free sample of this at breakfast this morning too! I agree with what you said. I steeped it in 190 degree water for 3 min.

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596 tasting notes

Not a bad tea, but rather too mild for my tastes.

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123 tasting notes

I don’t know what I was thinking this morning. Apparently I thought this was going to be a light, gentle, quiet tea, so I used TWO tea bags in my first cup. With 2% milk.

And I’m OK. My hands are not shaking. In fact, 4 hours later, I am about to have another cup, this time brewed with 1 silken bag for about 5 minutes. No milk, sugar, half-and-half, or lemon.

[Pause] [Sniff] [Pause] [Slurp] […Pause…]

When I sniff I can catch that sharp, almost vinegary smell someone else mentioned. It’s rather nice, like malt vinegar or even balsamic.

First unadorned sip is strong, definitely “fills the mouth” (if I’m beginning to understand that term) with the flavor of tea, and then retreats with almost no aftertaste. I could get used to drinking this black. Must try this experiment with my Assams later.

Now it’s cooled down a little and I can take bigger sips. It’s a bit puckery but pleasant. That’s “briskness,” right? H&S doesn’t seem to think it’s very brisk, as they only give it a 1 on their scale of 1-5. Maybe I am a wuss, after all.

This is my first China tea of this new exploration, and I believe it is the first Keemun I have ever tasted. The knowledgeable tea buyer at my local British import shop guided me to it when I asked whether they carried a pure Keemun. It’s not clearly identified as such on the bagged tin, although if you read the back it says “Produced in late spring in Annui Province, China handplucked, fully oxidized.” I believe on the loose-tea tin it does say “Keemun” in fine print.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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47 tasting notes

Courtesy of Janefan! I love sachet tea bags- they’re convenient while retaining all the goodness of loose leaf tea. I had this for my morning tea, and it was a very smooth Keemun with a pleasant sweet aftertaste. Not a sugary flavor, but just natural slight sweetness of tea. It would be also good other times of the day as it is not very strong.

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1015 tasting notes

I had a sample of this and was pleasantly surprised. Most of the breakfast teas I have been drinking need milk or sugar because they are not that smooth plain. This tea, however, was great plain. I think this will be going on my shopping list.

3 min, 0 sec

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24 tasting notes

I have a disease of acquisitiveness. I lusted after having some of Harney & Son’s pretty tins in my collection. Now, I am also an anglophile, and I wanted the English Breakfast tea H&S makes that is “the original tea the English drank”, so that meant it was the 100% Keemun. So, I get to my local grocery today and they have both the pretty tin (20 sachets, 1.4 oz) for $7.49, and the plain black tin (Loose, 4 oz) for $7.19. Well…I don’t like the polyester sachets, right? Non-biodegradable and all that. And I was faced with a choice: a pretty tin and less tea for more money, or more tea at a better value?

Sigh. I’m growing up. I bought the loose tea. Because in the end, it’s all about the tea.

I’ve had Keemuns before, some of them decent, some sour and undrinkable. This one is pretty good. It has a smell and character that puts me in mind of Chinese grocery stores. There is a bit of a tang to it, something sort of vinegar-y. I will play with this one a bit and see what I uncover.

Boiling 5 min, 45 sec

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54 tasting notes

Not as good as Irish Breakfast, but we still buy this in bulk and go through it pretty quick.

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19 tasting notes
Complex and earthy flavor is well rounded with a satisfying finish. Light to medium bodied.
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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13 tasting notes

Wonderful with a splash of cream and 2 tsp of sugar.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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3247 tasting notes

Sipdown (146)

This is today’s tea of the day mostly because I just had the one teabag so I figured I’d capture it before I had my sipdown. Tbh I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it because I’m usually hesitant of English Breakfast teas as I have had a couple that were just very brisk. This surprised me as it’s incredibly mellow and smooth. It paired perfectly with my waffles as it had bready notes that tied in while also having a nice dose of malt and a smidgen of stone fruit flavor. It’s quite lovely and making for a great “morning” tea at 1:00pm.

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