A very unscientific taste test comparison
of the many “English Breakfast” teas available out there.
I love an afternoon cup of tea. English breakfast is my tea of choice, and I am forever on the hunt for the perfect, consistent cup of tea. English Breakfast seems to be a universal standard, with almost every brand having their own version. I somehow doubt they all are equally good though. For this test, I will use bagged teas.
I’ve been choosing more loose leaf teas nowadays, as I really don’t need to add to problem by requiring all the extra packaging that comes with a tea bag. Think about it… someone is printing the tags, making the string, making the bag itself, gluing the bag or stapling the bag together, enclosing it in a printed envelope, and shipping those supplies to the teamaker… a lot of unnecessary steps I could avoid by just scooping tea into a stainless steel steeping infuser. (I know…someone has to make that stainless steel infuser, but at least it is reusable!)
Sorry for the sidetrack there… but in my search for the perfect cup of English Breakfast, I have managed to find the following tea bags in my possession. I decided to do as scientific taste test as I can by brewing multiple cups all at once and comparing.
My method: Same size cups. Bring a full pot of water to boil using my electric tea kettle. Measure out 1 cup of hot water for each tea bag. Let steep for 2 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Taste. Make notes. Add one tablespoon whole milk. Stir and taste again. Make notes.
All colored nicely and held up to milk without looking watery.
Plain hot tea (no milk or sugar) winner: Bigelow, 2nd place Tazo, 3rd place Twinings
With milk: winner: Tazo, 2nd place Twinings, 3rd place, Bigelow
Tazo was good and and a more floral taste
Stash had an off-taste different from the others
Choice was milder and weaker
Bigelow was good, but lost a little in flavor when milk added
Twinings was good overall
PG Tips was o.k. and a bit weak when milk added.
My Notes: Surprising was that PG tips came in lower as that is the brand we buy large quantities of as it is my son’s favorite. I was disappointed in Stash Tea’s flavor as I generally like their teas, and they’re local. Choice tea is the type you may find at a hotel or in a doctor’s office, so I wasn’t surprised it was of lower quality.
My son’s notes: He found Stash tea bland, PG tips strong, Tazo good, Choice had a hint of cinnamon taste which may have come being stored near another bag as it is only wrapped in paper. He thought Bigelow and Twinings tasted the same.
Next time…. mint teas?