English Breakfast

Tea type
Black Tea
Chinese Keemun Black Tea
Chocolate, Floral, Smoke, Spices, Wood, Cardboard, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Malt
Sold in
Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Michael
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 3 g 13 oz / 370 ml

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70 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Wow – it’s my 2000th tasting note on Steepster?! crazy! I had a really rough evening last night, did not sleep well at all. It’s difficult to find a sleeping position that doesn’t hurt my broken...” Read full tasting note
  • “And so the journey begins… I just finished my first cup of loose leaf tea, and what a tactile experience it is! I brewed this up in my brand-new IngenuiTEA, using a teaspoon of Adagio’s blend, and...” Read full tasting note
  • “Working late and I’m fading fast. There’s some crappy Bigelow bagged teas in the staff lounge, but nothing else. As the boy said, luckily past Beth plans better than future Beth, because I found a...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sipdown! … Is there any feeling more liberating than the feeling of being at the start of vacation? Waking up in bed going, “Hey, I don’t have to hate this Monday – because I don’t have to go to...” Read full tasting note

From Adagio Teas

English Breakfast is a full-bodied black tea blend that goes well with a traditional English breakfast. The original cup was made with black Keemun tea from Anhui province in China. Across many generations, plenty of different interpretations of this famous blend have been made. Our English Breakfast stays close to the classic. Made from top quality black Keemun tea, prized for its rich, slightly smoky flavor and perfectly ‘on point’ astringency. Balanced, very honeyed aroma. May be enjoyed plain or with a drop of milk. This fine example of English Breakfast remains one of Adagio’s most popular varieties.

This tea contains a high level of caffeine | Steep at 212° for 3-5 minutes.

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at www.adagio.com and in many gourmet and health food stores.

70 Tasting Notes

2816 tasting notes

Wow – it’s my 2000th tasting note on Steepster?! crazy!

I had a really rough evening last night, did not sleep well at all. It’s difficult to find a sleeping position that doesn’t hurt my broken arm but I also ate dark chocolate before bed, which was not a good idea in hindsight.

This is really hitting the spot today, the soymilk I added is bringing forth some gentle cocoa notes but there is also a lot of malt, yummy goodness!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Awesome! Grats on 2k!


Wow is right! Yay for 2000 notes!!


Wow! That is an amazing number of notes. Congrats!


Holy cow! Congrats!


Woohoo 2000! :) That’s a lot of tea drinking. :)


he hee, thanks everyone!

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187 tasting notes

And so the journey begins…

I just finished my first cup of loose leaf tea, and what a tactile experience it is! I brewed this up in my brand-new IngenuiTEA, using a teaspoon of Adagio’s blend, and steeping it for the recommended five minutes. I couldn’t help but sniff the little tin over and over again as I waited impatiently for the cup to finish brewing.

The tea steeped to a much more amber color than I was expecting, but I’ve read in several places that this is typical of Adagio’s blend. But the smell! It was so tea-like, so indescribable in a tea way, that my nose is too newb-ish to make out everything. It’s so awesome to watch those leaves unfurl and grow. It looks like an actual plant, and not dust from the factory floor!

The taste is amazing. Beyond the taste of the English Breakfast blend, and this tea in particular, I’m going to talk about the taste of the loose leaf itself. It tastes clean, and pure. It’s not bitter at all (the five minute steep time sort of freaked me out, because if you steep most bagged teas for that long, you have a fairly foul brew). It’s rich and smooth and nuanced. It’s almost like seeing in 3D for the first time. There’s no flatness of taste, or stale flavor. It’s just pure, unadulterated joy.

To talk about this English Breakfast – it’s a bit lighter than I think of when I think of English Breakfast, but it has a lot of the smokey elements that I can sometimes detect. It has an almost buttery quality underneath the main tea taste, with a pretty sweet aftertaste. It isn’t astringent at all, and rolls on my tongue in pure delicious awesomeness.

I am definitely craving another cup. How yummy! It’s like I wasn’t wearing glasses anymore, and now I can see! The only complaints I have right now is that I probably want this one a little stronger. I probably have to add a teeny bit more tea to my teaspoon.

Here comes a ridiculous question, regarding the teaspoon. How does everyone put their tea on the teaspoon? I tried digging my measuring spoon into the tin, but then freaked when I realized that I was probably breaking my precious leaves! So I washed my hands and dried them a million times before carefully picking up the leaves and placing them on the teaspoon. I wasn’t sure how to really “make” the teaspoon, though. The leaves are fairly wiry and long. It didn’t seem like a full “teaspoon,” even though the leaves were peeking out beyond the level point of the spoon.

I know I’m getting all technical. Perhaps I just have to add more tea to the teaspoon, or buy one of those teaspoons made especially for measuring out tea.

