Welcome to The Morning After, a Breakfast Tea Subscription.
“Breakfast Tea” usually means rich and malty black tea that goes well with milk and sugar. English Breakfast teas sit on shelves and in cupboards all over. It’s one of the most recognizable names in the American tea market. Its history is way beyond the scope of this humble product page, but a summary would be helpful and appropriate.
In the 1600’s, Dutch merchants introduced tea to the British. Tea quickly filled the cups of the British aristocrats. The British noticed that tea drinkers got sick a lot less often than the rest. They believed they had found a sacred medicine in these expensive, mysterious herbs. The truth is a lot less exciting. It turns out, people who boil their water get sick a lot less often!
Well, anyway, the British went to war with China for their magic medicine. They smuggled loads of opium into a small fishing village, invaded it, and took it over. Next, they sent a botanist dude named Robert Fortune through China with the mission of stealing the details of tea production. He toured China’s tea gardens, taking notes as he went along. Whenever he visited a garden, he left with small cuttings and samples. He brought it all back to the British poppy fields in India, and they switched from opium to tea.
Once the British started growing their own tea in India, they needed their countrymen to choose British tea over their familiar Chinese tea. At the time, tea was taken with milk and sugar, accompanied by some small mid-day snacks. It was seen as a point of national pride to choose English Breakfast Tea over Chinese tea. After all, they had just gotten over a war.
There is a glaring problem with most English Breakfast teas in the overall market. The British Empire developed their famous Breakfast Tea on colonial labor. As buyers, they could basically name their price! Fair wages and ethical labor practices were nowhere near the teacup.
We call this tea Morning After because it’s an English Breakfast 2.0. We developed this blend in close conversation with Virgin Voyages. With the British background of Virgin, it was an opportunity to really invest our efforts into developing something that English Breakfast tea aspires to be: rich, malty, sweet, and sticky, but just bitter enough to remind you that you’re alive.
Beyond flavor, we wanted to include and transcend the oppressive narrative of colonial labor. Two of the teas included in this blend come from small grower cooperatives in India and Nepal. These tea growers used to sell their crop to local factories, at whatever price the factory dictated. Today, the small gardens unite under a single tea master. Rajen Baruah runs Heritage Cooperative of Assam, India. And Sarad Subbah runs Nepal’s Hariyali Cooperative. They both make black teas that are deep and malty. They are delicious with or without milk and sugar. We added tea from Sri Lanka’s Beverly Estate to finish off this post-colonial blend with some jammy tropical notes of guava and tamarind.
We put this blend together with the aspiration of making the perfect Breakfast Tea. If Morning After is the perfect Breakfast Tea, then this is the Perfect Breakfast Tea subscription!