Which tea is stronger, i.e. gives a better puch for a wake up? I know that English Breakfast is a mix which among others includes Ceylon, and I read that Ceylon is a very strong black tea (the strongest apart from Chinese uberteas?). So, does it come out that English Breakfast is weaker because it only contains a share of Ceylon and the rest of the teas in the blend are of a weaker kind? Or is it actually stronger because of that and is used at breakfast to give a good kick?
There are two main traits of tea which deliver the punch you talk about:
- Caffeine: this is a stimulant, and there is wide variation on the amount of caffeine in black teas depending on a number of factors. Here is a good article which goes into some detail on caffeine in tea. A simple way to put it is that variety doesn't mean much, one assam may have much more caffeine than another, so saying a tea is a blend of assam and ceylon doesn't mean it has more or less caffeine than pure assam.
- Flavor: A stronger flavored drink provides more stimulation to the brain than a weaker flavored drink. The more something attacks your taste buds the more wake-up power it has. Orange juice has no caffeine but it still has eye-opening properties for most people
English breakfast teas are blends of strong-flavored tea varieties like Assam and Kenyon, they are designed to be drank with milk and maybe sugar. Ceylon is actually a lighter flavored tea, usually used in afternoon blends for a lighter taste, although it can be used in english breakfast tea. Caffeine-wise they vary but strength of flavor does not imply caffeine content if the quantity of tea used is the same. If you get a stronger tea by adding more leaves to the brew then you get more caffeine of course.
So english breakfast tea is a good eye-opener as much from its strong flavor as its caffeine content. Ceylon is less strongly flavored but probably similar caffeine content per weight of tea, so would be less of an eye-opener.