Octeaber: Wake me up before brew go go – top five English Breakfast teas

The tale

You are revelling in a well deserved, lazy and ‘pamper me like Miss Piggy’ day off. You are positively chomping at the tea bag strings to lie in bed until at least- shock horror –  8:41 AM, smother yourself in loose leaf and nut butter whilst gorging on all the Mad Men you can physically cram into your tired, puffy and ‘piss holes in the snow’ eyes. No amount of No7 ‘Youth Defence’ can cover up your new look that resembles the inner wrinkly workings of a gorilla’s poo poo tube. ‘Youth Buh Bye’ more like.

You cannot afford to royally bollocks up this glorious relaxation moment that you have hankered for, for what seems like an eternity…probably six days in reality. The moment of course being your brew of choice to celebrate your ‘lady what leisure’ status; to lounge in your Muppet PJs, try and quiff your hair like Don Draper, and pass derogatory comments on all the buxom, Joan Holloway seductresses in the 1960s Madison Avenue office of your (pretty shit feminist) mind. You need bullet proof pleasure (I think it’s on offer in Anne Summers actually, several different speed settings with an iPad attachment). A certified sensual experience. A guaranteed, prolonged and dam-spilling multiple #teagasm. Only one cuppa will cut it. The inherently stiff upper lipped, probably frigid and so quintessentially British, English Breakfast tea.

First Flush #teagasm
First Flush of #teagasm

However, I like to put it about a bit. You can’t just have one cup o’ builders best when you have the time, collection and burgeoning caffeine addiction to have at least two…which will inevitably turn into five. Not dissimilar to the 2am decision to watch just one more Mad Men episode and suddenly the birds are singing the theme tune to you at 6am as you struggle to remember what year it is, whether you have slept and if casual racism, sexism and extra-marital affairs are the done thing in this place and time.

So, without further ado, this merry Octeaber day we are looking at a whopping FIVE of my favourite Blighty Breaky mugs of self deprecation, and in no particular order as we are equal opportuni-teas round ‘ere.


Now this is the good stuff. Not a builder’s arse crack in sight when it comes to supping on a We Are Tea’s breaky blend. Unlike the other tea offerings below, this brew combines Assam AND Darjeeling leaves for a bloomin’ bostin’ cuppa. Most other breakfast teas simply use the rich and malty leaves of Assam, but We Are Tea’s addition of the slightly sweet yet musky Darjeeling takes this brew taste experience into overdrive. Like the working class, slightly plump humble breaky brew getting a scholarship to university, having its accent beaten out of it by pre-tea-ntious toffs and being forced to bathe in champagne every day as part of the rowing team training – same distinct bold character, but added with something a little something more refined. (N.B I am not mentally disturbed by my experience as the only Brummie lesbian in my year at the University of Warwick). It even won a Great Taste Award in 2009 – so it’s a tea with a first class honours degree in Philosophy too.

Oh my...how did that Tea Lover's Companion get there?!
Oh my…how did that Tea Lover’s Companion get there?!

A We Are Tea English Breakfast is the perfect cuppa for ‘the morning after the night before’ – and I am not referring to hangovers, night shifts or fanatical viewing of Orange is the New Black (…yes, I know you were expecting another Mad Men reference there – GOTCHA!). It’s deep, creamy and woody Assam says ‘hey, I had a pretty above par time’, whilst the lighter, almost floral aftertaste of Darjeeling says, ‘and I’m not a complete dick, so will probably booty call you again.’ I bloody loved it…and the tea as well.

2. The New Kid on The Block (well for me anyway) – SHIBUI TEA ENGLISH BREAKFAST

This was a little bit of on unexpected hit for me. I liken it to an impromptu night out after work, where you are completely under-dressed, wind up in a cabaret bar playing ‘The Price is Right’ on stage with a drag queen called Madame Thunderpussy and end the evening – or indeed start the morning – with a McDonalds’ double sausage and egg McMuffin talking to a tramp named Steve about the meaning of life on the Number 6 bus home. Frequenters of Birmingham gay village – you will know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. When I first tried this I was dubious that it would be yet another English Breakfast wannabe, like yet another costume change at a Beyoncé concert. Comparable to We Are Tea, Shibui have given the traditional Assam leaves a Gok Wan style makeover by combining it with the sexy ‘bangers’ of Ceylon and Tanzanian leaves, and then taking it to Topshop to get those wet look leggings that it thought it could never wear. The citrusy sweetness of the Ceylon, strong kick of Tanzanian leaf and robust malt of the Assam juxtapose together for a punchy yet refreshing kick in the knackers to wake you up of a morn. Top stuff Showaddywaddy tea, top stuff!

