English breakfast tea was originally a blend based on a Chinese black tea called Keemun. (produced exclusively in the county of Qimen, China)  It has a rich smoky aroma and molasses-like flavor. Later, the recipe changes to a blend of black teas like Assam and Ceylon, Darjeeling, and sometimes Kenyan tea too. 
Tea was introduced to Great Britain by Catherine of Braganza , the Portuguese wife of Charles II, around 1660s; however, no one really knows where and when Breakfast tea originated. Some think it originated from America during Colonial time.  Some even think it dates back to the time before the British had successfully started tea cultivation in India.  According to Mr. Breakfast, English Breakfast Tea was invented in Edinburgh, Scotland when tea master, Drysdale, came up with the idea of marketing his blend as "Breakfast Tea". It spreads quickly throughout Europe and the English love the blend so much that tea houses in London began adding "English" to the name. 
Prior to the English Breakfast Tea tradition, the English typically only ate two meals (breakfast and dinner) per day and afternoon tea was only a supplement. When English Breakfast Teas were introduced to commoners by Queen Anne in the 18th century, it was quickly embraced because they already celebrated afternoon tea.  If you are interested in more tea history in UK, visit United Kingdom Tea Council.
Tea sets are extremely important for the English tea culture. According to What's Cooking America, all porcelain tea cups were traditionally made in China so they did not have handle. Until 1710 when the Meissen Porcelain Company make a handle to the teacup, a tea etiquette called "Pinky up" was also firstly introduced. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria, who loved drinking tea, especially invented a tea service that includes teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, tea kettle, coffee pot, and waste bowl. 
English Tea Etiquette Pinky Up
Photo by Northern Planner
Other than the famous English Breakfast Tea, there are other types of similar tea such as Irish breakfast tea, Highland Breakfast Tea, English Afternoon Tea, etc. Today there are so many blend variety of English Breakfast Tea from manufacture such as Twinings.
English Breakfast tea was traditionally served hot, but it can be served cold with ice cube too. This tea can be enjoyed plain, but some people prefer adding honey, milk, cream or sugar depending on individual taste. Usually, only a small amount of milk and sugar is added to avoid spoiling the flavor of tea.
English Breakfast tea is a morning tea that goes well with the Full English Breakfast. According to an infographic from Kafevend, Breakfast tea is the UK's favorite tea.  It becomes a popular tea to be drunk throughout day and evening around the world.
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