Traditional Breakfast Teas

3 Best Black Breakfast Teas

Most of us think of bold black tea when we order a breakfast tea. We want something warm, comforting, and satisfying - with maybe a dollop of milk. The three black teas below - with an honorable mention for our English Breakfast, of course! - are our favorite black breakfast teas beyond the traditional English Breakfast.

South American Breakfast Tea

La Cumbre Bitaco

Coming to us from one of coffee’s favorite terroirs - the beautiful Andes mountains in Colombia - we adore the bold tannin mellowed by notes of sweet pastry, molasses, and cinnamon in this vibrant English Breakfast tea alternative. Highly caffeinated with a pronounced tannin that holds up well to milk, La Cumbre Bitaco is sure to wake you up and satisfy your craving for a bracing cup of tea in the morning.

African Breakfast Tea

Kenya Kangaita

A beautifully straightforward alternative to English Breakfast teas from India, this full leaf African black tea from the Rift Valley in Kenya is replete with notes of spices, fruit, and honeyed toast. While areas like Kenya’s Rift Valley have been producing tea for many years, it is rare to find a full leaf tea from Africa. Several African countries boast beautiful landscapes and climates for growing tea, but the tea produced on the continent is still largely processed as CTC teas for large companies that make tea bags and other types of commercial teas. When you try Kenya Kangaita you will find this is truly a shame, as this single origin Kenyan tea is a bold and brisk breakfast tea alternative.

Irish Breakfast Alternative

Russian Caravan

Assertive and slightly smokey, Russian Caravan is a blend of Chinese teas in the bold style favored by fans of black teas that traditionally took the overland route from China into Europe. For this reason, Russian Caravan is an excellent Irish Breakfast tea alternative with its decisive tannin and smokiness thanks to the Lapsang Souchong in the blend.

Fairtrade & Organic English Breakfast

English Breakfast (Assam Banaspaty)

It is sometimes difficult to top a classic, and our English Breakfast is a top seller not just for the name, but for its delightfully nuanced palate. Notes of florals and tobacco balance spice and malt in this gorgeous FTOP (Fine Tippy Orange Pekoe) from Assam. The tippy golden buds balance the characteristic English Breakfast tea tannin for a smooth cup that takes milk well but never needs it. Coming to us from the Banaspaty Estate in Assam, this English Breakfast tea is both typical of its type and a cut above the rest.

Non-Traditional Breakfast Teas

4 Best Breakfast Tea Alternatives

Whether you've been looking to get away from caffeine or want the caffeine but a new flavor experience, there are plenty of delicious alternatives to traditional breakfast teas like English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast. Nostalgia and comfort are two big reasons why many of us turn to staples like English Breakfast again and again - even despite the over 90 teas on our shelves, many of our staff still start their days with a black tea! Nevertheless, sometimes we want a break with tradition and routine, and that’s where these four breakfast tea alternatives come in.

Caffeinated Breakfast Tea Alternative


A wonderfully vibrant and brisk green tea made from powdered Japanese green tea leaves, matcha is a highly caffeinated and invigorating drink. While matcha does have as much caffeine as coffee, you will notice the caffeination from matcha may feel different in your body. Because the caffeine in matcha (and other green teas) binds to a polyphenol called catechin, it is harder for your body to digest and acts more like a slow release capsule of energy and stimulation. Combining this sustained and even caffeination with matcha’s high concentration of the relaxing amino acid L-theanine, and you have the perfect way to start your day focused, alert, and relaxed.

Caffeinated Breakfast Tea Alternative

Focus Pocus (Yerba Maté Blend)

A deliciously smooth blend of caffeinated Yerba Maté with Ayurvedic herbs Tulsi and Brahmi Leaf for memory and retention, Focus Pocus is a powerful mint and chocolate flavored breakfast tea alternative. Ideal for those days when you really need to concentrate, we often recommend Focus Pocus for studying or getting ready for presentations. Brahmi Leaf in particular has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to improve memory and retention, and has been linked to benefits for short and long term memory in research studies. With the caffeinated kick you need from the Yerba Maté, you might just find yourself saying goodbye to coffee and/or breakfast teas entirely!

Caffeine-Free Breakfast Tea Alternative

Adirondack Chaga

Deep and robust flavors of earth, cocoa, and berry characterize the brew made from this Northern hemisphere mushroom, making it an excellent coffee and breakfast tea alternative for those who reach for darker flavors. Naturally caffeine free and classified as a superfood due to its antioxidant properties, Chaga is a powerful way to start your day. Long used by native peoples in North America and Siberia for its medicinal properties, Chaga is believed to help maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as lower blood pressure. 

Caffeine-Free Breakfast Tea Alternative

Fountain of Youth

Naturally invigorating, Fountain of Youth is an excellent caffeine-free way to start your day. Spicy ginger and black pepper awaken the body and spirit while anti-inflammatory turmeric and cinnamon prepare your body for whatever the day sends your way. We especially enjoy this caffeine-free breakfast tea alternative as a latte or with a splash of milk to make sure your body can absorb the benefits from the fat-soluble turmeric!

How to Brew Tea

Learn how to brew breakfast tea and all your favorite types of tea in both Western and traditional teaware.