Breakfast Tea is the most popular tea in the UK and was the first ever blend served at Babingtons in 1893. The common recipe for a Breakfast Tea includes three strong black teas.
Babingtons Breakfast Special is a slightly more aromatic, musky and smooth version of traditional breakfast tea. A well balanced blend that combines the citrus scents of Ceylon black tea, the musky scents of Darjeeling tea and the smooth roundness of China Yunnan.
Common thought is that black tea contains more caffeine than green or white teas; this however is not the case. Caffeine is present in all teas and the quantity of the caffeine depends on many factors such as the quality of the teas, the altitude (often high grown teas are more premium), the terroir, the age of the tea plants, and most importantly the brewing (water temperature and infusion time).
The Babingtons Breakfast Special is an aromatic blend of black tea with hints of floral scents, citrus, honey and a light caramelised aftertaste. In one word a very balanced breakfast tea.When they opened Babington’s Tea Rooms in Rome in 1893, Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria Babington were importing their black teas directly from England. When they started their business they were buying a Darjeeling black tea from India, a Ceylon black tea from Sri Lanka and a Chinese black Keemun tea. The two ladies themselves mixed their own blend in the fourth room, at the far end of the Tea Rooms, but at the end of the 1950s things were to change.
Valerio, Isabel’s nephew, decided it was time to have the tea blended directly in England so he set off from Rome with 5 jars of water from the Acquedotto Vergine (inaugurated in 19 B.C. by the Emperor Agrippa), the water used in the tea rooms. Together with the tea merchants in London, he spent three days tasting and testing the breakfast tea until the precise balance of flavour colour and intensity was reached. Today Babingtons Breakfast Special blend is the iconic Babingtons tea, one of the best sellers and most loved by clients worldwide.
Today’s recipe for the Babingtons Breakfast Special has only slightly changed. It is still prepared by blending three black teas from India, Sri Lanka and China, but instead of the China Keemun we are now using a Yunnan black tea. Yunnan is the Chinese province recognised as the cradle of tea. It was, with great probability, in Yunnan that the first teas were produced thousands of years ago. It is from Yunnan that the caravans of tea would set of by foot and horseback through the 4000km Ancient Tea Horse Road towards Tibet, Nepal, India and extending all the way to the Western World and North Africa.Yunnan today is the second largest tea production area in China, producing Puerh teas, white, green and jasmine teas, and of course black teas, with smooth, rich nuances of wood and caramel.
Darjeeling tea is the second black tea used for our blend. Darjeeling is a small region in the north East of India, tucked away at the feet of the Himalayas. Darjeeling teas, known as the “Champagne of Teas” grow between 800 mt and 2000 mt above sea level, gifting
us with a variety of refined, slightly grassy, floral, nutty, full bodied teas according to the season of the plucking.
The third black tea used in our Breakfast Special blend is a Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka. At the beginning of the 1800, called Ceylon in those days, the British began cultivating coffee on the Island with great success, but in 1869 a rust fungus destroyed all the plantations, leaving the island uncultivated. Fortunately some planters started sewing tea plants in the region and in a very short time Ceylon tea conquered the hearts and palates of the British. Today Sri Lanka produces white, green and oolong tea as well as the very sought for black teas, appreciated worldwide for the unique citrusy, brisk, full bodied taste.
Babingtons Breakfast Special is our iconic blend. Served since 1893 in the tea rooms in Rome, and still a best seller, it brings together the story of an era and that of Babingtons in a cup!