Either way, this was an awesome, awesome experience. I can’t wait to continue my journey with loose leaf! YAY!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I’m SO glad you enjoyed your 1st loose experience. Reading about it even made ME giddy!:) That is the very reason I weigh my leaves by the gram. Especially w/ a voluminous white tea, it never works… and think of how much empty space is left in the teaspoon!:( I’m anxious to see what you think of resteeped leaves.


YAY! I agree with Cofftea, it makes me giddy too. Now I want to hug you. hug :D

It’s because they stuff so much tea into those little tins, but it’s only really a problem the first couple of times taking something from the tin. I have a narrow wooden tea scoop that I just gently sort of twist into the tin. It works for me. Sometimes I spill a little but it’s minimal. I don’t have the patience to weigh the leaves, and my kitchen scales only have one decimal so it’s nowhere near accurate enough for it anyway.


@Angrboda. I bought a pretty cheap ($15 including shipping) scale that measures to .01g. I LOVE IT! It’s small enough to take on vacation w/ me. But put it in your carry on and put it a bin before going thru security if you fly. It can easily get smashed and I’m not sure the metal detector wouldn’t screw it up. It beats getting aggrivated trying to measure the leaf. That only works well for small leaf herbals like mints, small rolled teas like gunpowder, and finely chopped teas (and who wants those?).


Eh, I don’t care that much about accurracy with my tea. I know how much to put in my different pots, and if it’s a larger leaf tea, I can guesstimate at the adjustment closely enough that I get consistent brews. It comes with practice.


Yay! I’m so excited for you – how fun to read your first experience with loose leaf!

My method of getting leaves out is similar to Angrboda’s twist… I tent to tilt the tin to the side, insert the spoon at the top with the open side down and then rotate the tin so tea spills into the spoon. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

I do weigh my tea but as long as you keep in mind the size of the leaves changes how much volume you need (1 tsp for black, up to 1 tbsp for fluffy whites) you should be okay. Measuring by weight gets a more consistent cup but can be a little too perfectionist for more laid back personalities (says the recovering perfectionist).


Thanks guys for the tips with getting the leaves out of the tin! The sample tins are so tiny that it’s a bit difficult to attack it.

And YAY! I am super-excited as well. This is so awesome. I’m actually really happy that I have had a bunch of bagged tea before I started loose leaf, because the flavor comparisons are really awesome.

I was thinking of getting a scale, but I don’t think I’m that far deep in yet! There’s a Teavana not that far away from me; I might go in there to get some tea and a spoon soon!

1 tbsp for some whites? Wow. The only thing that’s really annoying about Adagio is that they don’t have amounts for their various teas.


@teaplz, check the discriptions on their website. I make it easy for me and do 2.25g across the board. So much easier than putzing around getting as much leaf into a teaspoon as you can w/o breaking them.



I must echo everyone else’s excitement for you. I got one of those little Teavana tea spoons when I was first starting out and it’s been helpful to me ever since. The only exception has been, again like everyone else mentioned, with the fluffier teas. [I don’t have a scale yet, but as someone whose perfectionist tendencies haven’t been fully suppressed, I can’t imagine that the purchase of one is far off.]

In any case, it’s fantastic that your first go was this enjoyable. It’s incredibly exciting and refreshing to see tea drinkers try loose-leaf for the first time. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!


@takgoti and everyone else interested. Make sure you get one w/ the calibration scale included. It’s easier and cheaper that way.

How does the "tea"spoon differ from a teaspoon. I figure I have a measuring teaspoon and the teaspoon you eat w/ and that’s enough. "Tea"spoons just seem like a way for companies to get you to spend more money to me.


Can’t speak for others, but mine differs by not being a teaspoon at all but rather one of these http://www.teaspring.com/Dragon-Head-Tea-Scoop.asp

I could imagine though that if you have several teaspoons of varying sizes and shapes, using the same one each time would help getting a consistent amount of tea every time. You always know exactly how many spoonfuls are just right, regardless of whether you buy a fancy one that you like or use a regular teaspoon.

Maybe a fancy one isn’t really necessary, but I like my little wooden scoop because I like having nice tea things.


@cofftea Eh, it doesn’t really differ. It was just a quick and dirty way to get a teaspoon separate from the set of measuring spoons I’ve got and they gave me a discount for getting it with the gravity strainer thing so I figured why not? I don’t usually brew my tea in the kitchen and this way I could keep it at my desk without having to take if off the ring/remember to put it back, etc. Works for me.

@Angrboda HAH, those are fantastically intricate! I can’t say that I’m not a little fuzzy on how tea scoops work, exactly. I like my spoon because I can fool myself into thinking I’m being precise, but should I get a scale I imagine I’d get a scoop, too. Seems like a gentler way to get at the tea.

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355 tasting notes

Working late and I’m fading fast. There’s some crappy Bigelow bagged teas in the staff lounge, but nothing else. As the boy said, luckily past Beth plans better than future Beth, because I found a bag of this in my desk drawer! I need to start keeping an emergency stash of black tea for occassions like these.

This is nice, strong, and hearty.

