3241926435_cb6ec2c588_zMany of us love to start our day with tea. Just tea! The variety of choices here is as wide as the world of tea! Many people like to start their day with a green or an oolong tea, but there are others of us who prefer to hit the morning hours with a nice strong pot of Pu’erh, Assam, or Breakfast Blend. Some of this choice has to do with flavor preferences, but it also has to do with just how much astringency we can deal with first thing. As many times as I’ve tried to join my boyfriend in his early morning green tea ritual, it’s just not something my stomach is prepared to do before having something to eat! Pu’erh, on the other hand, feels to me like a warm velvet blanket.

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 7609999736_d262d0c0fc_zabove-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.