What's the deal with Irish Tea?

madebyyouandi

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I made Barnbrack for Halloween and post some pics 'round the net. I got some feedback that it is best eaten with a hot cup of Irish tea. Fine. I go online and find Irish tea and it doesn't taste any different. Now, I had a choice between Fortnum & Mason (40USD) or Twinings (10USD), so I went with the latter. Is Irish tea so amazing that I should splurge on the "good stuff"?

Also, I did a research online and found that the most popular brand is Barry's, which I did find on Amazon, but tea bags always feel like cheating to me...
 

caseydog

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My ex-wife loved Irish breakfast tea -- specifically Taylor's of Harrogate. I honestly couldn't taste a significant difference between that and English breakfast.

I like Barry's. As for using tea bags, I use them, but in a teapot, not in a cup. The tea steeps better in a covered pot, IMO. I don't think it is cheating, at all, and cleanup is easier -- you just toss the used teabags and rinse out the pot.

CD
 

rascal

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My ex-wife loved Irish breakfast tea -- specifically Taylor's of Harrogate. I honestly couldn't taste a significant difference between that and English breakfast.

I like Barry's. As for using tea bags, I use them, but in a teapot, not in a cup. The tea steeps better in a covered pot, IMO. I don't think it is cheating, at all, and cleanup is easier -- you just toss the used teabags and rinse out the pot.

CD

My mum used a teapot as well.1 teaspoon for everyone and 1 for the pot.
Me , I'm a lazy bastard lol I use bags.

Russ
 

TastyReuben

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I drink a lot of tea, and I use both Irish and English teas, and I don't feel there's a huge difference, they're just different blends, and the rest is down to marketing.

This is from The Kitchn:

English Breakfast: Originally a China black tea but now frequently includes a strong Ceylon tea component. May also include teas from Assam, Africa, and/or Indonesia.
Irish Breakfast: More robust than English Breakfast. Generally has a strong Assam component, giving it a malty flavor.
Scottish Breakfast: Typically the strongest of the three. May include teas from China, Assam, Ceylon, Africa, and/or Indonesia.
 
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karadekoolaid

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Whilst the Chinese drink tea, and the Indians drink tea, those nations that drink most tea per person are the Turks, the Irish and the British.
Being a Brit, I make my tea with tea leaves, not rat(tea)bags, but that´s because I like to do so. So-called Irish tea is probably a stronger blend than others, but you could also try Yorkshire Tea, which is equally strong.
If you´re making Barmbrack, it´d go well with any tea, so I don´t think there´s a big deal, to be honest; after all, it´s just bread with some spices and raisins added. I´ve made it, it´s delicious, but it´s not such a "gourmet" event that it needs to be paired with something specific. Strong tea will do fine - don´t go mad and spend $40 on Fortnum & Masons; Twinings will do just fine.
 

madebyyouandi

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My mum used a teapot as well.1 teaspoon for everyone and 1 for the pot.
Me , I'm a lazy bastard lol I use bags.

Russ

A few months back I was listening really intently to a podcast while I was bebopping 'round the kitchen 'n making tea. I grabbed the tablespoon by accident.

I was awake for days.


Scottish Breakfast: Typically the strongest of the three. May include teas from China, Assam, Ceylon, Africa, and/or Indonesia.

Now I'm going online to find me some Scottish tea...
 

caseydog

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I do prefer loose tea to bags, but I use both regularly. Just depends on what I have time for and feel like.

When I brew tea in bags (RatBags?) in a teapot, with the proper temperatures and times, my unsophisticated tastebuds can't tell any difference compared to loose tea.

CD
 

LissaC

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Best tea I ever tasted is Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea. Super strong and well bodied which is just how I like it. Unfortunately here in Portugal it's expensive and hard to find, I bought mine at the Twinings shop while on a trip to London.

I've read somewhere that Irish breakfast is especially strong and well bodied because of the Irish tap water which is supposed to be hard water, not sure if it's true or not.
 

karadekoolaid

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Family favourite back in the UK is Yorkshire Tea, because it´s really strong.
I´ve just looked and it´s available in Portugal. Whether the price is good or not, I can´t tell.
 
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