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336 tasting notes


… Is there any feeling more liberating than the feeling of being at the start of vacation? Waking up in bed going, “Hey, I don’t have to hate this Monday – because I don’t have to go to work in two hours!” YEAH!

This was a good tea, but I’m debating on whether or not I’ll restock it.

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2929 tasting notes

English breakfast, in my personal set of tea stereotypes, is Irish breakfast that just couldn’t make the varsity team. But this is a really nice surprise. Stout enough to wake you up, not just jostle you. Cheapskate that I am, I tend to use about half the leaf I normally should, but I splurged this morning and put a full two-spoon measure into my travel mug. Glad I did.

4 min, 30 sec

Ha! I love your definition of an English breakfast (and not just because I tend to agree with it!)


I love your description of English Breakfast :) I know what you mean…for me, English Breakfast is just Sugar Tea…a little bit of tea and a lot of milk and honey and white sugar, nomnomnom!


lol…I totally agree.


Made a pot that wasn’t quite as strong this morning; catching some “toasty” that didn’t pop out earlier. Still nice.

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985 tasting notes

I am getting low on this….and will be looking for a replacement. It is good, but I think there are things out there that I like better, and are a better value. Still, not bad with milk and sweetener.

My mini-rant on Adagio…..I get that the bags make more sense than the tins as far as the environment, and have even talked myself into the fact that the bags make room for more tea faster as they empty. I just think it is a bummer the general amounts went from 4 oz. down to 3 oz. in a bag. It feels like it did when half gallons of ice cream went down to 1.75 quarts, or even 1.5 quarts. Do companies really think we are that stupid? Or are they just trying to keep their prices the same, but giving us less….so it looks like they have not had a price increase in years. They are all tricksey!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I haven’t ordered from Adagio for a long while—didn’t realize they’d switched. (Their sample tins are my storage mainstays for scraps!)


Yep…no more sample tins, and the full size tins are only available for purchase in packs of 3 for $9…..


I am so sad about the end of the tins. Their sample tins were my favorite thing about the company. I definitely would have ordered more samples from them because the tins were so cute. And I guess that the bags are better for the environment, but I think most people reuse the tins anyway so that argument is kind of null.

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3294 tasting notes

Last night I cleaned out and rearranged my Tea storage system, again! It’s nothing fancy…a 3 shelf corner cupboard, plus an old wicker shelf with a series of cardboard boxes (that teas I ordered came in). I think I need to probably do this at least once a week, moving all of my favorites to the back so that I’ll give the other teas a chance once in awhile. Then I came on steepster, and got in on a chat (on some tea review somewhere, can’t remember where though…) about how people line up their teas and such. I felt right at home!

I’m really making an effort (this time around) to stick to the Tea Rotation plan I made, so this morning this was my Black tea pick. It’s from one of Adagio’s black tea samplers (along with yunnan jig, yunnan noir, Puerh Poe, and Assam Melody).

Per their instruction: 1 tsp in a cup of hot water, 4 minutes.
Meeh….it’s ok, but nothing to write home about.
Not to be unfair, I made a 2nd cup, this time using 1 Tablespoon of tea, and steeping 3 minutes, and NoW We’Re TaLkInG! When in doubt, add more tea! I also added some stevia, and it’s tasty! It seems that most English breakfast blends are heavy on the Assam and tend towards tartness, but this one is a Keemun, which I find to be more of a smokey malty fruity mellow kind of thing. Very nice.

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735 tasting notes

Very standard, but good. I find that brewing it with a little more than a teaspoon makes it more flavorful, but not bitter. Right now I’ve got a hot cup of it, sweetened with three packs of Sugar In The Raw because that’s how we do it in the deep south, dammit! Actually, I think it’s probably just a bad habit of mine. Anyway, I like this tea a lot. It would be good to keep around for everyday pots.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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60 tasting notes

backlogging some teas from the other day before getting to today’s tea. Forgive my lack of detail in my tasting notes as of late, it’s been insanely hectic with the kids & I haven’t really had time to sit down & really write out my thoughts, so I’ve been just jotting down some quick notes & rushing off to tend to the babes

After having this after only having had bagged English Breakfast, I can’t really say that I know much about it, but I can say that I will never go back to bags again after drinking this.

Gentle understated smoke with earthy leather notes with a smooth finish. With my second cup I detected a maltiness that was quite nice. No bitterness at all (by that I mean unpleasantly bitter qualities, as I do like a slight touch of bitter to my teas). It was a very comforting cup to start off my morning the other day :)

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Tawny Kira

inadvertently just figured out how to make things bold. sweet! :P


Nice! :)

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110 tasting notes

This is the perfect tea for those bleary-eyed moments in the morning when you can barely remember how to make tea. The flavor and aroma remind me a bit of good Irish stout. It will wake you up faster than a Marine drill sergeant. And, if you just can’t quite face all of that bright-and-cheeriness early in the morning, it mellows quite nicely with a bit of milk and sugar.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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