Breakfast Tea usually means a thick, strong cup of black tea that tastes good with milk and sugar. It’s usually a blend of black teas.
Tea leaves are full of sugars and oils. So, after plucking, tea makers repeatedly roll and press the tea leaves. Because, this pressure bursts the veins of the leaves. The sugars and oils in the veins bleed into the flesh of the leaf. And, as the flesh of the leaf absorbs these sugars and juices, it gets darker and darker. The name of this chemical process is oxidation.
After oxidation, the tea leaves are sticky and full of sugars and oils. So, a high temperature roast follows. Finally, it caramelizes the sugars and oils, and removes the water within the leaf. Without these rich caramelized sugars, the fat of the milk and the sweetness of the sugar would drown out most of the tea’s flavor and aroma.
The most famous Breakfast Tea is English Breakfast, which is usually a blend of black teas from former British colonies. Our English Breakfast tea, for example, is a blend of Indian, Kenyan, and Sri Lankan black teas. All of these have colonial histories.
Flavor and aroma are always the driving forces behind the development of blends. And luckily, this blend was commissioned by Virgin Voyages. So, the cheeky British background of the Virgin brands gave us a great launchpad of flavorful inspiration.
Most of the tea in this blend comes from two small grower cooperatives. The first is Rajen Baruah’s Heritage Tea in Assam, India. He has been in the tea industry for decades working in bigger corporate factories. Over decades of close attention, he has come to develop a great understanding of tea processing, and a deep love of tea. His teas offer great depth and malt, and are always beautifully plucked.
The second small grower co-operative is Hariyali Cooperative of Jasbirey Village, Ilam, Nepal. They are also responsible for Amber Red, a Tearoom favorite since 2016. Amber Red surprised us because of its impressively savory, fried-sweet potato flavor profile. Meanwhile, “Baby Amber Red,” a slightly less roasted cousin of Amber Red, is the second component of Morning After.
Finally, the third is full leaf orthodox tea from the Beverly Estate of Sri Lanka. It has stood the test of time here at JoJo, as a favorite component for restaurants and bars all over Miami. Beverly offers lush notes of guava and tamarind in a buzzy, vibrant sip.
Taken together, Morning After takes its sipper on a Journey of Love Delicious. Deep dips into rich sweet potato and burnt brown malty sugar support full, jammy, tropical fruit and it’s all capped off by a dry British bite.