One theory claims that the blend was invented in 1892 by a Scottish tea master, Drysdale. This version would have been favored by Queen Victoria, who would have promoted it, and it is believed that the tea would then have received its current name. Another theory credits Richard Davies with inventing the name and the mixture.
He was a British tea merchant based in New York who reportedly began selling his blend in 1834. Regardless of its exact origin, black tea became a breakfast staple in Britain in the 18th century, and the somewhat weaker blends were later replaced by the strong English breakfast tea in the 19th century. Because of its full-bodied, robust, and strong flavor, this tea is usually sweetened and served with milk.