Shibui or Showaddywaddy? Guess we will only find out 'Under the Moon of Love' #bantzfortherentz
Shibui or Showaddywaddy? Guess we will only find out ‘Under the Moon of Love’ #bantzfortherentz

3. The Comfy Pair of Slippers – BIRDHOUSE TEA COMPANY’S FULL MONTY

You know I bum Birdhouse, so I’m not going to labour the point about how this tea has been clinically proven to make you younger, hotter and all round more god-like. The clinical trials took place in a temperature controlled lab (my kitchen), by trained researchers (PG Poonani and I), with rigorous impact measures (the level of ‘aaahhh’ and ‘oooh’ in reaching #teagasm). In true Ronseal style, this tea does exactly what it says on the tin. It is no nonsense Assam, with an irresis-tea-ble creamy, dark and full bodied flavour, and tastes exactly what a good brew should taste like. It is the perfect accompaniment to any breakup crisis, work stress and terrifying wait for your Netflix stream to cease buffering, very much like a pair of your favourite novelty Gruffalo paw slippers. For me, this is the dogs bollocks of breaky teas and is the one loose leaf I have in my armoury that convinces even staunch teabag tit-tea-twats that doing a brew properly is the ONLY way it should be done. You can read about me doing more verbal bukkake over Birdhouse Full Monty here.

Birdhouse bukkake
Birdhouse bukkake

4. The Socially Outcast Smoker – TEA STUDIO LAPSANG SOUCHONG

Not strictly an English Breakfast tea I know – do forgive me – but this is another surprise hit for me to get fired up for a busy day as Mother Tea-raiser. Like all the best technology, food and mail order brides, Tea Studio’s Lapsang Souchong originates from the Wuyi mountains in the Fujian province of China. It has a burly, smokey-sweet flavour close to the smell of the wallpaper in the house of a 60-a-day octogenarian – but trust me, this tastes DIVINE – with the deep, woody aroma of the cedar smoking process. It makes for a moody brew (best without milk), on a drizzly morning that even a hipster-emo would be proud to nurse over their sketchbook of violent manga drawings and kitsch vintage typography. Naturally then, I loved it. Great if you want to add some much needed spice to your morning tea marriage.

Fancy a fag? The smokey Tea Studio Lapsang Souchong
Fancy a fag? The smokey Tea Studio Lapsang Souchong


I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry – don’t break up with me. I’m sorry I have tainted this review with caffeinated excrement juice. BUT, this is really rather nice caffeinated excrement juice. Plus, the guys that run Twin Cafe (especially the ever dashing, charming and my new BFF Hugh – deepest apologies I missed our coffee date today) are really rather nice too – they give a portion of their profits back to the hardworking Nicaraguan farmer bees who provide them with their Jack and the Beanstalk beans. N’awwww! Anyway, Twin Cafe’s Light Roast Single Origin is not only as socially conscious as the CEO of the UN, but as spritely as a cute new born unicorn, with citric, fruity high notes that doesn’t feel too ‘heavy’ like some coffee blends and a smooth and rejuvenating mouth feel. Ideal for a morning where you need the coffee equivalent of an ice cold hose pipe up your chuff to get you moving. Invigorating!

Very nice caffeinated excrement juice
Very nice caffeinated excrement juice


So there you have it Twitchers, five bostin’ brews to to slap you around the face, send 1000 volts to your nipples and aggressively tickle your nether regions to get your arse in gear at the start of your day. Apparently for £29.99 you can get a similar service at local massage parlour ‘Phukit’. Think I will just stick with a cuppa to be honest…or ask Ms Tetley Tard very, VERY nicely.



Check back tomorrow for the next Octeaber blogging challenge instalment!



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