BLACK TEA BLENDS
After the manufacturing process teas are either packed and marketed as ‘specialty’ teas (also referred to as ‘single source’ or ‘garden’ teas) OR they are blended with teas from other gardens or other producing areas or countries. The reason for this is that teas from single estates can vary in flavour and quality from year to year – just like wine – due to differing weather conditions and sometimes production processes. Some tea connoisseurs prefer single source tea and enjoy the yearly variations however many others like to know that every time they buy a particular tea it will taste exactly the same. By blending different teas packaging teas and retail companies can guarentee the flavor and quality of that tea from year to year. Tea blending is a difficult process and tea tasters try hundreds of teas each day to find the right components for particular blends.
Our Black Tea Blends
Originally made up solely of black teas from northern China (particularly Keemuns). English Breakfast is now usually a Ceylon or Indian based blend though China teas are still used occasionally as well as Indonesian and Kenyan varieties. All the teas are black. Quality is sometimes well below that of first-rate Keemuns, but the very best English Breakfast blends still have what’s loosely called the “China character”; True to its name this blend is especially popular as a breakfast tea. It can be enjoyed with or without milk and is available both in specialty stores and supermarkets. Though the tea is blended and sold by British firms (Twinnings, Ridgeways, Tetley) the term “English Breakfast” was coined as an English blend for the North American market.