I don’t think I’ve ever tried a “Canadian Breakfast Blend” before. I’ve had many different English Breakfast Blends and Irish Breakfast blends, even Scottish Breakfast Blends and a French Breakfast Blend or two. And of course, there was the good, ole American LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend, but I think this is my first encounter with a Canadian Breakfast Blend, so I am eager to try it.
The dry leaf looks and smells very much like many other breakfast blends. Lots of black leaves which vary only slightly in size which indicates to me that this is indeed a blend. It has that deep, robust black tea kind of smell to it.
This tea brews up dark and rich in color. The flavor is also incredibly rich. It is a blend of Assam, Nilgiri, Kenyan and Chinese teas, so you might be able to imagine just how strong this is! It is a very full-flavored, robust cup of tea.
The Assam gives the tea a very lovely malty tone to the cup. There is this incredible “baked bread” kind of quality to the cup as well, reminding me of a hearty, chewy, freshly baked loaf of bread. Once I get past the very powerful impact of the malt and hefty chewiness of this tea, I can taste all sorts of other flavors going on: hints of flower in the distance, and a profound fruit-like flavor that is almost wine-like in taste. At first, these flavors almost seem overwhelmed by the mere strength of the tea, but, as I sip, I notice that isn’t the case. Instead, it is a complex tea with layers of flavor and the palate just needs a few moments to acclimate itself to the strength of the tea before its able to appreciate the other flavors in there.
Culinary Teas describes this blend as
A superb fresh morning tea. Malty notes from the Assam, flower-like hints from the Kenya with delicate wisps of oiliness from the Yunnan.
My first sip, I took straight with no additions and found that while it was delicious, I really wanted it a little sweeter. I added a little sugar to it, and that did the trick. Then with my next couple of sips, I found myself getting used to the strength and then recognizing the interesting flavors within… then I decided it was time to try it with a splash of milk.
And with just a splash of milk is my favorite way to enjoy this tea. I find that the milk does not overwhelm the complexity of the tea, but, instead, by softening some of the edge of the tea, it helps to bring out some of the qualities that were missing in the previous sips, I taste more of a smoky note now, and that is quite complimentary to the biscuity tones of this tea. The milk also helps to curb some of the astringency in this tea – which, while not overly harsh, is a bit stronger in this tea than in some others I’ve tried recently. If you find that strong astringency isn’t your thing, just add a drop of milk and this will soften it a bit.
This is a very hearty and satisfying breakfast blend, one you’ll want to enjoy well into the afternoon.