Review of Organic English Breakfast

5 of 103 of 52 of 550 of 100

I was very interested to try the teas from this newly-launched effort of Two Leaves tea. This was an above-average quality British-style tea bag with finely-broken black tea, from the same company that I'm used to selling high-quality pyramid sachets. Good but not amazing. No brewing instructions on the container; I would find this helpful.

I found this tea to be picky about brewing temperature. I liked the result when boiling water was used, but when the water was a little below the boiling point, the results were poor. Perhaps this means it is true to the British style, because I've found most English breakfast teas also require boiling water for best results.

Brewed with boiling water, this is a very strong tea. I brewed it only a minute and a half and it was almost too strong for me; I had to drink it gradually. Brewed this way, with a brief steeping, the tea bag can make a second cup which is almost as flavorful as the first.

Aroma is typical for an English Breakfast tea, malty and robust, but less malty than an Irish Breakfast or pure Assam. This tea has more deep and dark qualities than typical English Breakfast blends, and is smoother than usual, leading towards a cup that is a bit darker than average without being quite as bitter. Finish leaves a hint of grape-like tones. Second cup has a slightly more spicy / herbaceous finish. Although this pales in comparison to loose-leaf tea, it delivered a bit of complexity that I'm not used to in simple paper tea bags.

I had no idea what to expect when trying this. It surprised me to see Two Leaves and a Bud, which specializes in whole-leaf tea in pyramid sachets, launching a brand of humble paper tea bags with finely-broken tea contents.

I did not find this tea to be as complex or nuanced as any of the offerings from Two Leaves and a Bud, but it was certainly above average for a paper tea bag. The tea was fresh when I tried it though, so if left in a cupboard after being opened, this company's teas may taste more similar to other mainstream tea bags.

Even though this tea is both Organic and Fair Trade certified (both a big plus for me, and worth a price premium), and even though it was consistently able to brew two flavorful cups, I still worry that this tea may be somewhat overpriced. It's almost $6 for 24 tea bags, and while I think it is considerably above average when compared to other brands selling similar broken-leaf tea in paper tea bags, it's still broken-leaf tea in tea bags. I'm a big loose tea drinker, and $6 can buy more cups worth of loose tea of greater quality. Also, while I do think this is better in quality than the supermarket brands of tea available for a lower price, I'm not convinced it is worth quite as much more to justify the price. I like to see new brands of tea be successful, but so far, I prefer the main teas from Two Leaves and a Bud, sold under its main brand name. But I look forward to trying the rest of their teas.

One last comment on the price. I saw this tea was available on for $3.82, much cheaper than through the official website. But it was marked as out-of-stock. This is a bit puzzling to me. If it were available at this price, I'd reconsider my rating of value and probably give it a 4. But is this accurate, or is it a promotion? It's a little unclear. I'd recommend Paisley to sort out this issue because it can look a little odd to have the same tea available from different places at the same price.

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