The first version of this most popular of all teas was developed over a hundred years ago by the Scottish Tea Master Drysdale in Edinburgh. It was first marketed as "Breakfast Tea". It became popular in England due to the craze Queen Victoria created for all things Scottish. Tea shops in London, however, changed the name and marketed it as "English Breakfast Tea". The tea is a blend of fine Indian and Ceylon black teas, other teas like the Keemun are also used. Many tea authorities suggest that the Keemun tea blended with milk creates a bouquet that reminds people of "toast hot from the oven", this may be the original source for the name of the blend. It should be offered with milk or lemon. Lemon should never be served to a guest if they request milk - it would curdle the milk. It may also be used to make iced tea.

Gathered from Stash Tea's History of Tea with bits of information from Oolong.

Besides a type of tea, a traditional English breakfast consists of the following (also known as a fry-up):
all washed down with a mug of strong tea (preferably stewed in the pot for at least 10 minutes). Guaranteed to double your cholestrol level and induce an instant heart attack but it certainly tastes divine! We built (& lost) a global empire on this.
There's no way that a full English breakfast could ever be healthy, or cholesterol free. But there are a few things you can do to reduce the overwhelming amount of fat that it would normally contain.
  • Cook the bacon on a griddle or a Teflon pan with ridged bottom - that way all the fat melts and leaks away instead of ending up on your plate. Also try to use organic bacon, as it will be lower in salt.
  • Grill the sausages and tomatoes and toast the bread - avoid fried bread altogether, as it's pure carbohydrate and fat with practically no nutritional value. Try to use wholemeal or granary bread - the extra fibre is good for you, and will serve to soak up some of the grease.
  • Poach the egg instead of frying. Failing that, use a Teflon pan and the bare minimum of fat - preferably vegetable oil.
  • Mushrooms are a real problem, because there really isn't any other satisfactory way of making them other than frying. Try using the following recipe, which uses a surprisingly small amount of oil:
    • Chop a couple of handfuls of shrooms into largish chunks.
    • Chop a small onion and a couple of cloves of garlic roughly.
    • In a non-stick pan, heat up a teaspoon of vegetable oil. When it's good and hot, drop the onion and garlic in and fry, stirring occasionally, until the onion is glassy and just beginning to smell sweet.
    • Plop in your mushrooms and stir thoroughly to make sure they are all covered in oil - this might take a couple of minutes, and is better to do steadily than vigorously.
    • Lightly season the mushrooms. The salt here is the important bit - it will make the mushrooms release their juices, so in effect you're half-frying, half-poaching them. However, because of the initial thermal shock, they will be well sealed and not go all soggy.
  • As for beans, most people I know can take them or leave them anyway. Most canned beans are loaded with unnecessary sugar, so if you can get organic or diabetic ones, so much the better.

It doesn't look like much, but if you follow all these instructions, you're likely to shave off as much as 1,000 calories and 25 grams of fat from your typical fry-up - not to be sneezed at.

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