G'day tea lads and ladies! We hope that you're having a wonderful week and ready for a bit of a debate this morning. Today we will be talking about the age old argument, "Who does it better with the breakfast tea? The English or the Irish.".
Whoa, whoa, whoa! No need to get all riled up! We know everyone has their opinion but we're going to start with a bit of a background on both teas and what makes each one unique.
Let's start with the English Breakfast tea (purely because of alphabetical order, Irish lovers. Don't fret!). English Breakfast Tea is a robust, full-bodied black tea that is traditionally consisting of a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas. In it you will taste the bold notes assigned to each of the above along with some subtle caramel flavors. English Breakfast Tea was traditionally only afforded by the wealthy or royal. As we still see to this day, whatever the upper class or nowadays, "influencers", are doing, everyone else wants to be doing as well, so, quickly, this English Breakfast Tea became quite coveted and popular. As popularity quickly increased, ships known as "clippers" that could quickly transport the product from India, China, and Africa back to England made tea more readily available and costs lowered. Steam powered ships allowed for an even quicker and cheaper transportation which only heightened the availability of this delicious drink. While drinking a blend of these teas did become popular in England, we attribute the name "English Breakfast Tea" historically to a tea merchant named Richard Davies in New York City (1843) that coined the term in order to entice customers to buy his product. You will consistently see this to be enjoyed with milk and sugar as it will neutralize the flavors as well as add just the right amount of sweetness. For this sugar, we recommend our amber sugar crystals. These sugar crystals are unrefined and melt slowly as you drink your tea. They release a slight caramel flavor which will enhance the one already present in out English Breakfast tea. I love these to drink with my tea as they make the last sip very sweet and memorable. Those who follow this blog know that anything that satisfies my sweet tooth is a winner in my book! Now let's wave goodbye to the English for the time being and talk about Irish Breakfast Tea.
Irish Breakfast Tea is again blended traditionally from Assam, Ceylon, and Kenyan teas. With Irish Breakfast Tea, you notice though, that the blend is dominated by Assam. This is what we attribute the deep, malty, and dark flavors to. Think like an Irishman and think of Guinness beer. It is dark, heavy, and very malty. The Irish like their tea in a similar fashion. Similarly to the English Breakfast Tea, tea in Ireland was initially only enjoyed by the elite. When those of other socioeconomic stature caught wind of this tea trend though, it quickly became all the rage and was enjoyed well into the countryside. The Irish drink more tea than anyone else in the world per capita so they certainly know what they are doing! This tea is again often enjoyed with milk and sugar in order to mellow the strong flavors. Because Irish Breakfast Tea is stronger in flavor than that of English, you will often times see almost a third of the cup to be filled with milk and then swirled with sugar. This increased flavor profile is attributed to the fact the Irish previously bought their tea from the English, which resulted in it being of a reduced quality of tea to that of the English. The Irish became accustomed to this dark and bold flavor and when they finally cut out their middleman (England) in the 1960s, they stuck with the distinct and vivid flavors. If you are in Ireland, be ready to be welcomed into anyone's home and immediately be asked if you "fancy a cuppa?". We recommend that you promptly accept as they make a delightful cup as well as it is considered rude to refuse.
I will admit to you here that as I write this I am enjoying a cup of our Decaf English Breakfast Tea. I take it will sugar and lemon, and I will have you know, it is nothing short of delightful.
Don't get me wrong here, I am not taking sides! I love the Irish Breakfast Tea as well, English Breakfast just happens to be gracing my cup this afternoon. If this debate intrigues you and you feel the need to do your own research, I highly recommend our St. Patrick's Day Collections and the "Irish vs. English - Preference anyone?" set. In this set you will receive two ounces of each of our teas, both English and Irish breakfast. This will give you the chance to taste both and decide for yourself which flavor profile your palette prefers! Keep us in the loop and don't forget to let us know which one you like! Stay warm and make yourself a nice cuppa' breakfast tea! - Kaytea :)