The traditional breakfast teas and blends are made of black teas. With pronounced tannins and a strong finish, they’re excellent with full-flavored traditional breakfast foods. And of course, getting one’s mind kick-started with a nice black tea is often helpful!
With lighter breakfast foods, such as a continental breakfast of rolls, fruit, cereal and toast, the standards are Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, Kenyan and Nilgiri black teas. For a more robust breakfast that might include eggs, meats and cheese, you can easily pair with the above-mentioned black teas. Or, you can choose to go with even stronger or scented teas such as Scottish or Irish Breakfast Blends, Earl Grey, and Pu’erh; these can all stand their ground to even the strongest tasting cheeses. My personal favorite with bacon and eggs is a Green Pu’erh! In fact, I’ll drink this tea just to remind me of eggs and bacon when I can’t have them.
And lastly, we would be remiss if we failed to mention one of Pu’erh’s better-known features, as an excellent hangover cure, making it the beverage of choice for an otherwise painfully slow morning! Pu’erh is very smooth in taste and even darker than black tea. It has been shown to cut through grease (and cholesterol), help digestion (carminative), help warm you, help produce saliva and shake thirst, dispel the effects of alcohol, and refresh your mind. For those reasons, when we developed our own “Bolder Breakfast” blend, Pu’erh tea was chosen as the central ingredient.
This article was a series on tea and food pairings originally published on T Ching in 2008.