Seeking Comfort in Second Cup’s English Breakfast Tea

Second Cup's English Breakfast Tea

Battling boredom and loneliness before departing from MontrĂ©al-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, and after doing several laps through the terminal and grabbing a bite of sushi, I needed another diversion. Lester’s smoked meat was tempting, but I had already gotten my fix a few days earlier at Snowden Deli. What I needed was a warm cuppa.

Second Cup, Canada’s answer to Starbucks, has a competing kiosk in the airport. I expected something comparable to the tea I would get at Starbucks (typically Tazo Awake) if I got tea at Starbucks (which I don’t).

English Breakfast was one of the options. Unlike Starbucks, all Second Cup teas — 10 varieties total — are packaged with the company’s own label. Second Cup’s website claims all its teas are whole leaf and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and describes its English Breakfast as a blend of Indian (Assam) and Kenyan teas.

I placed my order and watched with disappointment (but not surprise) as my tea was steeped in hot instead of boiling water. Preparation method notwithstanding, the tea was good — something I attribute partially to the whole leaf tea and fat pyramid-shaped tea bag combination.

The tea was full bodied and stood up to milk very well. In addition to the familiar malty Assam, I detected a citrus-like aroma which I figured had to be the Kenyan. It had a bright finish and hit the spot.

Who servers better tea, Starbucks or Second Cup? Second Cup all the way. Go Canada!

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Author: Leo Kapusta

Leo enjoys pursuing his interests in writing, web design, yoga, internet marketing, and denim. Of all the useless degrees he holds, he is most proud of his Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film (Mass Communication Sequence) from the University of Texas at Austin.

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